But how does it apply to the fellowships?
One of the most interesting issues we’re working on in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia right now is finding new ways to encourage citizen participation in local governance. Access to information is key:
“Before, most people outside the administration found it quite difficult to access and understand a lot of information about the key functions of the municipality,” says Risto Atanasovski of the local NGO Foundation for Local and IT Development in Gevgelija. “This was especially the case for environmental protection and communal services. But now with this new IT tool, Dashboard, all this information is available at a glance in a highly user-friendly and interactive format. This is a major step towards greater transparency and citizen participation in local government.”
Youth unemployment is on the rise. This “generation at risk” now consists of 73 million unemployed young men and women worldwide.
With the global unemployment rate at an estimated 12.6 percent – 18 percent for young adults – the outlook for much of Europe and Central Asia is even grimmer.
The reality is worse in Kosovo where the overall unemployment rate is a staggering 35.1 percent and where eight out of ten people under 25 cannot find a job.
The selection of Uzgen as host-city was itself symbolic, as it managed to withstand a wave of inter-ethnic violence that shook Kyrgyzstan in 2010. Uzgen was one of the epicentres of a similar conflict in 1990, and many feared the same violence would erupt in this city again, 20 years later.
In many ways Sherzhod is the face of Uzbekistan’s younger generation.
He is a tech-savvy 22-year-old with big plans for the future, ideally with a career in medicine.
Like many of his peers in Uzbekistan, he wants to get married and start a family, but for now his goal is to pursue his career and try to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
But he is also living with a virus.
Sherzhod (not his real name) is one of approximately 30,000 Uzbek people who are HIV-positive.
At last month’s ‘Spot the Future’ workshop in Cairo, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Conceived as part of a radical shift in thinking on our end, this initiative is looking at what people are already doing to make the future they want in their communities.
We’re using this lens for the first time to involve more people in defining what a post-2015 agenda should look like (and are thrilled to have partners like the UK Government’s Open Policy Unit take note of it).
Before we began, Edgeryders co-founder Nadia El-Imam said she was purposefully being vague about everything in order to let people decide for themselves what direction the two-day workshop would take. It was this notion of ‘minds wide open’ that I believe directly led to its success.
The tragedy of war often reverberates long after the guns go silent. From the painful memories of violence and displacement to the ongoing suffering caused by unexploded remnants, war has left its scar on the people of Azerbaijan.
This is especially true for the areas bordering the frozen conflict, where frontline villagers have fallen victim to unexploded mines.
Often their injuries make it difficult to adjust, both socially and economically, to a new life. In Azerbaijan, losing a limb all too often means losing a livelihood as well.
It’s a good time to be talking about renewable energy in Turkey. The country’s economic and social development has led to growing energy demand, which is expected to increase six to seven percent every year until 2023 (in Turkish).
Turkey has no large oil or gas reserves, so it will stay dependent on foreign imports unless it looks into alternative sources.
The upcoming regional conference in Istanbul on 13-14 May is set to discuss private sector involvement in sustainable energy, and will feature some very promising news.
“IT-mobilization – National Human Security Hackathon on April 4-5″
I recently received that cryptic text message on my mobile phone; though as a member of SocialBoost‘s network of civic IT activists perhaps I shouldn’t have been too shocked.
The same messages inviting people to join the first National Human Security Hackathon co-organized by UNDP in Ukraine, National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), and the civic platform SocialBoost, were sent via social networks to over 835,000 people through VKontakte, 290,000 members of the EuroMaydan group on Facebook, and many more.
As a result, 5,200 unique visitors checked out the website in just one week, bringing us to 27,000 page views of the official hackathon website.
What happens when instead of asking people about the problems they are facing, you focus on looking at what is already being done to address them?
This is what we’re doing with the ‘Spot the Future’ initiative – instead of waiting for the Post-2015 world to come to us, we’re looking to find people who are creating the future they want today