Project snapshot: Georgia after the flood


Filed under: Climate change Disaster response Environment

Natela Benidze, village Chalistavi

Natela Benidze, Chalistavi village (Photos: UNDP in Georgia)

The Rioni River basin in Georgia is becoming more and more susceptible to extreme climate events.

Floods, landslides, and mud torrents are increasing in both intensity and frequency, causing extensive damage to agriculture, forests, roads, and communications infrastructure.

More than 10,000 hectares of agricultural land has fallen out of use in the past decade due to hydro-meteorological disasters.

This is all the more painful for a country where the size of an average plot of land is a mere 0.14 hectares per person.

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The danger of land degradation in Tajikistan

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Filed under: Development Environment

rugged landscape tajikistan

“Land of the rugged mountains”: Half of Tajikistan lies above 3,000 metres

Tajikistan’s mountainous landscape is certainly beautiful, but it’s also difficult to cultivate: only seven percent of the land is suitable for economic use.

Nevertheless, agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, and the poor in particular depend on it for their livelihoods.

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Coming to fruition: Testing hydroponics in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Filed under: Development Environment Social inclusion Social innovation

hydroponic orchard

A little seed funding goes a long way: A conventional grow site in Butmir. (Photo: Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences)

A year ago, we received seed funding from the Czech-UNDP Trust Fund for an innovative agricultural project.

Today, we’re testing hydroponics alongside the conventional methods of growing vegetables in order to figure out which one yields more.

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What a ryde: More reflections from a futurespotter in Egypt


Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

one of the groups showcasing their new idea

Read my previous blog and see why Edgeryders are all about “becoming giants together” (Photo: Maria Tarancon)

I have to say it’s been quite the journey.

I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed the exchange of so many new ideas, mindsets, and perceptions.

It has been incredible to see firsthand the passion and drive of individuals who are putting everything they’ve got into making this world a better place.

I used to always read about exciting grassroots initiatives and I would think to myself:

“How could I ever pull something like this off?”

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South Eastern Europe in review: Where citizens are the experts


Filed under: Anticorruption Governance Social innovation

screenshot of app

More than 2,500 people are now using the “Be Responsible” grey economy-tracking mobile app in Montenegro

Whenever I discuss the governance challenges in South Eastern Europe, the discussion quickly boils down to one issue: (anti) corruption.

At the recently organized SELDI policy advocacy workshop, we went back to the basic principles of “good governance.”

This opened up a wider debate indicating that now may be the time to both reframe the issue and bring in some new approaches.

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Seeing hands in Armenia turn weakness into strength


Filed under: Development Poverty Social inclusion

the blind masseurs of armenia

Seeing hands: When it comes to human rights and inclusion in Armenia, awareness is key

In the ancient Japanese martial art of jujutsu, the attacker never uses full force; rather, he or she exploits the other party’s weakness.

The attacker must understand the opponent, calculate their force, appreciate the strengths, and notice the shortcomings.

Only then can each move be focused and truly effective.

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The confidence question? Meet the investment lady

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Filed under: Gender equality Peace and security Social inclusion

mayor elena josan in moldova

Meet the mayor: Read more about how inequality between men and women affects development (Photos: Natalia Costas/UNDP Moldova)

Is the problem of gender inequality being compounded by a confidence gap?

A recent article in The Atlantic says yes – evidence suggests that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed in today’s world, it takes as much confidence as it does competence.

We thought about this in Moldova where men hold most elected offices, and women are acutely underrepresented in leadership positions across most sectors.

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Weathering the storm: Reflections from the Balkans


Filed under: Climate change Development Disaster response Environment

Helen Clark and Cihan Sultanoglu

Building back better: Helen Clark and the author surveying the damages in Smederevska Palanka

Last week I accompanied UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, on a trip to Serbia.

We went to see for ourselves the damage wrought by the floods that struck in May. The most catastrophic natural disaster in the Balkans in over a century, the floods led to over 50 deaths, with thousands displaced and left homeless.

Even now, long after the waters have receded, large numbers of people remain in shelters, unable to return home.

To make matters even worse, much of the infrastructure in the affected areas – roads, hospitals, bridges – has been completely destroyed.

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Development of, by, and for the people: Cairo comes to Pristina and Podgorica


Filed under: Development Guest posts Social inclusion

nadine in montenegro

Nadine in Podgorica: See some of the game-changing projects from our offices in Kosovo* and Montenegro

Recently, I got a pretty awesome offer.

I was asked about the prospect of leading UNDP in Egypt’s energy and environment team on new and innovative practices.

This prospect came with a second, equally exciting opportunity: Did I want to visit the country offices in Montenegro and Kosovo to see how they’ve been doing development differently?

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The gentle art of foresight: How re-perceiving the present can redesign the future


Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

Noah Raford talking

It’s Wack: The author in Istanbul explaining foresight methodologies of luminaries in the field like Pierre Wack (Photo: Tuna Ozcan)

The word “foresight” is defined as the ability to see ahead. It can be fun, however, to consider the literal definition as well, which is “before seeing.”

What happens before seeing?

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