Making airports fit for emergencies

27 Jan 2016 by Uthira Ravikumar, Programme Analyst, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDP

 Workers perform a GARD simulation at Rafic Harriri Airport in Lebanon. Photo: UNDP Lebanon
In March 2015, two major earthquakes hit Nepal, requiring a fast and vast humanitarian response. But authorities were forced to close the only international airport that could accommodate large aircraft, as its runway was deteriorating under the weight of the large planes. Delays ensued in the arrival of both relief goods and personnel. Nepal’s situation is not unique. During major disasters, authorities and relief suppliers often face serious delays due to the strain on capacities, leaving relief supplies piling up or emergency materials and personnel held up at customs. Managing the logistics of large scale disaster response is a complex operation. It involves military and civil agencies leading an effort that includes dozens or even hundreds of stakeholders. Logistics are further hampered by other factors: the lack of capacity to manage the huge inflow of relief materials, the inability to effectively coordinate with multiple stakeholders, the need to ensure compliance with customs and immigration regulations, and the inability to properly store and move goods, not to mention distribute them to the people in need. Airport preparedness is a key element of disaster preparedness plans. The capacity to manage the influx of humanitarian aid and personnel largely determines the quality of humanitarian … Read more

A recipe for sustainable development

26 Jan 2016 by Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors

Roca brothers visit marketThe Roca Brothers have a walk at the food market in New York to look at the local food products. Photo: Freya Morales/UNDP
Food has always been a central part of our lives: the food in our parents’ restaurant where we grew up; food as an element of creativity, emotion, dialogue and discovery in our work. Food is an important part of our heart and soul. Over the years, we realized that how people experience food, cook, and preserve culinary traditions have a direct impact on the fundamental areas of life. What we eat affects our health, our economy, and our planet. When we learned about the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we wanted to be a part of this ambitious undertaking. Viewing food from the three perspectives of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – helps us understand many of the challenges we have encountered in our culinary journey around the world. So we are excited to embark on a new journey together with the UNDP and the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund). We are highly concerned about the loss of food biodiversity in the world, the abandonment of indigenous cultures, and forgotten culinary traditions, all of which can lead to poverty and exclusion. We are concerned that, increasingly, more communities cannot choose what food to grow and how to … Read more

After conflict, functioning governments are key for peaceful and inclusive societies

20 Jan 2016 by Jairo Acuña - Alfaro, Policy Advisor, Responsive and Accountable Institutions Team, Governance and Peacebuilding, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Women voting in LibyaWomen voting in Libya. A transparent voting process helps increase the levels of legitimacy and trust from citizens towards their governments. Photo: UNDP Libya
New Year, new goals, new approaches. It is the starting of the implementation and localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the baseline year against which the 2030 Agenda will measure progress or set-backs. Fragile countries emerging out of conflict will likely be where it is most difficult to implement these goals. But this is also where it will be crucially important. In these countries, citizens are most deprived of basic public services and poverty is most acute. One Goal. The SDGs recognize the importance for governance-informed development with a specific goal on just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Goal 16 recognizes that sustainable development is not possible without peace and justice. And it is central in ensuring that societies’ aspirations for higher access and quality of public services will be achieved through core government functions (such as security and justice, public financial management, civil service and government employment, local governance, aid management) that are effective, responsive and inclusive. These core functions of government are essential for development and statehood. However, appreciation of their critical role has waned from international development practice and little has been published on public administration in fragile environments (Restore or Reform, 2014). Goal 16 seems to … Read more

A new ambitious vision requires new ambitious ways of working

14 Jan 2016 by Rosemary Kalapurakal, Incoming UNDP Lead Advisor on the 2030 Agenda, UNDP

people in train stationIndian Railways is the single largest consumer of electricity in India, consuming 17.5 billion units a year. As track and passengers continue to grow, being more energy efficient, and exploring clean sources of energy is central to the Railways vision for the future. Photo: Dhiraj Singh/UNDP India
31 December 2015: During a visit to Kerala, India, I drive past gleaming malls and the skeleton of a new metro in a hometown virtually unrecognizable from my childhood. But I also see stubborn challenges, like the very poor left behind in this economy and the deteriorating quality of air and food. 1 January 2016: A new year begins, with a new era in the quest to combat poverty, inequality, and climate change. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come into force, part of a “2030 Agenda” for the next 15 years, to achieve development where progress in one sector is not at the expense of another, where present gains do not threaten that of future generations. As the incoming UNDP Lead Advisor on the 2030 Agenda, it’s hardly surprising that I take an interest in this. But, personally, I find the SDGs (all 17!) far more compelling than the predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Why? At a time of seemingly intractable peace and development challenges, the fact that this Agenda was adopted unanimously by 193 governments is historic. The SDGs are not MDGs 2.0. They are broad, spanning economic, social and environmental aspects of development. They are bold and unapologetically normative … Read more

Del terremoto a la esperanza: el bienestar es más que ingreso, según un joven haitiano

12 Jan 2016 by Alejandro Pacheco, Strategic Advisor for UNDP in Latin America and the Caribbean

young manOriental was born in a slum area of Port au Prince. Before the earthquake hit, life had already hit him hard. Photo: Raul de la Fuente/Kanaki Films
Oriental nació en un barrio precario de Puerto Príncipe. Antes de que el seísmo lo castigara, ya lo había hecho la vida: a la edad de quince, era huérfano. Foto: … Read more

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