Our Perspectives


Our perspectives in 2015

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woman and child in Viet NamSung Thi My, 18, hopes that, unlike her, all her children will have the opportunity to go to school, to get better jobs, and to have a life she could only dream about. Photo: Nguyen Viet Lan/UNDP Viet Nam

With a new global agreement on climate change and the launch of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), 2015 has been a momentous year. Throughout it all, UNDP bloggers have helped to put it all into perspective.

This year, UNDP’s blog featured its highest number of posts (208) from more than 150 different authors. From regional policy experts to organizational leaders to country-level programme advisors, these writers shared diverse perspectives of UNDP’s work. Here are some of the highlights.

Those who risk everything to find safety deserve a sense of security
We’ve read a lot about refugees and migrants this year, but we don’t hear as much about the living situations of refugees and migrants.  Living in unstable and insecure environments and lacking access to basic justice can have a significant effect on their well-being, protection, and rights.  Alejandro Alvarez, who works in Rule of Law, Justice, Security and Human Rights, speaks powerfully about what this actually means for those who have left their homes.

An AIDS-free generation was simply unimaginable
We produced a series of blog posts about the MDGs, with writers reflecting on their experiences both conceptually and related to specific goals or achievements. Kazuyuki Uji, a policy specialist in HIV, Health and Inclusive Development, touches on his personal experience working with HIV and the success of achieving the AIDS-related targets of MDG 6, something that was unimaginable when he joined UNDP in the early 2000s.

An HIV milestone achieved in Cuba
It’s not every day that we at UNDP celebrate major milestones.  So it was exciting to share a post from Carlos Cortés Falla celebrating the World Health Organization’s momentous declaration that Cuba had eliminated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. As a technical advisor for HIV project at UNDP in Cuba, Falla writes about what it took to achieve this goal, leaving us with inspiration to continue the hard work that still lies ahead.

There is no honour in barring women from voting
Women often face barriers when it comes to having the right to vote. Pakistan Country Director Marc-André Franche writes about the political culture and how the disenfranchisement of women voters has deeper consequences for the evolving democratic system.  While he focuses on Pakistan, the lessons shared apply to women and political systems globally and to the impact of sustainable development overall.

Photos from the Faces of Ebola project, workers Muhamed and Finda.Photos from the Faces of Ebola project, workers Muhamed and Finda.

A look behind the protective gear reveals the faces of Ebola
From the outbreak in West Africa, the Ebola virus travelled across oceans and spread fear and anxiety around the world. Bringing the epidemic under control was only possible through a coordinated international operation and especially through the efforts of thousands of workers in treatment centres. Often we saw them cloaked in layers of protective gear. That’s why communications specialist Anthony Headley decided to photograph and interview these front-line heroes to reveal the faces of Ebola.

If oceans were a country...
If the oceans were a country, it might be easier to understand their immense contribution to human well-being and why it’s so important to take care good of them. In his post for World Oceans Day, Johan Robinson uses this idea to quantify the value of marine eco-systems as providers of food, livelihoods, transport and environmental services. For instance, did you know, oceans transport 80% of global trade and absorb nearly two-thirds of our carbon dioxide emissions?

Decoding the alphabet soup of climate change
At the COP21 climate conference, world leaders reached an agreement that will impact nothing less than the future of our planet. Everyone in the world has a stake in this issue, but non-experts can feel shut out when discussions get bogged down with acronyms and jargon. To bring the debate back down to earth, Carl Mercer helped us decode the alphabet soup of climate change.

How will the world we shape affect their lives?
In a similar vein, we often talk about development in terms of statistics and indicators. These measures are valuable of course, but every so often it’s important we remember what the numbers really represent. Nguyen Viet Lan brought this into focus in her post on how the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals will affect the lives of ordinary people.

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