Can we produce 376 million tonnes of meat without destroying our planet?


Filed under: Central Asia Climate change Development Environment Poverty



Producing one kilogram of beef can use up as much as 27 kilograms of carbon emissions. That’s almost the same quantity as if you were to burn between 6 and 10 litres of petrol.

The world’s meat production is growing at an unprecedented rate and the driving force behind this surge is a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization.

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From the periphery towards the centre: making “innovation” the new normal at UNDP

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Filed under: Development 2.0


KolbaLab in Armenia hard at work.


A recent evaluation of our work by MindLab gave us an opportunity for reflection.

“Embedding innovation in our business processes” is an aspirational mantra we often hear. We realize now that the mantra, with its emphasis on system thinking, goes against the very grain of the  culture of a very project-orientated organisation.

What we know from past experience is that an “innovation toolkit” or a poster campaign cannot do the trick. These are organisational shortcuts, they are not by themselves innovations.

So we wondered, could we make innovation a more intrinsic part of UNDP? And if so, how do we turn it from a “weekend sport” into an “everyday practice”?

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Walking the tightrope: How do we maximise impact of the Global Goals?


Filed under: Development


Balancing the Global Goals can be an acrobatic feat.


Complexity is a defining feature of Agenda 2030.

Given that all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are interconnected, where are policy-makers and statisticians supposed to start?

Which road should they take to ensure maximum impact on a largest possible number of targets?

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A Perfect Marriage: Bringing together development and entrepreneurship

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Filed under: Development 2.0

SI blog infographic

According to some estimates, achieving the Global Goals will cost $172.5 trillion by 2030.

Consider that aid towards developing countries currently sits around $350 billion annually. It’s clear there is a major gap in funding between where we are and where we want to go.

Some relevant questions we often ask ourselves:

  • How can we ensure our work leaves behind sustainable results?
  • In a climate of dwindling financial resources, how can our programming do more for less?
  • How can we increase the effectiveness of global development?

At UNDP in Armenia, we think a paradigm shift is necessary.

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Can big data help us make emergency services better?

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Disaster response



In emergency response, every minute matters.

Every minute, more than 270,000 tweets get published worldwide, Google receives no less than 4 million search queries, and over 200 million emails are sent.

We now live in a world where 90 percent of the data out there today has been created in the last two years alone.

So how can we make this data work for us?

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From welfare as a cost to welfare as investment: social impact bonds and the case of Sitra


Filed under: Development



Funding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a daunting challenge. By some estimates, it will take nearly 20 times last year’s official international aid or the combined GDP of Africa’s 30 biggest economies in additional funds each year to keep on track.

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3 things I learned about development from giving a TEDx Talk


Filed under: Guest posts


I cringe every time I think of my TEDx talk.

What those on stage in California make seem effortless is actually the result of months of work: an incredibly difficult process of condensing thousands of ideas into one simple message.

For me, this was all the more difficult because I am a bureaucrat.

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How do we fight corruption in law? We tried something different in Kyrgyzstan


Filed under: Human rights and rule of law

Youth - lawyers in KG

Despite tangible progress in the justice system, the trust of the Kyrgyz citizens to the court system remains very low.

A recent survey shows that 51% of the population believe judges are “very corrupt”, with another 37% thinking they are “somewhat corrupt.”

It’s the kind of phenomenon that leads to legal nihilism – where people do not have any confidence in the system and consider the existence of any rule of law as an unattainable dream not worth considering.

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People helping people: It’s a new day for public services in Kyrgyzstan

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion


With growing internal migration and weakening economic situation in the region, it is no surprise that the isolation is becoming an increasing issue in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Social Fund, over 38% retirees live below the minimum living wage, with more than 5,000 claiming they feel lonely.

Liudmila is a 77-year-old lady who has been visiting the Balykchy Day Care Centre for Elderly since 2015. The centre was set up by a local non-governmental organization to provide a gathering place for retired and elderly people who don’t have relatives or access to a social network.

“I feel part of a community when I spend time with other retired people here,” she tells us. “We garden, make noodles and just spend time together.”

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How does investing in disaster prevention pay off?

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Filed under: Development Disaster response

EWS story BiH Cash for Work floods 2014

The unprecedented damage Bosnia and Herzegovina saw in the 2014 floods has shown us the devastating effects of deprioritized financing and years of neglect of flood control systems.

Doboj, a northern town in BiH, was among the worst-hit cities. More than 3,500 dwellings were destroyed or damaged by flood water. Urgent rehabilitation of 400 homes conducted under the EU Floods Recovery Programme took several months and cost more than 1.3 million Euro.

Emergency home rehabilitation and its staggering monetary cost may have had been avoided if the 2 kilometer long flood barrier, worth only EUR 300,000, had been put into place before the floods struck the city.

If that were the case, Doboj would surely be a much different community than it is today, and millions of Euros would have been freed for development, rather than the restoration of basic living conditions.

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