Our Perspective

      • Scaling up local development innovations to reduce poverty and inequality | Selim Jahan

        18 Jun 2013

        A video on UNDP's work, presented to the Executive Board. (UNDP)

        'Think global, act local’ is a motto critical for development. And this, I believe, is at the heart of scaling up. By expanding small, successful projects to the national level, informing policies and strengthening institutions, scaling up can ensure coverage, impact, and sustainability for programmes aimed at supporting some of the world’s poorest people. UNDP and its partners around the world are working with governments to sustain and scale up successful innovations that provide opportunities to as many vulnerable and marginalized groups as possible. The need remains urgent. While we have achieved great progress toward some of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, current projections indicate that in 2015 almost 1 billion people will be living on less than US $1.25 per day. Through the Republic of Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund, we are supporting nine countries to scale up proven development solutions. To date, these projects have helped to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people. These include: • In Colombia, job centres that offer business counseling, entrepreneurship training, and career opportunities opened up across the country, focusing particularly on vulnerable communities. More than 21,000 people, 59 percent women, have already been trained and 7,000 businesses developed, generating nearlyRead More

      • Philanthropic organizations stepping up role in ending poverty | Sigrid Kaag

        14 Jun 2013

        image
        Pushpa Maurya, 35, the manager of a milk-chilling centre, and women suppliers from neighbouring villages. UNDP and the IKEA Foundation are collaborating on long-term projects in India to promote women's empowerment. (Photo: Graham Crouch/UNDP)

        Philanthropy has been evolving into a major building block in development assistance, not only by providing catalytic funding for initiatives, but for its ability to advocate, strengthen civil society and innovate. And as citizens around the world engage in the global conversation about the future they want, philanthropic organizations have been making their voices heard too. Along with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, OECD netFWD, Worlwide Initiatives for Grantmakers Support [WINGS] and Rockefeller Foundation, we recently co-hosted a dialogue with foundations to explore their views on the post-2015 agenda, and what they envision their role to be in effecting development change. Many of the organizations expressed their interest in advancing innovative solutions for health and education. They emphasized the importance of job creation and addressing inequalities as pre-requisites for eradicating poverty. In addition, climate change, food security and accountable public institutions are also common concerns to philanthropy and the UN. As one of many actors in the development sphere, the UN could do well to further deepen the dialogue and collaboration with philanthropic organisations as a means to broaden development impact. Some examples of venture philanthropy – where philanthropists invest for either a financial or social return –Read More

      • Will the Post-2015 report make a difference? Depends what happens next | Duncan Green

        14 Jun 2013

        image
        Climate change is causing unique challenges for countries such as Bangladesh, pictured above. The environment must be considered "if we are to sustain progress in tackling poverty," Green writes. (Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/FAO)

        Reading the report of the High Level Panel induces a sense of giddy optimism. It is a manifesto for a (much) better world, taking the best of the Millennium Development Goals, and adding what we have learned in the intervening years – the importance of social protection, sustainability, ending conflict, tackling the deepest pockets of poverty, even obesity (rapidly rising in many poor countries). The ambition and optimism is all the more welcome for its contrast with the daily grind of austerity, recession and international paralysis (Syria, climate change, the torments of the European Union). But then the doubts start to creep in. What’s missing is always harder to spot than what is in the text, but three gaps are already clear: The emerging global concern over inequality is relegated to national politics. The concept of poverty is pretty old school – income, health, education, and fails to recognize the considerable progress made in measuring "well-being" – the level of life satisfaction people feel. Finally there is too little recognition that the earth is a finite ecosystem, and that we need to make a reality of the concept of planetary boundaries if we are to sustain progress in tackling poverty. ButRead More