Advancing richness: The Roma Report


Filed under: Development Poverty Roma Social inclusion

roma family

“The basic purpose of development is to enlarge people’s choices” – Mahbub ul Haq, founder of the Human Development Report (Photo: Samir Delic)

On 29-30 September, I attended the 27th International Steering Committee of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in Sarajevo.

The main question was this:

What has changed since the “Roma Decade” began in 2005?

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The road to development: Why we need more economists in the driver’s seat


Filed under: Development Human rights Migration and remittances Poverty Social inclusion

highway at sunset

An “aspirational highway”: The E80 connects ten countries and has a length of approximately 6,102 kilometres

Economists and development professionals are not always natural bedfellows.

I suspect that most fund managers often disregard the development folks with their “fuzzy math” and wonky jargon. Similarly, a lot of development professionals probably don’t understand how a credit-default swap works.

Does it matter?

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Loud and clear: Rethinking service design in Georgia


Filed under: Development 2.0 Health Social inclusion


Re-imaging the user experience at the Multimedia Education Center (Photos: David Khizanishvili/UNDP)

112 is one of the most dialed phone numbers in Georgia.

In 2013 alone, over eight million emergency calls were made to this national response hotline. Their website lists emergency services available for children, a video tour, and frequently asked questions for those who may need immediate help.

They provide everything for everyone – except for one glaring exception: those who cannot hear or speak.

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The road ahead: Good opportunities for partnerships in health and development


Filed under: Development Health HIV

cihan at meeting

Partnerships in action: Zsuzsanna Jakab, Cihan Sultanoğlu, H.E. Ms Carole Lanteri, Professor Maksut Kulzhanov. Dr. Andrei Usatii, and Bo Goran Pettersson

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the World Health Organization (WHO) in Copenhagen.

I was there to participate in their annual meeting and to speak about how I think we can work together on health. You can read the whole speech here, but to give you a little spoiler – I think we can do a lot.

Not only that, we are already doing a lot, we’re just not sufficiently aware of it, and so we’re not taking full advantage of the possibilities.

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Moldova post-2015: How are we getting ready?

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Filed under: Development Social innovation

futurescaper in moldova

Decrypting complexity: Futurescaper lets us map the web of trends, impacts and consequences

Some time ago, in the first round of the national post-2015 consultations, citizens in Moldova told us about their aspirations.

They spoke of finding decent work, wanting better social protection, and having more accountable governance.

This will be all the more challenging in a world where rising energy and food prices, climate-related threats, emigration, and population aging are only becoming more pronounced.

However, acknowledging aspirations and challenges is only part of the story.

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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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