A review of Owen Barder’s talk on complexity and development

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Filed under: Development Disaster response

Several months ago Owen Barder delivered a Kapucinski lecture on the implications of complexity theory for development, and followed it up with a series of blog posts (See: All that glisters: the golden thread and complexity and What is Development?) UNDP too, is analyzing how complexity science can strengthen its work – whether it’s related… Read more »

Ski tourism for local development

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Filed under: Development Environment Poverty

Soraya Soemadiredja, UNDP in Uzbekistan Community-based ecotourism is currently the hot topic in UNDP’s Local Government Support Project office in Uzbekistan. We see it as a key part of supporting and empowering regional and local development, particularly in the regions of Djizak and Namangan. One of the most exciting activities of the joint project between… Read more »

Is substitution really such a big deal?

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Filed under: Development

Over the past few months I increasingly see statements in our UNDP documents that we are avoiding, or at least should be avoiding, the substitution of capacities. We seem to assume that if we (UNDP) are doing something that we believe the government should be doing, we are substituting and, hence, it is bad and should be… Read more »

Sustainable development and coming to terms with complexity

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Filed under: Development

Sustainable development calls for environmental sustainability, together with social and economic sustainability. Sustainability requires that all three elements jointly move from an unsustainable to a sustainable development path. In other words: it’s not development if it’s not sustainable. (See: speech of UNDP regional deputy director Jens Wandel – well worth the read.) However, insisting on social, environmental, and… Read more »

Violence and development

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Filed under: Development Disaster response

Are Europe and Central Asia immune from the types of violence that have turned many Latin American cities into veritable war-zones? The grievances, predicaments and injustices motivating the violence affecting the favellas of Rio are certainly radically different from those impacting Bishkek or Belgrade. Violence must be looked in terms of failing to manage conflict and provide… Read more »

Making a difference through results based management

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Filed under: Development

Hot topic: does development assistance make a difference? With the management of public aid and investment comes a responsibility to ensure these resources are spent effectively and efficiently, and that they contribute to development goals. What is often overlooked in the debate on the effectiveness of development assistance is the capacities needed to manage programmes… Read more »

Is most development work invisible?

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0

Alice Casey recently wrote a great blog post on “the power of visible” to bring about social change. It prompted me to share more broadly the slides (below) that I use for internal training on “Making the invisible (development worker) visible”, in case someone out there might find them useful (comments most welcome!). The basic… Read more »

High carbon = high human development?

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Filed under: Climate change Development Environment Social inclusion

With a team of experts from the United Nations Development Group, we’re in Bratislava planning how to engage governments in Europe and Central Asia in the run up to the global sustainable development conference next year (a.k.a. Rio+20). Rio will take the debate on environmental sustainability forward by looking at fundamental global questions about the… Read more »

We consume resources of 1.5 planets, we only have one

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Filed under: Climate change Development Environment

Our current human lifestyle – our production and consumption patterns – is exploiting earth’s natural resources in an unsustainable manner. However, there is a way out of this mess, according to experts at the Roundtable on Climate Change and Development in Slovenia. The carrying capacity (supporting our human lives) of Earth is between 1.5 and… Read more »

Improving delivery on development projects: are maturity models the way forward?

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Filed under: Development

As the UN’s global development network, UNDP is, at any one time, involved in over 6,000 development projects in over 160 countries around the world. UNDP uses programmes and projects as the structures within which it plans and conducts work with national governments. Managing and delivering results in development projects is, therefore, at the heart… Read more »