Dodging dystopia: Crowdsourced foresight in Armenia

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

bombed out iraq

How are you trying to dodge dystopia in your community?

At Kolba lab here in Armenia, we have been testing foresight.

We’re trying to gauge its potential in shaping the UN’s strategy in Armenia and in supporting the design of future development programmes.

This blog is the second in a series aimed at sharing our rationales, experiences, and results. In the previous blog post, we talk about why we chose Futurescaper.

We wanted to share our experiences here.

Our ambition was to create a sample map of the future of Armenia as imagined by Armenians.

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You may ask yourself, how did I get here? Let’s #TalkInequality


Filed under: Development Poverty Social inclusion

Just how bad is global inequality today?

Upon the launch of UNDP’s Humanity Divided report last year, Helen Clark noted that the richest eight per cent of the world’s population earns half of the world’s total income. She continued:

Not only do 1.2 billion people continue to live on under US $1.25 dollars a day, but inequalities in income and wealth are often compounded by inequalities in access to power, and disparities in health and education.

Reports like these beckon questions. They also demand answers.

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What does it take? From resisting to embedding innovation


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


The Mayor of Cicuciuleni presents his vision of the redesigned service

Colleagues of mine from MiLab recently shared our experience redesigning the material aid service in village of Ciuciuleni.

Working in a local development programme aimed at improving governance in Moldova, I have the opportunity to interact directly with local authorities nearly every single day.

This has helped me realize how they initially perceived social innovation: something related to high tech and, thus, not applicable to solving social issues.

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One step at a time: Why Moldova came to Cyprus

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Filed under: Development Peace and security

moldova team comes to town

The secret of Cypriot cooperation? Tiny, patient, measured, and technical steps (Photo: Natalia Costas/UNDP in Moldova)

Last year Cyprus was chosen by UNDP colleagues in Moldova for two study visits by representatives of local authorities, civil society, and the business community.

They picked Cyprus because of its long history of bi-communal cooperation.

Nonetheless, this choice still took us, and our partners, by surprise.

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Drop, cover, and hold on: Earthquake training in Turkey


Filed under: Development Disaster response

earthquake traimning

On shaky ground: The author tries to survive the earthquake simulator in Istanbul

Turkey has 56 earthquakes a day.

Fortunately, most are only felt by extremely fine-tuned seismic sensors.

Scientists predict that Istanbul, which sits on the Anatolian fault line, is due for a major earthquake in the next 30 – 50 years.

That big one could kill or injure tens of thousands of people.

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More men, more corruption?

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Filed under: Anticorruption Development

corruption conference

Deputy Chief State Prosecutor, Laura Pula and Kosovo Mayor, Shpend Ahmeti join UNDP to discuss how corruption affects the civil service

In December, we launched a survey report shedding new light on how corruption affects women and men in civil service in Kosovo*.

We were struck by one of the key results: the positive correlation between higher representation of men in decision-making institutions and higher levels of corruption.

Are women just less corrupt than men? 

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Kolba in 2015: What will we achieve together?

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

The Kolba Team

Christmas with Kolba: Read how Kolba helped one organization turn weakness into strength

We have come a long way since Mardamej.

Social innovation camps were a lot of fun, but many of the teams that emerged from these co-design events needed more support.

So we built Kolba, a social venture incubator. Read more »

Voices of Eurasia: Top 10 posts of 2014*


Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Environment Gender equality Governance Social inclusion Social innovation

it's a wonderful life

It’s a wonderful blog: What was your favorite post, Zuzu?

Well folks it’s that time again, where I pick up the sizable gauntlet from my predecessor, social media maven Blythe Fraser, and look back upon our year that was.

From our old home in Bratislava to our new digs in Istanbul, what have been our most popular stories? What intrigued you the most? What did you want to know more about?

Well the results are in!

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A journey with a map: Service redesign in Moldova

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

people waiting for aid in Moldova

“Hesitant at first, once people felt we were empathizing with them, they became comfortable and excited to join the process.”

The notion that good service is a service co-designed with the user is not news.

However, for many in Moldova, a majority of public services in Moldova remain totally bureaucratic and alien.

In an attempt to change this, MiLab is working alongside colleagues form UNDP’s Local Development Programme to help local authorities in the village of Ciuciuleni to redesign their material aid service.

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