Our Perspective

      • One thousand days of action for the MDGs | Selim Jahan

        25 Jan 2013

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        In Cambodia, the MAF supports the creation of Women’s Development Centres. Photo: UNDP in Cambodia

        Many countries have made impressive strides towards achieving the MDGs. With over 400 national MDG reports already completed, progress is being closely monitored and used to guide improved policies. The target of reducing extreme poverty by half was reached five years ahead of the deadline.  About 14,000 fewer children died every day in 2011 compared to 1990. However, given that current projections indicate that in 2015 almost one billion people will be living on an income of less than $1.25 per day, there is urgent need to prioritize MDG achievement and reflect on lessons that can inform the post-2015 discussions. One of the key lessons learned is that nationally owned, multi-stakeholder action plans improve the rate of MDG progress. Building on UNDP’s global experience, we developed the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) in close collaboration with national partners and UN country teams.  The MAF is a flexible, yet systematic process of identifying and analyzing bottlenecks and targeting high-impact, transformational solutions.   The MAF has been an incredible success worldwide leading to concrete action plans for implementation. From an initial ten countries piloting the MAF in 2010, we are now working with 46 countries, and the number keeps growing. In Colombia, the MAFRead More

      • Beyond mountains, Haitians see a brighter future | Heraldo Muñoz

        11 Jan 2013

        “Beyond the mountains, more mountains,” one Haitian proverb goes, in a nod to the outsized challenges this half-island in the Caribbean has faced for as long as anyone can remember. Topping that list is the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, displaced 1.5 million, and racked or razed some 300,000 buildings. The quake took its deadliest aim in Haiti’s hyper-urbanized capital, causing indescribable ruin and destroying roughly 80 percent of the country’s economy. But Haitians are accustomed to scaling mountains. Government, private sector, and international organizations are working with families and communities to rebuild the country and revive its economy. Women, who head almost 50 per cent of households, are playing a leading role. Keeping Haitians and their communities as protagonists of the recovery process is fundamental. Within neighborhoods, community members themselves set priorities for rebuilding homes and infrastructure through community platform meetings, with specific attention to the unique risks facing city-dwellers—strengthening the social and communal bonds that bolster post-crisis resilience by an order of magnitude. To enable families to take charge of repairing and rebuilding their homes themselves, UNDP has established community support centres to help strengthen damaged homes in the Haitian capital, where 30,000 people have benefittedRead More

      • The Internet Gender Gap | Magdy Martinez Soliman

        10 Jan 2013

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        Special computer training course designed for deaf people in Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNDP in Syria

        The role of ICTs as development enablers is more widely understood today as access to new technologies, particularly mobile phones, has grown exponentially. Mobile phone subscriptions exceeded six billion by the end of 2012, three-quarters of which were in the developing world.  However, women are at a disadvantage: they are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than men, according to the latest Broadband Commission Report (PDF, 2.4Mb). Development presents an opportunity to effectively address this and other gender gaps.  I am speaking here  about sustainable human development, about the ability to make choices and lead a healthy, long and educated life with all that we value. Let us bear in mind that ICTs are not neutral. Existing gender inequalities, pervasive in many countries,  can be exacerbated by ICTs, when unequal access to education for example turns into digital ignorance. Not having female teachers and lack of local security are powerful triggers of girls’ dropout. Women will not be able to access ICT community centers if safety issues are not properly addressed. We are determined advocates of democratic governance and for us women's access to ICTs is a governance issue. Public policies and the private sector need to address theRead More