Moldova post-2015: Understanding the complexity

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

futurescaper screenshot

Futurescaper screenshot: The linkages of growth in migration in Moldova

We recently blogged about how we are planning with citizens to improve the institutions Moldova will need in the post-2015 future.

Now, we want to look into the main challenges and impacts as seen by the participants in the survey we conducted using Futurescaper.

In the three weeks it was live, Futurescaper brought a new level of depth and responsiveness that we had never seen in Moldova.

The platform empowers participants, by literally putting them in the position of strategic analysts.

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Seven ways Twitter is like a house party (and why that matters)

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Filed under: Social innovation

having fun with mahallae

See how Mahallae is sparking and inspiring change in Cyprus (Photo: Katherine Long)

As part of our efforts to innovate at Mahallae and UNDP-ACT, we are very keen on the “work out loud” approach.

This is why we in the Mahallae team provide ongoing support and mentoring to our winning Challenges teams in designing and implementing successful social media and outreach strategies.

Yet we sometimes notice confusion and even resistance in our innovating teams towards social media, preventing them from being as good at “talking” as they are at “doing.”

I am wondering whether drawing parallels between Twitter and house parties can help demystify social media and even further encourage its use for working out loud.

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Every day is an innovation opportunity: Six things I learned in Pristina

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

open data talk

Data discussion: A vibrant conversation ensued that was due as much to the open location as it was to the ideas

The last time I visited UNDP in Kosovo* to learn about how they’re approaching innovation for development, I thought to myself:

“Hmmm, all this dynamism and energy, they must be putting on a show for me so I write quite the flattering blog post when I get back to Egypt.”

This time around – my second visit to Pristina in less than six months – I realized the truth:

This office pretty much lives and breathes innovation.

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After the nudge: #KAPTalks with Simon Ruda

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


Simon Ruda is a leading international expert in applying behavioural insights to public policy.

He heads the international development section of the UK-based Behavioural Insights Team: “a social purpose company using behavioural insights to support social purpose goals.”

But what does that actually mean?

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Evolving thoughts: The future of Roma information centres

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Poverty Roma Social inclusion

jelena krasnic outside the box[Ed. note: This was the second of the three winning projects of UNDP’s regional Scaling Up Fund. Each proposal was designed to deliberately move away from more conventional ways of scaling (‘going big’) to a more adaptive approach (running multiple experiments and enhancing existing dynamics in the communities, as opposed to creating something new)]

According to a 2002 census, 53,879 Roma were living in fYR Macedonia. Unofficial figures however put that number closer to 135,000.

Studies have shown that Roma remain at a clear disadvantage when it comes to access to education, healthcare, public services, and decent living standards.

Over the past years, many projects have attempted to address these challenges, but only a few have had any meaningful impact on Roma’s lives.

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Pushing for partnerships: Piecing together the development puzzle

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

"Designers develop infographics for the Municipality of Prizren during a workshop" Photo credit: Arben Llapashtica

Designers work together to develop infographics for Prizren municipality (Photo: Arben Llapashtica)

One of the oft-repeated mantras in our innovation work at UNDP is:

Whatever problem you are working, you can be sure someone is already out there trying to solve it.

Two years into my work here, I would like to adjust that phrase slightly: Yes, there are people working on the solution, but often they are only looking at one aspect of the challenge.

In the world of complex developmental challenges, the solution is a puzzle - where any number of different people, organizations, institutions, and companies may hold different pieces.

The challenge for us is how do we find and bring them together?

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Candy for the brain: Storytelling in Kyrgyzstan

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

When you think about it, stories are an essential part of every person’s life.

I’m sure most of us can recall a favorite bedtime story that soothed us to sleep; or a time when we were mesmerized by a friend’s tales of a place we’ve always wanted to visit; or maybe, when we skimmed through a 30-page report and felt…well, bored.

Stories trigger all kinds of emotions. The secret to good storytelling is being able to trigger the right ones.

Storytelling is an art, and those of us in development need to become better artists.

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A child’s guide to corruption in Kyrgyzstan

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Filed under: Anticorruption

There is nothing that gives me more energy, enthusiasm, and excitement for the future than talking with children.

Over past few days, I had the opportunity to visit several schools in Bishkek to talk about my work with UNDP in Kyrgyzstan and the Rule of Law team.

I spoke with children between the ages of five and 17, and I have to be honest: I learned a great deal about both this country and my work.

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The SI-Lab in Belarus: We were hacking, we were learning

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social innovation

the winners circle

We have a winner…Read about what’s brewing at UNDP’s social innovation lab in Belarus

On 20-21 September, as part of the global SHIFT Week, I was hacking for social change with some energetic young men and women who are trying to make this world a better place.

Why a hackathon?

We wanted to try something different: to source ideas from some “unusual suspects” – as opposed to the same old voices.

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