MiLab meets MindLab: Redesigning public services in Moldova


Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Guest posts Social innovation

I find nothing more interesting in my work in the public sector than pioneering a new approach to an old problem.

In 2014, UNDP in Moldova and Moldova e-Government Center jointly launched the Moldova Social Innovation Hub – or “MiLab” for short.

We also initiated our first project – a pilot focusing on applying design thinking to change the way Government provides monthly childcare benefits.

We were fortunate to have the assistance and support of our Danish colleagues from MindLab, whose advice and mentoring has been – and continues to be – crucial throughout this process.

Read more »

Green and clean: How to make a citizen-friendly city


Filed under: Development Environment

colombian mayor explains mobility

“An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.” – Enrique Peñalosa

I recently attended an international conference on transit and development in my hometown of Almaty.

The event attracted renowned urbanists and transportation planners from around the world who came to share their experiences and visions for sustainable urban development.

I was particularly struck by the words of famed Colombian politician and urbanist Enrique Peñalosa.

He introduced Almaty city planners and architects to the concept a city that is truly friendly to its citizens.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to ask him a few more questions:

Read more »

Opening data in Kosovo*: The curious case of Gjakova

by , and

Filed under: Anticorruption Development 2.0 Social innovation


Designers develop infographics during a workshop for the municipality of Prizren (Photos: Arben Llapashtica)

Our joint quest to open data in Kosovo began on a September morning over coffee in Pristina.

We were already funding the platform to visualize institutional spending and revenues, and had recently completed the “For Digital Prishtina” hackathon - with two projects designed to make spending and recruitment more transparent.

But, at UNDP in Kosovo we are always on the lookout for new ways to make data truly public and accessible.

Read more »

Climate change challenge: #ОдТебеЗависи

by and

Filed under: Climate change Environment Social innovation

Calling on all citizens to come up with smart and innovative proposals on how they can contribute to combating climate change 

The impact of climate change is more and more evident at both global and national levels.

Every country faces major challenges to achieve greater resilience to climate change, and fYR Macedonia is no exception.

Read more »

Understanding realities: Foresight for development in Armenia

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

having a think

Better to be surprised by a simulation than blindsided by reality

In the past few months Kolba Lab here in Armenia has jumped on the “gold rush to the future“. This is the first in a series of blogs that aims to share our rationales, experiences, and results.

Today’s challenges – increased complexity and interconnectedness of development issues, alongside endemic deficiencies within static bureaucracies – are pushing us to rethink the way the development industry operates.

Read more »

Crowdmapping corruption: The Kallxo case

by and

Filed under: Anticorruption Governance Social innovation


Key to Kallxo’s success is trust…

A former colleague of ours once wrote a post for this blog that asked a simple but pressing question:

Can you assess whether or not corruption-tracking websites will actually make a difference?

It’s been more than two years since UNDP in Kosovo* and Internews Kosova launched

Read more »

The write stuff: Bring on the writeshop!


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

Jen Colville

The author at this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: “Innovation calls for a collision of ideas”

In June this year, we launched our Innovation Facility to accelerate and expand UNDP’s efforts to support different ways of doing development.

The Facility aims to encourage UNDP to take calculated risks and push boundaries when planning and implementing projects.

It is designed to serve as a platform to share our experiences with alternative methods of project design.

It also functions as a safe space to talk about our successes – and our failures.

Read more »

Duncan Green: On citizen mobilization and empowerment


Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Poverty

Power is intangible, but crucial; a subtle and pervasive force field connecting individuals, communities and nations in a constant process of negotiation, contestation and change.

Development is, at its heart, about the redistribution and accumulation of power by citizens.

Much of the standard work on empowerment focuses on institutions and the world of formal power – can people vote, express dissent, organise, find decent jobs, get access to information and justice?

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »