Here comes the sun: Solar energy takes root in the Aral Sea

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Filed under: Climate change Development Environment

the solar team at work

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the Aral Sea was “one of the worst environmental disasters of the world”

Here at UNDP in Uzbekistan, we are working to better the lives of those affected by the Aral Sea disaster.

As part of this programme, we recently procured solar panels in order to provide access to alternative energy sources for rural healthcare facilities in the Muynak district.

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Women and entrepreneurship in Montenegro: The missing puzzle piece

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Filed under: Development Gender equality Poverty

I was recently going through the results of our programme for the economic empowerment of women in Montenegro when it hit me: a missing puzzle piece had finally found its place.

Let me tell you the whole story.

In my country, women and men may be legally equal, but the reality of everyday life is much different.

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Towards a sustainable future in Kyrgyzstan

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Filed under: Development Environment Poverty

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Keeping Kyrgyzstan beautiful: Read more about how we’re working to ensure Kyrgyzstan ‘paddles in sync

We’ve all heard that sustainability is important.

But when it comes to decision making, many people still think that environmental conservation has little to do with economic or social well-being. If you share this opinion, you might want to take a look at Kyrgyzstan.

In the second-poorest country in Central Asia, the numbers speak volumes:

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Reflecting on futures and development: Five thoughts from Istanbul

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

Albert Cottica discoursing on the edge

Alberto Cottica takes the audience in Istanbul to “the edge” (Photo: Tuna Ozcan)

What is the connection between foresight and development? How can foresight be used to improve development practices? What new participatory platforms are relevant for those working in international development?

These were the main questions driving this month’s research and development workshop in Istanbul where I was honoured to be both presenter and participant.

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Volatility and the ‘new normal’: A discussion with Helen Clark

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social innovation

ariel rubin and helen clark

Photo: Natalia Linou

Last week, at the International Development Conference for South-South Cooperation, I was lucky enough to have a conversation with my boss: former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Forbes Magazine’s 23rd most powerful woman in the world, and (to my delight) Blood on the Tracks-era Bob Dylan fan, Helen Clark.

Ms. Clark is presiding over the UNDP at a time when great change is underway, both within the organization and beyond.

Among all the things I wanted to know, one theme seemed to tie it together: How is UNDP preparing for a future that seems to be more and more difficult to predict?

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Engendering change in gender and corruption

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Filed under: Anticorruption Gender equality Social inclusion

lady in Kyrgyzstan

Nazym Djalylova, Coordinator of the Batken Resource Center, part of the Women’s Network is fighting for women’s rights in Kyrgyzstan

Corruption is a global threat that undermines a country’s development progress by limiting citizens’ abilities to claim their rights.

The linkages between gender equality and development have long been recognized. For example, societies with greater female education have higher growth rates and per-capita incomes, better maternal health, lower infant mortality, and increased levels of nutrition.

However, when a corrupt system prevents a girl from going to school, the result is not only a missed opportunity for that girl - it’s a loss to the society’s well-being and workforce.

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Communicating development 2.0: No more public relations propaganda?

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Filed under: Development 2.0

As an international development communicator with a background in journalism, I have written my share of glossy development ‘success stories’.

They typically begin with a glowing story of how one person’s life has improved thanks to a development project, and then we go on to say that this same project has helped X thousands of people.

While I think it is important to show donors that the development dollars they give us are leading to concrete results, I also wondered whether such PR is really helping us — or whether it is undermining our ability to convey the results of our work in a convincing and credible way.

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Getting a handle on it: Twitter and disaster relief in fYR Macedonia

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Disaster response Social innovation

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#DRR back in the day: Recovery efforts in Scotland during the Tay Bridge disaster in 1879

As the recent devastation wrought by flooding in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has shown, social media has a vital role to play in spreading information during natural and human-made disasters.

Twitter is a great example of a platform that can quickly deliver vital information to a vast number of people.

So Igor Miskovski of the E-Technologies and Networks Center in Skopje and I decided to run a little experiment.

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Why troublemakers should work together: Ten thoughts on innovation and gender equality

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Gender equality Guest posts Social innovation

Pushing innovation and working for gender equality are a natural fit.

Both necessitate the combination of causing trouble, looking at internal mechanisms, and working with non-traditional partners.

Moreover, both have transformational potential.

Inspired by UNDP’s current innovation agenda and Giulio Quaggiotto’s Development 2.0 Manifesto, we formulated some principles on innovation and gender equality.

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