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

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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?

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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.

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Educated guesses: An open challenge in Moldova

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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:

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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.

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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:

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Cracking coconuts: Big data, gaming, maps and portals

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘My opinion matters’: How a mobile tool in Armenia is engaging citizens


Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social inclusion

Young citizens engage with SMS polling through a cell phone

Young citizens of Ashtarak are happy to learn about SMS-polling and get registered right away.

About 3,000 residents from five towns and villages of Armenia are now enrolled in the Micro-referendum Tool initiative.

Micro-Referendum Tool allows local governments to run SMS-polls to better reach their constituents and engage them in community affairs. The tool provides citizens an opportunity to safely express their opinions via SMS. This is especially important for those who don’t have internet access or the will/time to engage offline.

As our tool goes live, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on our long but rewarding journey.

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Wanted: New Yardstick for Inequalities


Filed under: Central Asia Development

Gini Coefficient world map

The Gini coefficient world map ranks according to their level of income inequality.

Not all inequalities are created equal.” So goes one of the main takeaway messages from the Dialogue on Inequalities recently held in Istanbul.

Yet we still use only one indicator—the Gini coefficient of income inequality—to judge them all.

Back in 1968 Robert F. Kennedy said GDP “measures everything. . . except that which makes life worthwhile.” This holds true for the Gini coefficient as well—it measures all income inequalities, except that which makes inequalities important for us.

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