>> Watch to learn about teaching human development in Uzbekistan
The human development approach has shaped our development thinking for the past 20 years. Just as The Guardian recently praised the influential work of Amartya Sen on development as individual freedom, UNDP helps to organize a world that works for everyone, and not just the few.
The only sustainable way of achieving that is investing in the young generation. That’s why “Teaching Human Development” – originally a marginal area of support for UNDP – gradually evolved into a major field of support for countries in the region.
A little over a year ago I attended Mardamej with an idea. One year on I was presenting the highs and lows of life as a social entrepreneur to Mardamej: Reload… this is the story of Taghinfo.
As a journalist and fellow at the International Academy of Journalism (Intajour), I attended a training workshop in Hamburg along with other journalists from around the world. There, a young woman presented a new citizen journalism project, which encouraged the young people of Hamburg to report on issues facing their community.
After presenting my idea to the entire Mardamej group on the first night of the camp, I was joined on my project by a group of journalists, marketing and public relations specialists, programmers, designers, and social innovation experts. Read more »
Louis Gomez Echeverri, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special advisor for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative presented the global energy landscape that will help move dialogue forward and mobilize countries to help realize the initiative’s global goals:
Ensuring universal access to modern energy services
Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
This post was originally published on the UNDP site in Montenegro
Noise pollution – how does it affect your health?
How often have you had to close the window in your office or home because of loud traffic, or hammering from a nearby construction site? How often have you been kept awake due to loud music coming from a pub in your neighbourhood?
Environmental noise is perceived as a major environmental problem in the European Union (EU) and studies from the European Environment Agency are discussing the impact of noise exposure and potential effects to human health.
In the European Union alone around 20 percent of its population (close to 80 million people) suffer from noise levels that scientists and health experts consider to be unacceptable.
Noise is an important part of the EU environmental acquis. For Montenegro, a candidate for EU membership, it is a development issue for two reasons:
The EU Progress Report 2012 for Montenegro specifically mentions noise: “… some progress was made in the area of noise through the adoption of a rulebook on limit values for noise in the environment.”
Excessive noise remains the most often cited tourist complaint (in Montenegrin) in the country, especially on the coast.
*This post was originally published on the UNDP site in Montenegro
Air Quality Egg early prototype
As you gaze through your window, do you ever wonder what the air quality is outside? And not at the place where the measuring station checks it – I mean right there, on your balcony?
I’m an environmental monitoring geek, so this is one of the questions that keeps me amused: how can we harness modern technology in order to let people know about the air quality right where they are located, about noise levels, or how clean the sea is when they go on vacation?
For example, can you imagine yourself dipping your smartphone in the water at your favorite beach to double check whether the PH levels are just right?
Amazingly enough, this isn’t a tech question. A new study finds that the impact of pollution on health is at the same level as malaria and tuberculosis.
In a September 2012 study, the European Environment Agency notes that despite significant improvements, the concentration of air pollutants in the European Union remains high. From the perspective of engagement, the environmental chapter of the acquis is fully in line with the Aarhus Convention. These two horizontal pieces of legislation call for increasing awareness and participation of citizens in environmental decision making. In short, better data makes for better decisions, and better decisions make for better lives.
Our team helps colleagues develop the next generation of services for our national partners (primarily governments). What this means is that we spend quite a lot of time scouting the development and private sector for emerging trends and innovative solutions that can help deliver better results in the areas of governance, environment and poverty reduction, among others. We then adapt those solutions to our context and help colleagues test them out, following agile development principles. If they prove to be successful, we assist others in taking them up.
So the most important quality we will be looking for in our new team member is a great deal of curiosity, the ability to conduct independent research and build partnerships with external organizations. You can expect to be involved in very diverse projects ranging from applying complexity theory for better monitoring of results to challenges to solve intractable development problems, from political risk analysis based on big data to organizing social innovation events. And we hope you’ll push us to explore areas that we cannot even imagine right now, provided they bring tangible benefits to our partners. Read more »
There is no place for violence in a house where there is sport
Have you ever heard of kurash? No? Surprise surprise! Kurash is considered one of the most ancient wrestling sports that exist in the world. The exact age of this picturesque sport is not known, but it’s estimated to be at least a 3,500 year old tradition.
“Kurash” is an Uzbek word that means “achieving a goal by just means.” The technique, traditions, rules and philosophy of kurash were passed on from generation to generation, from fathers to children.
Over time, kurash became a favourite and valued tradition of nations who lived on the current territory of Uzbekistan. Kurash competitions were organized during festivities, weddings, and big bazaars.
The International Kurash Association was created back in 1998 and the first world championship of kurash took place in Uzbekistan in 1999. It quickly caught up – today the Association unites 117 national kurash federations in Asia, Europe, Pan America, Africa and Oceania, and the number of member states is growing every year.
Why would UNDP partner with the International Kurash Association and especially for advocating non-violence? Read more »
So often when I work on development projects data is in the centre of the discussions. ‘We do not really know this’, ‘We have no real evidence for this or that’. Most of the time, however, I have difficulties imagining what data looks like and what it actually can do. Millennia ago Star Trek found a solution. Here he is:
He is quite smart. Dressed impeccably. Most of all, he has this understanding look – almost human. According to Wikipedia he even became a sex symbol.
Data is good, solves any problem, draws logical conclusions and he’s infinitely faster than present day computers, seems almost right from the beginning, until Captain Kirk decides otherwise….
Although we often feel we do not have the data we need, we want a lot of it. It helps us come to terms with our actions, logically reason how our actions will lead to results, and with hindsight explain why things worked, or not.
Until not so long ago, data needed to be collected, analysed and subsequently translated into policy recommendations – the traditional time consuming and often tedious process. Read more »