Interactive games to help raise awareness about HIV prevention
Zebiniso Muhsinova is only 21. Nevertheless, she conducts her HIV awareness mini-sessions among schoolchildren with the confidence and flair of a prominent trainer.
“Active participation of young people, their eagerness to learn and protect themselves from HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse are amazing. Practice shows that our students are generally aware of these issues; however they lack an in-depth understanding of their consequences, their impact on the human body, and how best to avoid them. I strive to fill these gaps, and feel truly rewarded by their reaction to my sessions.”
UNDP is working with the “Kamolot” Youth Movement – the largest youth organization in the country, with a wide network. They carry out activities all across the country to raise awareness on HIV prevention, sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and advocate for a healthy lifestyle. Read more »
UNAIDS released their annual report this week on the state of the global AIDS epidemic, and the media headlines were universally optimistic.
‘Ending AIDS’ is possible in our lifetime. Possible, yes. But we are not on pace for it quite yet. Indeed the achievements reported are real, and they’re saving millions of lives and promoting inclusive development throughout the world.
But at our current rate of progress we are unlikely to achieve the UNAIDS goals of zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero HIV-related stigma.
Here are three clear milestones to look for to know when the end is in sight. Read more »
Tomorrow, UNDP in Armenia will host Mardamej reload (in Armenian). Once again, this festival of co-creation is teaming up with Social Innovation Camp Ltd to deliver six projectsidentified, designed and implemented by volunteers.
The deadline for submissions closed last weekend and we had an even greater response than last year: 75 ideas!
As usual, the itch workshops were central to getting beyond the “usual suspects.” But this year, we didn’t deliver them all ourselves. Some of the participants from last year’s event volunteered to spread the Mardamej spirit.
With the extra time this freed up, we held a Creative Game (pdf) with civil society organizations (CSOs), the Government and the corporate social responsibility team from Orange Armenia. The event enabled us to think in detail about the issue of corruption with those that work at the coal-face of service delivery.
The Creative Game discussions were very abstract – and not entirely action-oriented. But I’ll reserve judgment until I receive the facilitator’s report. One positive outcome of the event is that we confirmed participants from the Ministries of Health, Education and Finance in the Social Innovation Camp.
“I guess I’m a bit of an information freak!” says Vasko Popovski, UNDP’s Project Manager for Disaster and Climate Risks, when asked how he came up with the idea for a nifty new app that’s set to revolutionize public access to data on dangerous events like earthquakes, floods and fires and potential hazards like violent thunderstorms and heavy snowfalls.
With a flick of his fingers Vasko scrolls through a dozen screens listing every dangerous event currently verified and recorded in the country—from floods to power station malfunctions and floods—with maps clearly detailing the exact locations of each event.
Clicking on a highlighted location brings up specific information about the status of the event and essential advice and information on how to deal with the danger, including emergency service numbers and links for alerting others to the problem.
I had the pleasure of sitting in a panel on the OGP with activists and practitioners of the caliber of Aruna Roy and Daniel Kaufmann; the aim of our session was to showcase the successes of the OGP in promoting transparency and civic participation, fighting corruption, and harnessing technology to improve governance.
The hall was crowded with people of all ages and walks of life. It was particularly motivating and interesting to hear from Ms. Roy about her work in India at the grassroots level for access to information and from Mr Kaufmann about the tools and techniques for open government.
But while I am convinced that the OGP can have a major impact on the quality and effectiveness of public services, following the steps of my colleague Marija in the Guardian, I decided to play the devil’s advocate and point to some of the challenges ahead for the Partnership, particularly in countries with high levels of corruption. Below is a quick recap of the key points I raised.
What needs to change to improve the quality of life in Ukraine?
In a TED Talk that made the global rounds of the development community earlier this year, ONE’s John Drummond invited economists and development organizations to come down from their ivory tower and crowdsource the next generation of Millennium Development Goals (by the way, it looks like his appeal succeeded!).
Inspired by his call to action, as well as the amazing experience of Brazil’s Point by Point that succeeded in mobilizing over 500,000 people for human development, we decided to go about producing our next human development report for Ukraine in a rather unconventional way.
Typically, the topic of the Human Development Report is the result of consultations among experts, national partners and a variety of stakeholders. This is all very well and good, but what if we could push the boundaries and involve citizens directly, particularly at the local level, in defining priorities for the country’s development? (Pollsters in Ukraine have a bias towards urban centres).
What if they could help us draw attention to those development indicators that really make a difference from their perspective?
I recently got back from three days of intensive brainstorming in Bitola with some of the country’s leading whizz kids to come up with new ways of using social media to increase accountability in local government.
And I’m sure everyone who took part would agree that this event took participation in governance to a new level.
GovCamp is the first think-tank of its kind in the country and a model of how citizen participation can go beyond consultation to active involvement in generating solutions to improve local services.
GovCamp was organized to support the country’s anti corruption programme, and is part of a UNDP project (pdf) to improve accountability and reduce corruption in local government.
The idea behind it is quite simple—in the best sense of the word. First an open invitation was issued to non governmental organizations (NGOs) to propose ideas for using technology to improve communication and cooperation between citizens and local government.
We’ve all heard it many times before and I’ll repeat it: we live in an age of constant disruption. Being caught off guard has slowly become a part of the everyday parlance. This is painfully true in development. A conflict or a disaster can set back years of development.
A sudden drop in unemployment can have unpredictable and long lasting impacts on health, education and productivity years after it takes place. So we are on a constant lookout for methods that would give us the smallest hint about the upcoming changes and signals that something is ‘cooking’ so we can better prepare.
A growing number of private sector companies and, increasingly, development organizations, are looking at tools to augment their current ability to monitor the external environment to detect potential anomalous patterns.
A whole new generation of companies is growing to meet the demand for this type of intelligence. But for all the new gadgets, no single one can replace human intelligence, the analyst’s experience, intuition and expertise that contextualize the investigation – though it can help make smart people, well, smarter.
UNDP and Recorded Future tested whether their methods for analyzing big data, the vast amount of public source information, can make our organization better at detecting early warning signs.
This chapter examines recent urban growth in Asia and the associated challenges and opportunities. A number of measures are recommended that would help transform cities into environmentally sustainable inclusive growth centres.
Since the Center for Economic Research where I work is developing a large project to analyse urbanization policies in Central Asia, I asked the Mr. Wan what are the key urbanization challenges in our region and what policies should governments adopt to manage them?