Ending violence against women 3 ways to innovate

07 Dec 2015 by Benjamin Kumpf, Policy Specialist, Innovation at UNDP

Egyptian women participate in the "Reporting on Violence Against Women Innovation Camp" to share ideas on how to report violence against women. The camp was supported by UNDP, The National Council for Women, and Vodafone Egypt. Photo: Ezzat/UNDP Egypt
In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. The status quo is unacceptable. Globally, one out of three women experiences violence in her lifetime. Both the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Humanitarian Summit Report call for innovation to end this global pandemic. Given the complexity of gender-based violence (GBV) and its main underlying cause of persisting gender inequalities - how can development and humanitarian actors innovate? As a starter, let’s put the emphasis on the changes we want to achieve and not the “solutions” we create. A new way of addressing a problem or a new product is not per se innovative. Innovation is a novel approach that adds value to the very people affected by the problem. Innovation in this context is less about creative ideas than about formulating a solid hypothesis that can be tested. Start with the end There is not sufficient evidence on what works in preventing and mitigating gender-based violence in low-income countries and crisis contexts. To improve policies and programmes in the future, the design of GBV initiatives has to incorporate data and impact assessments, which require funding. Several organizations are addressing this evidence … Read more

The ripple effect of volunteering for planet and people

04 Dec 2015 by Jennifer Stapper, Chief, Communications, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

youth planting treesStudents were mobilized to plant trees as part of education on sustainable agricultural practices from the Asia Youth Volunteer Exchange Programme in partnership with UNDP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Photo: UNV Zambia
In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their perspective on issues of climate change, in the lead up to COP21 in December. What role can volunteerism play in the future of planet and people? Now that the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted, we at United Nations Volunteers (UNV) are trying to gauge how our work can contribute to advancing those goals. As the world turns its attention to climate change, how can we be a part of the solution? UN Volunteers will be part of implementing practical and concrete tools to combat climate change. They will be the ones observing the tactics that work well on the ground and deciding whether these can be passed on across cultures. They will identify the players who would be most apt to contribute and the multiple angles that can be addressed. Furthermore, they will steer into action the strategies developed at national, corporate, and research levels. Volunteerism brings concepts of sustainable development closer to people and their communities. In order to have a more sustainable future, people need to be involved in the changes that will make a difference in their lives. Volunteerism can help inspire this involvement.  When … Read more

From Paris to your hometown: Climate action is going local

04 Dec 2015

Tree plantingFrom planting trees to buying sustainably-sourced products, local action will determine the success of the global climate agreement. Photo: Riccardo Gangale/UN
Over recent years, climate negotiations have gotten more and more complex. With 193 countries bringing competing interests to the table, perhaps that’s not surprising. So negotiators are taking a bottom-up approach, with individual countries coming to the table to declare what they are prepared to do nationally to advance internationally agreed upon goals. Such is the template for the COP21 climate change conference, taking place from 30 November through 11 December in Paris. These are likely the most important climate negotiations the world has ever seen. Going local Whatever results the conference brings, we can say that international climate policies are definitely becoming more localized, as local climate action and strategies are becoming more and more significant. Each country – together with its municipalities, private sector and individual citizens – is bearing increased responsibility for estimating its carbon footprint, implementing measures to reduce emissions and to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. Taking inventory, mitigation, and adaptation: all, of course, with the appropriate support of international climate finance resources. National communications: What are they good for? Two decades ago, the UN established compulsory reporting tools called national communications. Countries use these tools to inform the international community on their … Read more

Sustainable development includes people of all abilities

03 Dec 2015 by Sarah Rattray, Global Policy Specialist for Human Rights, UNDP

A young boy draws on a mural to commemorate International Children's Day in Cambodia. Photo: Bona Khoy/UNICEF Cambodia).
The 2015 International Day of Persons with Disabilities highlights that inclusion matters and emphasizes the critical importance of access and empowerment for people of all abilities to participate in public life.  Today persons with disabilities constitute approximately 15 percent of the global population, and more than 80 percent of them live in developing countries. Still they encounter discrimination and obstacles in accessing the labour market, transportation, education and health services, and face a very high risk of falling into poverty. Discriminatory attitudes, approaches and stigma-related barriers limit their full participation in society and in development on an equal basis with others - an essential component to create stable societies that reduce inequalities. In order to bring down existing barriers, it is important to focus on empowerment of persons of all abilities. In Egypt, UNDP is helping economically excluded persons with disabilities to find jobs and develop skills with a focus on ICT-based solutions. UNDP is also facilitating discussions on designs for integrated living by bringing together a wide variety of stakeholders including persons with disabilities, engineers and designers to produce tangible solutions to aid persons with disabilities in leading easier, inclusive and integrated lives.  In Ukraine, UNDP is sharing international experiences … Read more

Saving for a rainy day

02 Dec 2015 by Yusuke Taishi, Regional Specialist for Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP - Global Environment Finance Unit, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

people sitting around tableOne of the first farmers who received a WIBI payout for low rainfall in Tacunan, Tugbok District. Photo: UNDP Philippines
In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their perspective on issues of climate change, in the lead up to COP21 in December. “Save for a rainy day” is probably the single most important piece of wisdom a farmer can follow.  Farming is a risky undertaking everywhere, one that is at the mercy of capricious weather. But farmers in the Philippines (and many other developing countries) now face additional difficulties as climate change makes weather more unpredictable than ever. Traditional approaches to predicting the arrival of the rains are becoming less and less effective, with rain sometimes falling too sparsely and other times too hard. Crop insurance is a common safeguard. In the United States, 90 percent of total harvested cropland is insured. But in the Philippines, crop insurance products cover less than 10 percent of total rice and corn production. Moreover, insurance in the Philippines is “indemnity-based”, which means that the damage needs to be verified by an insurance agent and payouts typically take up to six months. If farmers do not have sufficient savings to pay expenses until the next harvest, it is likely that they will either sell their productive assets or go into debt to local … Read more