Fifteen years later: Where do we stand in Albania?


Filed under: Development Environment Governance

MDGs Albania

I was recently watching a video we at UNDP in Albania produced 10 years ago.

What caught my attention was the voice of a second grader, Antea. A voice full of hope that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would change her life.

“We need better schools, greener parks, and healthier environment so that it does not harm our health,” she said. “I wish to have nicer playgrounds for children full of flowers and trees so that our lungs are healthy.”

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Searching for transparency: Reflections from a recent Open Data convert


Filed under: Anticorruption Development 2.0

Armenia Innovation 4 Development

UNDP in Armenia organised an Innovation 4 Development workshop last year.

Less than a year ago I could have barely told you what “Open Data” meant.

Today I’m helping to organize an open data for development training.

As we get ready for the big event, which will take place in Istanbul next week, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey and what open data means to me.

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Filling the vacuum in the Cyprus peace process


Filed under: Governance Peace and security

Cyprus Dialogue Forum- reading out the declaration

The Cyprus Dialogue Forum launched on March 12 in the Buffer Zone of Cyprus.

At the time of Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d one day have the opportunity to accompany the two chief Cyprus peace negotiators to meet the key people who helped the great man in leading the struggle to dismantle apartheid.

At a time when hope in the peace process had been reignited, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators felt that a visit to South Africa would create an opportunity to learn from that country’s experience of conflict transformation.

The highlight of our three-day visit in April 2014 was an afternoon in Cape Town with former South African President, FW de Klerk.

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#ICT4DRR: Making Skopje, Yerevan and Ungheni more resilient to disasters

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Filed under: Climate change Development 2.0 Disaster response Environment


New mobile app uses public data to help keep citizens safe (Photo: UNDP in FYR Macedonia)

It was not the Copa do Mundo da FIFA Brasil that brought us to Yerevan in Armenia in July 2014, but a regional workshop on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).

Between the sessions—and between the matches—we had some serious discussions with our colleagues from Armenia about disaster and climate risk reduction and risk prevention, what we have achieved and what the possibilities are for the future.

We have concluded that there are lots of common aspects and knowledge and expertise to be shared.

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Renewable energy cooperation: How do we get from Powerpoints to power plants?


Filed under: Climate change Development Environment

Energy Cooperation

I found myself confused as I listened to the discussion in the European Parliament a few days ago.

A policy-level discussion was taking place between various important stakeholders from the EU, the Western Balkans and the North Africa region on renewable energy cooperation between the EU and its neighbour-countries and regions.

We know that renewable energy cooperation is economically beneficial for all sides. We know there is unused renewable energy potential in the EU neighbourhood. There is even a legal instrument in the EU Renewable Energy Directive in the Article 9 called “cooperation mechanisms”.

Why, then, is energy cooperation still not happening?

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Micronarratives: Small stories reveal big truths in Kyrgyzstan

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Filed under: Anticorruption Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation


We turned to micronarratives to try and discover the hidden (and not-so-hidden) barriers that young people face…

A recent economic forecast for Central Asia from the IMF wasn’t exactly optimistic: “Gloomy, with a Chance of Pain” read the headline.

This makes the issues of youth unemployment and ballooning labour migration figures in South Kyrgyzstan all the more pressing.

It is in this context that we decided to experiment with micronarratives - a methodology used to explore the underlying causes of persistent problems, and help come up with some unexpected solutions.

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From one woman police officer to many: Notes from Sivas


Filed under: Gender equality Peace and security Social inclusion


Verica Golijanin speaks with young Afghan women after the training. Photo Credit: JICA

I was recently invited to Turkey to give a lecture about women police officers in South East Europe.

The lecture was to be delivered during a workshop organized for young Afghan women studying at a police officer training programme at the Police Academy in Sivas.

As I watched the hall fill up with young female cadets, I felt a great honour and responsibility but also hope that my speech was able to offer at least some encouragement to them in their efforts to become professional providers of policing services in Afghanistan.

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Ready for post-2015? A place to start in Moldova

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Filed under: Anticorruption Development 2.0 Governance Social innovation


Every beginning is difficult: Read the authors’ first post on the Futurescaper experiment

In our previous blogs, we reflected on the nature of development complexities that emerged as part of our foresighting exercise in Moldova.

In this post, we will focus more on some of the specifics: What institutions should take the lead? What are the biggest institutional challenges?What are key recommendations?

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Measuring peace: What’s the score?


Filed under: Peace and security Social innovation

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A new tool from Cyprus helps measure social cohesion in post-conflict settings.

We can come up with a number of ideas if we want to promote peaceful coexistence.

But what do we do if we want to measure “peace”?

The empirical study of peace is still an underdeveloped field. Not only is peace difficult to quantify; there are also few tools readily available to measure it.

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Ready to scale: Five curious mayors and 50,000 metres of space


Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social innovation


Milijana Asanin presents details of one of the municipality locations at the launch

What do abandoned military barracks, a broken-down sports hall, and two national museums have in common?

Not much – other than the fact that they are located in the less developed, northern region of Montenegro, and are probably pretty dilapidated by now, right?

The answer however is something a bit more unexpected: These locations are part of the biggest-ever social innovation challenge – and it’s taking place in Montenegro as we speak!

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