Boosting trade in Central Asia: How we’re making sure this paper doesn’t stay on the shelf

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Filed under: Development Poverty Social inclusion


>> See how Aid for Trade is working to improve human development through trade and private sector development in Central Asia

We are excited to announce that we are publishing a new paper today on trade and human development in Central Asia in both English and Russian!

We believe the ideas and recommendations of the paper have the potential to influence major policy discussions within the five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) – as well as shape how international organizations see trade and integration processes in the region.

The challenge: How do we ensure that the ideas in the paper don’t just remain there, but are discussed, developed, and ultimately affect policies throughout the region?

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The future is now (and here’s how we’re planning to catch up)


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

There’s no shortage of guidelines these days on how to ‘prepare for the future.’

There is Nesta and their “modest defence of futurology” and there are our Global Pulse colleagues, who look at how big data can help us better prepare for  - and protect citizens from – sudden shocks.

But that’s not all.

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Bringing diverse stakeholder groups together to find solutions in Armenia

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion


Using Critical Tasks List to outline the resources and capabilities that will be needed to implement solutions

We lead the Women in Local Democracy project, a three year European Union-funded project, implemented in partnership with the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Territorial Administration.

The goal of the project is the advancement of gender equality, the strengthening of local democracy and the enhancement of social cohesion within the Republic of Armenia. We approach it through:

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A nudge in the right direction: Fighting tuberculosis in Moldova


Filed under: Development Social innovation

Tuberculosis (TB) remains a huge challenge for the public health sector in Moldova despite the best efforts made by all involved.

Among the primary concerns is the increasing rate of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the country, which are much trickier and more expensive to treat. One of the major reasons for this is the low drug adherence rate - people tend to discontinue treatment once they leave the hospital.

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Back to the future: Innovation takes flight


Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

Those of you who have been following the process of post-2015 consultations probably remember the blog post where we asked: What if post-2015 were already here?

In other words, as we keep consulting with citizens on how they want their future to look, we’re also looking at reframing the question from another perspective.

We’re asking: What are you already doing? How are you already making that future you want happen – so that we can be in a position to better support it.

And thus, Spot the Future/Make the Future was born.

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Moving forward together: The disability issue in Central Asia


Filed under: Human rights Social inclusion

people help someone in a wheelchair up a ramp

There are more than 1 billion people living with disabilities across the globe, making this group the world’s largest minority.

At UNDP we try to look at a situation from all angles.

When it comes to the rights of people with disabilities, we like to think about how to answer the tough questions: In Kazakhstan, we designed a mobile app to connect those with hearing and speaking disabilities with emergency services; while in Belarus, we used micronarratives to help get the voices of people with disabilities heard.

We believe in helping people throughout Europe and Central Asia see the ability, not the disability.

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Social innovation camp toolkit: Troublemaking with UNDP


Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

Three years ago, as UNDP’s innovation agenda began to take off, a few early adopters experimented with Social Innovation Camps.

The events opened us up to an array of unusual suspects. Social entrepreneurs, activists and hackers created a renewed sense of agency.

Together with government officials and development sector traditionalists, the teams built ventures to reduce pollution in FYR Macedonia, to empower citizens in Montenegro, and to digitize public services in Armenia, among others.

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Learning the tricks of trade in Uzbekistan


Filed under: Poverty Social inclusion

People gather around learning about how to market and export their goods

The tricks of trade: Over 30 artisans came together in February to learn how to become entrepreneurs.

Can I export leather products? How can I get a loan for start-up capital? How do I register a family-based enterprise? Can I hire employees if I’m an individual entrepreneur?

These were just some of the many questions I heard during late last month’s third interactive training session in Namangan, Uzbekistan. Over 30 artisans and entrepreneurs came from across the Namangan Region.

We organized the training session as part of our Aid for Trade project, in partnership with the Namangan branch of the national Khunarmand Association, in order to improve the business knowledge of local artisans and entrepreneurs.

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A game-changing approach to promoting sustainable farming in Prespa


Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment Social innovation

Games are an extremely powerful tool to both educate and engage. We’ve seen how they’ve been used to tackle some big issues: from unemployment in Moldova to peace and security in Cyprus and Kosovo.

It’s this momentum that we at the Restoration of Lake Prespa project are running with: building off our project’s previous success using Facebook and mobile technology to raise awareness on the dangers of the overuse pesticides.

Unsustainable agricultural practices among the apple farmers of Prespa Lake have been proven to be a major cause of pollution in the ecologically vulnerable region.

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HuRiLab’s Ukrainian urban planning experiment

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Governance Guest posts Social innovation

man giving presentation

Volodymyr Shcherbachenko talks civic engagement at HuRiLab on 28 June, 2013

Modern Ukraine is an industrial country with a predominantly urban population.

With the rapid urban development of the past decades, government institutions in Ukraine are using internet technologies more and more actively to inform citizens about official decisions related to urban planning.

They use online platforms to announce updates such as when they adopt new master plans or construct large public facilities like stadiums and bridges.

However, officials usually inform citizens about decisions after they have been made.

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