The Power of Dialogue: Getting closer to a solution in Cyprus


Filed under: Peace and security


On December 24, Greek Cypriot Leader, Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot Leader, Mustafa Akinci, gave a joint New Year message announcing their hopes for peace and prosperity on a reunified island.

The message is perhaps an indication of major developments to come in 2016.

Changes in the political narrative since the election of Mustafa Akinci as Turkish Cypriot leader are a reflection of the island’s profound transformation. They also suggest that for the first time, there is a strong opportunity for carving out a peace deal and ending one of the world’s most enduring conflicts.

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Building different kinds of bridges together in Kosovo*


Filed under: Disaster response


In the 2014 Human Development Report, Khalid Malik writes:

“Human resilience is about removing the barriers that hold people back in their freedom to act. It is about enabling the disadvantaged and excluded groups to express their concerns, to be heard and to be active agents in shaping their destiny.”

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Focusing development efforts around the MDGs was not always easy


Filed under: Central Asia Development Poverty


Local officials in Uzbekistan take part in team building exercises. Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

I remember meeting with partners in the Cabinet of Ministers in 2002-3, working as a poverty reduction consultant.

I was advised not to bring up the topic of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with government officials, as it would be insulting for them to compare their country with other developing countries. The Government officials were very proud of Uzbekistan’s well-developed health, education, and social protection systems and would not want to be associated with hunger and starving, unprotected children.

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Collaborative impact: A code for the crowd


Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation


Build Up’s Helena Puig Larrauri and Nesta’s Helen Goulden discuss new ways of engagement

What’s the role of government in an era of distributed networks of citizens and a collaborative economy?

No less a question was addressed earlier this month at an R&D event, hosted by UNDP’s regional innovation teams from Amman and Istanbul.

First though, what do those concepts actually mean?

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Disasters cross borders. So should the prevention


Filed under: Central Asia Climate change Disaster response


(Photo: MSDSP Kyrgyzstan)

Every year, rivers in Central Asia flood, causing enormous damage to houses, infrastructure, and economies across the region’s intricate borders.

And each year of flooding comes as a stark reminder of Central Asian countries’ major vulnerability to natural disasters, and their deep interconnectedness.

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Human rights in review: Snapshots from the region

by and

Filed under: Development Human rights and rule of law


(Photo: UNDP in Kyrgyzstan)

Today, as the world celebrates Human Rights Day, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) is launching a year-long campaign to bring awareness of everyone’s human rights.

As the UN Secretary-General stated, “Today we reaffirm our commitment to protecting human rights as the foundation of our work.”

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Employed or unemployed? The line is more blurry than you might think


Filed under: Development Poverty Social inclusion


Informal work is a common sight in Turkey (Photos: Benedikt Hošek)

A recent update of a major international labour market database has been released.

But what does it really tell us about labour market inequalities in Europe and Central Asia?

In my research on labour market inequalities, I have experienced the same difficulty described in other recent blog posts: When applied to Europe and Central Asia, standard indicators just do not seem to offer a real picture of what‘s happening on the ground.

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