Diffusing the powder keg


Filed under: Development Peace and security


Scenic southern Albania, near the Greek border, outside the town of Përmet (Photos: Christopher T. Barber)

In early July 2015, two Czech tourists were gunned down in the hauntingly beautiful mountains of northern Albania.

The 25-year old suspect, who allegedly committed the crime with an old, communist-era Kalashnikov, was arrested a couple days later.

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Let’s dance: Put on your “cooperation” shoes

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Filed under: Anticorruption Development

anti corruption conference

Not your average conference: Anti-corruption experts from around the region come together in Istanbul

We’ve all said it.

How boring is this conference – sitting in a hot, windowless room, a unenthused speaker reading off the same PowerPoint he or she’s been using since the late 1990’s.

The truth is there is always something to learn; however, it’s just not necessarily during the presentation.

What’s interesting to us is what happens behind the scenes where the real conversations take place.

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Lessons for Greece from other lands


Filed under: Other Development Governance


For many, Greece has become synonymous with the word ‘crisis’.

For the longest time, for better or worse, she could not escape the spotlight. Words were thrown around – frivolously, carelessly: debt, austerity, irresponsibility, welfare, reform.

We read as much as we could handle, listened as much as we could, and tried to make sense of it all.

Whose fault is it? And whose responsibility – to fix it?

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Reflections from Zagreb: The gender dimension in Southeast Europe


Filed under: Gender equality Social inclusion

woman in church

Zagreb, Croatia August 2015 (Photos: Ariel Rubin)

As I wrote about recently, I went off to the Zagreb Inequalities Workshop in search of answers to some fundamental questions about how inequalities can be better measured.

While my quest is not yet fully satisfied, I did come away from with new perspectives on gender equality issues—both in Southeast Europe and the broader broader region.

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Every step of the way: Making progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Filed under: Development Human rights and rule of law


A publication on the rights to justice for people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Addressing the past is sometimes the only way to work toward reconciliation.

2014 was a year of major progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina for extending access to justice, free legal aid, and support to enhance the search for missing persons.

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#worldyousee: What’s your vision?


Filed under: Governance Social inclusion Peace and security



On September 25, the United Nations is unveiling the Global Goals: These 17 Goals aim to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years: End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change.

Young people have a big role to play here, which is why UNDP’s #IstanbulHUB is excited to get YOU in on the action: We’re happy to announce the #WorldYouSee photo competition is now LIVE!

Focusing on Goal 16, we want YOUR pictures of what peace, justice and good governance mean to you.

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Innovating local governance: What did you create?

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Filed under: Environment Governance Social innovation


All of our citizen-experts will be presenting their projects next Monday at Armenia’s Social Good Summit.

If government is best run close to the people, then local self-governance is a cornerstone in the structure of our democratic political system.

But in a time of limited budgets, how can we make our local government more efficient and responsive?

Instead of leaving this headache to policymakers, Kolba asked those of us who are most intimately involved in local governance service delivery – you, the user!

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Big data for development: What we’re doing TODAY

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Filed under: Disaster response Development 2.0 Social innovation

big data

Analyzing social media for Global Goal 16 In Tunisia

In early July, while the summer in Skopje started to sizzle, big data enthusiasts popped by for one big (data) reason: to reflect on, share, and explore how we can use better use data for development.

Our partners in crime, UN Global Pulse and UN Volunteers were also in the mix, contributing presentations on the current state of big data affairs: from the Nepal population estimates after the earthquake to the case of the Seoul “Owl” bus, to UNV’s own burgeoning online volunteers platform.

The social innovation lab at the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering (FINKI) was definitely the coolest place in town that week.

So, what kind of big data queries are our colleagues asking?

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The long road to justice in Kyrgyzstan


Filed under: Development Governance Human rights and rule of law

a woman at a legal aid clinic

A client receives assistance in a community service room in Kyrgyzstan (Photo: Sharabidin Tairov)

The road to justice in Kyrgyzstan is a bumpy one.

To receive legal advice or consultation, people need to travel at least five-eight kilometres, on average, and pay about US $25-35 for the service.

With salaries averaging at around $380, it is no surprise that many do not seek legal aid; some do not think it would be effective anyway.

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Investing in early childhood care and preschool education pays off

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Filed under: Development Gender equality Guest posts


“Investment in childcare and education not only creates more jobs, but better jobs” (Photo: UNDP in Turkey)

High quality early childhood care and preschool education is a profitable investment, shaping the minds of children to become productive citizens in the future.

In Turkey, however, the enrollment rate in preschools and other educational childcare programmes remains far behind the OECD average. To catch up, more than 3 million children will need to enroll.

This will involve hiring 600,000 teachers and staff, and securing the necessary material and services to run the facilities.

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