Whose ladder is it anyway? Introducing Ha-Joon Chang


Filed under: Development Poverty

Ha-Joon Chang portrait

(Photo credit: Wildershoots / www.wildershoots.com)

On 27 April, Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang will give a Kapuściński Development Lecture in Bilbao.

If his past work is any guide, Professor Chang will argue that poverty reduction efforts should focus on industrial transformation, and the role of the state.

Read more »

New hope for healthcare in Kyrgyzstan


Filed under: Central Asia Health HIV

women promoting good health

“Change the patent law and you will help us live longer” Our civil society partners take to the streets

For over five years, I have been working for access to essential medicines.

I have always been amazed to see how it is the poor countries that often must pay the most when it comes to keep their citizens healthy.

Consider antiretrovirals – these live-saving medications are crucial for keeping HIV a chronic and treatable condition.

Read more »

Everyone’s heritage: Cultural sites offer new beginnings in Cyprus

by and

Filed under: Development

two women embracing

A Turkish Cypriot resident of Deneia/Denya meets her former Greek Cypriot neighbour at a completion ceremony of the local mosque (Photo UNDP-PFF)

Cypriots today are rediscovering their unity around a shared cultural heritage; however, this hasn’t always been the case.

How did this shift happen?

Read more »

From sun solutions to climate cafés: Nationwide campaign taps into local talent


Filed under: Climate change Development 2.0 Environment Social innovation

a baby picking up a bottle

It depends on you: What’s your green energy solution?

While it comes to climate change, getting citizens engaged in their communities is crucial.

To tap into this natural pool of talent, UNDP in fYR Macedonia launched a nationwide campaign last December, inviting members of the public to submit their own innovative proposals for tackling climate change.

We received over 130 ideas – and ten of the best were shortlisted for further development.

Read more »

Educated guesses: An open challenge in Moldova

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


How does it look on paper? Prototyping a new platform (Photos: Cristina Lisii)

Last year, at Moldova’s innovation lab, we decided to experiment with a new tool aimed at reforming education.

Along with the Ministry of Education and participating citizens, we launched an online platform open challenge asking Moldovans a simple question:

Read more »

A symbolic change: Time to rebrand justice?


Filed under: Central Asia Governance Social inclusion

lady justice

Redrawing justice: What picture would you choose to represent justice?

Justice is often symbolized as a blindfolded woman holding a scale in one hand and a sword in the other.

I believe this symbol contributes to the ongoing perception that justice is closely linked with coercion.

In line with global efforts to ensure access to justice, I would like to suggest looking for a new symbol that can better convey these principles.

Read more »

We the people: Insights from post-2015 Moldova


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


Complexity and energy: When biomass means more than just heat

The sustainable development goals have yet to be adopted; however, the first signs of changes in the way we work are already there.

Here are five reflections on what we’ve learned so far in Moldova:

Read more »

Cracking coconuts: Big data, gaming, maps and portals

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation


See all the amazing photos from the big event on Kolba Lab’s Facebook page

A good idea is like a coconut.

We know that something refreshing, even energising, lies inside. Yet a coconut without tools to open it is, for all intents and purposes, quite useless.

At a recent Social Innovation Camp in Dilijan, Armenia, we spent two and a half days cracking into four ideas using an array of peculiar tools: graphic designers, web designers, mobile app developers, web developers – not to mention a range of experts in everything from disaster risk reduction to crowd funding.

Read more »

A new kind of map: Meet Grandpa Trofim and his pal, Re-Robot


Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment Social innovation

grandpa trofim - cover

Nudge: Read the author’s recent blog on how Belarus is thinking differently

Meet Ded (Grandpa) Trofim.

He lives in a small village in the middle of Belarus where he enjoys the slow, quiet life of the countryside. Here he grows vegetables and takes care of farm’s numerous inhabitants: brightly colored chickens, a friendly trio of geese, a cow named Zorka, and two potbellied pigs.

Read more »

Keep it local: How to support the home-grown entrepreneur


Filed under: Development Other

Young people at a workshop around a table

Young people of Turkey attend ideation camps organized throughout the year and generate technology-based ideas.

Close your eyes and picture an entrepreneur. What comes to your mind?

Most likely a shiny suit running around big buildings in the big city.

Yes – historically the funds, networks and markets for entrepreneurs have been in big cities, trying new ideas and initiatives.

But local wisdom says it’s time for a shift. And here’s why.

Read more »