Want more – and better – jobs? Put women in charge


Filed under: Development Gender equality Poverty

Ludmila Abramciuc is the first woman in Moldova managing briquetting enterprise

I was recently in Tbilisi to participate in a conference that took stock of what we know about the challenges of job creation in the South Caucasus and Western CIS.

While researching gender inequalities in labour markets of these countries, I searched for evidence on how the challenge of job creation can be overcome without perpetuating gender inequalities in the region, and preferably, by reducing them.

Read more »

Upgrading Watson

by and

Filed under: Development Peace and security

seesac in action

Follow the bullet with our crime fighters in Pristina (Photos: UNDP SEESAC)

When it comes to real-life crime, if police and forensic agencies are the Sherlocks, their equipment is definitely the “Watson”.

It is the combination of the expert’s eye and the latest in crime-fighting tech that leads to the crucial “Aha!” moment.

Read more »

From Paris to your hometown: How climate action is going local


Filed under: Climate change Development Environment


Greener pastures ahead. Which scenario do you prefer? (Photos: UNDP in Costa Rica)

Over recent years, climate negotiations have gotten more and more complex.

With 193 countries bringing competing interests to the table, perhaps that’s not surprising.

So negotiators are taking a bottom-up approach, with individual countries coming to the table to declare what they are nationally prepared to do to advance internationally agreed upon goals.

Read more »

Talking in tongues: From crypto currencies to breaking blockchains

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation


Bitcoin accepted in a Dutch café in 2013 (Photo: Wikipedia)

Lately, the language of funding has gotten very strange.

From equity-based crowfunding and person-to-person lending, to crypto currencies and mobile money; entirely new players are disrupting the field of financing for development and public policy.

So, what does this alternative finance space look like? Who are the new players and what are they up to?

Read more »

With a little help from my friends: Crowdfunding Academy in Croatia

by and

Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

We tried it once, and it worked out pretty well.

Thirteen teams have now successfully graduated from our Crowdfunding Academy.

The first campaign debuted from the Academy – Lighten the Load of Syrian Mothers raised over 500 percent of its original target funding – with Taste of Home and STEMI are heading in the same direction.

Read more »

Innovate Yemen? Mafi mushkela


Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation


All hands on deck: A town hall meeting in Khadir, Yemen (Photos: Chikako Kodama)

You may wonder how can innovation in development can work for Yemen.

Yemen is ranked 137 out of 141 in the 2015 Global Innovation Index, with a mobile subscription rate of 68 percent, and internet usage at just 23 percent in 2014.

What I’ve learned, though, is that technology is not the heart of innovation; rather it is about involving and empowering citizens to realize their own ideas as solutions.

And you’d be surprised by Yemeni people’s openness, interest and wealth of ideas.

Read more »

Gender equality: Sky’s the limit


Filed under: Gender equality

dance troop in london

The Voala team “altering our reality to bring about something incredible” in London (Photo: The author)

It was an over a year ago when a piece of the London sky was transformed into a stage.

I was immersed in the beauty of the aerial performance of Voalá art group. Moving just above our heads, they transported the audience to a different world.

Why do I mention this performance here? How is a performance in the sky connected to achieving gender equality?

Read more »

Feast or famine in rural Kazakhstan


Filed under: Central Asia Climate change Development


A new crop: Testing out drought resistant watermelons in Kyzylorda

Rice grows best in moist conditions.

It can’t grow in arid areas unless the field is properly irrigated. This is why 90 percent of the land in the dry region of Kyzylorda, is kept irrigated.

The only problem is that this area has also always been Kazakhstan’s biggest rice producer and provider for the other Central Asian countries, with the bulk of its economy relying on it.

Read more »