Exposure: Taking a snapshot of the region


Filed under: Social innovation

rbec snapshots

Working in communications for UNDP, I’m always looking for new ways to tell the development story.

Recently a colleague introduced me to Exposure, an easy-to-use tool for creating compelling and striking visual narratives.

So in the spirit of “showing not just telling” what we do, I’ve compiled this short and sweet Exposure, featuring some snapshots of our year here in the region.

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Experts on demand: Six thoughts on how to best help middle-income countries


Filed under: Development

king of bohemia tapestry

Good King Wenceslaus: Check out how UNDP is pushing for partnerships throughout the region

Towards the end of the 13th century, Wenceslaus II, the King of Bohemia and Poland, decided that monetary reform was needed.

He invited Italian lawyers and bankers to carry it out and help draft a new law. The resultant “Prague Groschen” became one of Europe’s strongest currencies – the “Euro” of the Middle Ages.

The Czech Republic has a history of learning from her neighbours.

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Someone believed in me: Combating gender-based violence in fYR Macedonia


Filed under: Gender equality

16 days in macedonia

Kisela Voda Mayor Belicanec-Aleksic urges high school girls: “Strive for any role, just not that of victim” (Photo: @LouisaVinton)

The first thing you notice when talking to victims of domestic violence is the fear.

It’s a kind of fear that overcomes the listener.

And yet, this fear can also drive women to punish perpetrators.

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No ceiling: Three approaches to women’s leadership in Armenia


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

women discussing

[Ed. note: This was the third of the three winning projects of UNDP’s regional Scaling Up Fund. Each proposal was designed to deliberately move away from more conventional ways of scaling (‘going big’) to a more adaptive approach (running multiple experiments and enhancing existing dynamics in the communities, as opposed to creating something new)]

In Armenia, like in much of the world, we have a problem with glass ceilings.

Initially, our question was:
What prevents capable and respected women to consider entering local government? 
Field work indicated a number of interrelated structural factors: narrow gender identities, a fear of failure and reputation loss, lack of skills, prohibitive costs, perceptions of the role of community councils, and the lack of a support network.
But upon taking a closer look, we saw that we may be limiting our impact by targeting a very narrow demographic: women interested in having a political career.

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Innovating solutions for gender-based violence: The search for better feedback loops


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


Through the use of SMS polling, UNDP in Armenia is trying to reduce the democratic gap.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a stark reminder that more needs to be done to address gender-based violence.

Given the prevalence and persistence of gender-based violence across the globe, it is necessary to not only intensify efforts – but also to examine approaches and strive to find more effective solutions with the people we work for.

In UNDP, we explore innovations using a multi-sectoral approach to prevent violence against women.

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End violence: Everyone is responsible and the time is now


Filed under: Development Gender equality

unite infographic

Check out how the United Nations is working to #orangeurhood and end violence against women

Today is the International Day of Violence against Women. It is a day of solidarity with the millions of women worldwide who suffer this most pervasive violation of human rights.

Throughout the world, one in three women is the target of violence from an intimate partner.

As the gender advisor for UNDP’s regional hub in Istanbul, I find this figure shocking.

Government, UN, and civil society representatives who recently gathered in Geneva for a regional review of progress on the landmark Beijing Platform for Action drew some other sobering conclusions.

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Moldova post-2015: Understanding the complexity

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

futurescaper screenshot

Futurescaper screenshot: The linkages of growth in migration in Moldova

We recently blogged about how we are planning with citizens to improve the institutions Moldova will need in the post-2015 future.

Now, we want to look into the main challenges and impacts as seen by the participants in the survey we conducted using Futurescaper.

In the three weeks it was live, Futurescaper brought a new level of depth and responsiveness that we had never seen in Moldova.

The platform empowers participants, by literally putting them in the position of strategic analysts.

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Seven ways Twitter is like a house party (and why that matters)


Filed under: Social innovation

having fun with mahallae

See how Mahallae is sparking and inspiring change in Cyprus (Photo: Katherine Long)

As part of our efforts to innovate at Mahallae and UNDP-ACT, we are very keen on the “work out loud” approach.

This is why we in the Mahallae team provide ongoing support and mentoring to our winning Challenges teams in designing and implementing successful social media and outreach strategies.

Yet we sometimes notice confusion and even resistance in our innovating teams towards social media, preventing them from being as good at “talking” as they are at “doing.”

I am wondering whether drawing parallels between Twitter and house parties can help demystify social media and even further encourage its use for working out loud.

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Every day is an innovation opportunity: Six things I learned in Pristina


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

open data talk

Data discussion: A vibrant conversation ensued that was due as much to the open location as it was to the ideas

The last time I visited UNDP in Kosovo* to learn about how they’re approaching innovation for development, I thought to myself:

“Hmmm, all this dynamism and energy, they must be putting on a show for me so I write quite the flattering blog post when I get back to Egypt.”

This time around – my second visit to Pristina in less than six months – I realized the truth:

This office pretty much lives and breathes innovation.

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After the nudge: #KAPTalks with Simon Ruda


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

Simon Ruda is a leading international expert in applying behavioural insights to public policy.

He heads the international development section of the UK-based Behavioural Insights Team: “a social purpose company using behavioural insights to support social purpose goals.”

But what does that actually mean?

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