Innovating local governance: What did you create?

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Filed under: Environment Governance Social innovation

If government is best run close to the people, then local self-governance is a cornerstone in the structure of our democratic political system. But in a time of limited budgets, how can we make our local government more efficient and responsive? Instead of leaving this headache to policymakers, Kolba asked those of us who are… Read more »

Big data for development: What we’re doing TODAY

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Disaster response Social innovation

In early July, while the summer in Skopje started to sizzle, big data enthusiasts popped by for one big (data) reason: to reflect on, share, and explore how we can use better use data for development. Our partners in crime, UN Global Pulse and UN Volunteers were also in the mix, contributing presentations on the current… Read more »

How to organize a planet


Filed under: Social innovation

How do seven billion men, women, and children organize themselves? As the world becomes more globalized and interconnected, do we increasingly resemble an ant colony, acting on instructions from our ant queen? Or are we are becoming more leaderless, acting horizontally by harnessing the power of crowds?

All Aboard the Big Data Express!


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

The world is changing fast—and so must our approaches to persistent development issues. An ever-increasing number of people and devices and objects now generate data – social networks, mass media, transportation, mobile phones, credit cards, etc. What matters now is not how much data we have, but rather what can we do with all of… Read more »

Cracking coconuts: Big data, gaming, maps and portals

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

A good idea is like a coconut. We know that something refreshing, even energising, lies inside. Yet a coconut without tools to open it is, for all intents and purposes, quite useless. At a recent Social Innovation Camp in Dilijan, Armenia, we spent two and a half days cracking into four ideas using an array… Read more »

‘My opinion matters’: How a mobile tool in Armenia is engaging citizens


Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social inclusion

About 3,000 residents from five towns and villages of Armenia are now enrolled in the Micro-referendum Tool initiative. Micro-Referendum Tool allows local governments to run SMS-polls to better reach their constituents and engage them in community affairs. The tool provides citizens an opportunity to safely express their opinions via SMS. This is especially important for… Read more »

#ICT4DRR: Making Skopje, Yerevan and Ungheni more resilient to disasters

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Filed under: Climate change Development 2.0 Disaster response Environment

It was not the Copa do Mundo da FIFA Brasil that brought us to Yerevan in Armenia in July 2014, but a regional workshop on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). Between the sessions—and between the matches—we had some serious discussions with our colleagues from Armenia about disaster and climate risk… Read more »