A bright idea for a green business in rural Tajikistan

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Filed under: Central Asia Environment


Work in progress: Empowering women in Tajikistan to become promoters of green energy

With an incredible 300+ sunny days a year, Tajikistan seems primed to be a solar powered force to be reckoned with.

A recent UNECE report notes that solar power “could satisfy 60%–80% of the population’s demand for 10 months in the year.”

Solar business makes a lot of sense for a country that has a vast potential for solar energy – and where power shortages during the winter are more the rule than exception.

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Developing not for but with: Co-designing Armenia

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Human rights Social inclusion Social innovation


People with disabilities in Armenia come together to design their future.

A common trap in development work is thinking that the service you’re providing will address all the needs of those who will use it.

But what would you learn that you otherwise might not if you involved everyday citizens in the design of public sector services?

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50 shades of green: Why we’re cartooning in Kazakhstan


Filed under: Central Asia Development Environment

screenshot video

Reinventing the wheel: Read how new bike routes are helping Almaty go green

As an avid cyclist and clean energy advocate, I know how easy life can be with green transport.

The challenge in my job is showing how green choices –  such as in public transport and bicycles – can improve the environment, public safety, and save time.

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Education for all: Is it possible?


Filed under: Development

Education is the foundation upon which a life of dignity is built.

Sure, it is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; but education is more than just a basic right – it is essential for the full realization of other rights.

Without it, how could we understand when our rights have been fulfilled or violated?

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Risky business: The emigration game

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Filed under: Development Social inclusion

bus station by night in pristina

Exodus by night: Crowds swarm the Pristina bus station (Photo: Burbuqe Dobranja)

In Kosovo*[1], 35 percent of the population is between the ages of 15 and 35. More than half of them are unemployed.

For women, that percentage jumps to nearly 70.

The problem of unemployment has turned into desperation, as evidenced by young Kosovars’ increasingly active participation in a phenomenon known as people smuggling.

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Do landmines float? A post-flood guide from Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Filed under: Disaster response

In 2014, devastating floods and landslides affected Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the wider region.

Thousands of people continue to suffer from the consequences of these floods, which unearthed – among other things – a specific human security threat: landmines.

What do we do in these circumstances?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how we respond:

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Ready, set, compete! Why we’re reaching out across regions

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Filed under: Development Environment Social inclusion Social innovation

UN Provides Water to Community of Displaced in South Darfur

A better way? How can we improve water delivery services in communities (Photo: Albert González Farran/UNAMID)

Two years ago, our colleagues from UNDP in Cyprus ignited civil society partnerships during the Power of One inter-regional knowledge exchange conference.

The healthy mix of collaboration and competition led to cross-regional projects led by Cypriot and Euro-Mediterranean organizations that received seed funding.

We wanted to continue the spirit of collaboration.

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Help me help you: A DIY dispatch from Uzbekistan


Filed under: Central Asia Development Development 2.0 Social inclusion

DIY in action!

“The DIY process gives community members a hands-on means of resolving their problems”

These days people are more willing than ever to help out a neighbour.

According to a recent report from Nesta, the economic contribution of social action in the UK is valued at a total of £34 billion.

I think this endemic good will can best be seen in the DIY ethic which has taken hold here in Tashkent.

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Moldova has talent- and MiLab knows how to use it!


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

nicola harrington in moldova

Check out our previous blogs on how MiLab is helping Moldova embed innovation

As UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in the Republic of Moldova, I saw my central role as helping the country accelerate its development path to deliver concrete results for all parts of the population.

The UN’s work focused on this goal at two levels: helping counterparts fast-track policy reforms, and enabling institutions to respond better to development challenges.

The UN’s presence in nearly 400 communities, gave invaluable insights into how many Moldovans live, whilst Moldova’s highly active participation in the national Post-2015 consultations showed clearly how they wish to live.

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How is UNDP in Cyprus building up?


Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Peace and security Social innovation

build peace

One of the many Mahallae workshops held in 2014 to support innovation for social good

Why has UNDP-ACT decided to build up?

Last year, my colleague Nilgun Arif was lucky enough to attend Build Peace in Cambridge.

She spent two full days among 250 fellow peacebuilders, activists, social innovators, and academics discussing how technology can be used to build peace in the 21st century.

Her experience left a profound impression; and on her return. we set about harnessing this energy.

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