Taking a deep dive in the Strumica River (data) Basin


Filed under: Climate change Disaster response Environment Guest posts Social innovation

The Strumica River Basin is one of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.

By 2020, water demands in the Strumica River Basin are expected to increase by 40 percent, while extreme weather events – such as floods and droughts – are also expected to become more frequent.

To avoid the common trap of planning for the last crisis rather than the next one, I’ve been working with UNDP on their Restoration of the Strumica River Basin project.

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Social Good Summit: It’s game on for peacebuilding in Georgia


Filed under: Development 2.0 Peace and security Social innovation

young gamers in georgia

Computer lab in the Abkhaz city of Ochamchira, July 2013 (Photo: Zoran Stevanovic/UNDP)

What do online gaming and peacebuilding have in common?

One simple answer is they both need people to do the job together. To succeed in both building peace and network gaming, you have to be willing to communicate openly.

It’s the only way to achieve any meaningful progress.

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Rigging the system: More insights from the private sector

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

kosts mallios speaks

Focus on the wins: Read part one of our interview and see why you can’t “pretend you will help everybody”

In the second installment of our conversation on scaling up in development, Kostas Mallios talks about how planning a project is like playing football, what real impact looks like, and why you have to “rig the system.”

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Belarus: Prepping the SI-lab


Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment Human rights Social innovation

shift blog image

Be sure to follow @UNDP_innovates on Twitter for all your innovation-related news & views

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about the hackathon idea, and how we’re planning it to use it in Belarus to kick off Shift week.

We chose to explore three overarching themes: healthy lifestyles, environmental protection, and disability-friendly employment.

We held an open call for ideas and out of the 20 applications received, nine seemed like real winners.

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What will the Global Forum on Youth Policies address?


Filed under: Development Governance Social inclusion


What does youth policy look like in your country? See what young people around the world had to say (Photo: Andreas Karsten)

Young people around the world are full of ambition and expectations. They also face many challenges.

Poverty and limited access to resources, education, healthcare, and employment can hinder the full realization of youth rights, opportunities, and potential in many parts of the world.

Coupled with social discrimination, violence, and environmental degradation, this leads to worrying implications for both young people themselves, and societies as a whole.

Effective youth policies can make the difference.

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Open data for development training starts tomorrow!


Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social innovation


>> Is data literacy the key to citizen engagement in anti-corruption efforts?

Access to open data is transforming the way we live of our lives, and the conversation in our region is just beginning.

Governments are opening their data, joining the Open Government Partnership, and trying to work together with the civil society organizations and the private sector to build an open data ecosystem in their countries.

This Wednesday, public officials from fifteen countries in the region will meet in Istanbul for the Open Data for Social and Economic Development Training.

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Good intentions, bad results: How inadequate laws in Central Asia violate human rights


Filed under: Central Asia Development Health HIV Human rights

I have lived and worked in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for most of my professional life.

As a human rights lawyer, I am always happy to observe when adequate legal solutions are found, paving the road to progress and development in our region.

It is equally difficult for me to see the process in reverse: unnecessary, inadequate laws enacted to deprive people of their rights.

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A Kostas benefit analysis: Insights from an (ad)venture capitalist

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

Kostas Mallios being interviewed

Kostas Mallios brings over two decades of interdisciplinary experiences in building new businesses and expanding existing ones

Kostas Mallios believes in the power of ideas.

Earlier this week, he came to our Istanbul office to join our scaling up workshop as a key mentor from the private sector. We wanted hear from new voices across disciplines, to get their views on how we can better approach scaling our work.

Looking at evolutionary principles, we saw some clear-cut parallels in the start-up sphere: Just like those crickets in Hawaii, businesses are constantly evolving in real-time, meeting their customers’ needs, and conforming to their expectations.

The ethos is exactly the same: adapt or die, sink or swim.

We sat down with Kostas for a frank two-part discussion on how insights from the business world can transform the way we do development. His answers might surprise you.

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Out to pasture: New practices mean new opportunities for farmers in Azerbaijan


Filed under: Climate change Development Environment

ecologists and local farmers scout the scene

Local farmers help experts assess the area’s ecological conditions (Photos: Eltekin Omarov)

Vahid Huseynov is a farmer from mountainous Burovdal, a tiny village in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan.

In the past few years, he’s been having trouble grazing his sheep in summer pastures. They’re just getting harder and harder to find.

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