Labour migrants in Central Asia deserve our attention

19 Sep 2016 by Elena Oleshko

steelworkersCentral Asian migrant steelworkers.
Irregular migrants are at higher risk of health problems Across the region, it has become critically difficult for newly arriving migrants to work legally. While regular migrants have access to a range of social and health care services, irregular migrants can only access emergency medical care. The lack of a required legal status creates a vicious circle for irregular migrants, where tightened migration regimes push them into informal economic activities that don’t provide them with health insurance and lead to poor life-long health outcomes. … Read more

No longer in the dark ages: Solar power brings life to rural Croatia

16 Aug 2016 by Mislav Kirac, Project expert, UNDP Croatia

What if you lived far from the grid? If you wanted power desperately but could not access it?
In the small village of Cikote, Milka and Stevo Balac have been living without electricity for more than 10 years. … Read more

Step aside, Pokemon Go: Moldova goes Mega to fight climate change

02 Aug 2016 by Taisia Camenscic, National Communication Coordinator, MEGA

The economic losses of Moldova related to natural disasters are almost 61 million USD. The disastrous droughts of 2007 and 2012 affected over 70 per cent of the territory of the country. They were also historically the most severe droughts in the entire instrumental record period. … Read more

“I’m Not Afraid to Tell”: How Kazakh women are breaking the silence on gender-based violence

25 Jul 2016 by Dina Teltayeva, Communication Associate, UNDP Kazakhstan

Over the past few months, I’ve witnessed as women in Kazakhstan break their silence on sexual violence. A campaign titled #ЯнеБоюсьСказать (I’m not afraid to tell) и НеМолчи (Don’t keep Quiet) has led to many women sharing their stories. One of them is Dina Tansari (pictured), a well-known TV producer. … Read more

Drip, drop. Can innovations save water in Kazakhstan?

04 Jul 2016 by Dina Teltayeva, Communication Associate, UNDP Kazakhstan

The quality of water in Astana is far worse than in Almaty, where I came from, and suddenly water became an issue in my life. For instance, although tap water here is considered suitable for drinking, many residents prefer to buy bottled water or install filters. … Read more

When it comes to law reform, think long-term: Plan ahead, plan better

16 Jun 2016 by Lucio Valerio Sarandrea, Chief Technical Advisor on Rule of Law, UNDP Kyrgyzstan

In the Kyrgyz Republic, there are 172,800 people with disabilities – corresponding to 2.9 percent of the population. Out of these, 28,200 are children living in orphanages. The average amount of the monthly benefit is of US$ 35 and represents a significant financial burden on the state. It is clear that we need to invest more strongly in justice systems, paying particular attention to most vulnerable groups. But it’s always the same story: You meet with national authorities to discuss how to improve rule of law, or access to justice for the citizens or most vulnerable groups. The conversation is going well but when it comes to discussing finances, you hit a wall. And it’s understandable – deciding how to allocate a budget is a difficult endeavor, whether you are in a lower, middle or higher income country. And it’s a matter of national priorities, so international organizations can only go so far to make a difference. National ownership of reforms is a key principle without exceptions. … Read more

Development 2.0: Innovating cash deliveries with the Bitcoin Blockchain

05 May 2016 by Marc Lundwall, Sustainable Procurement Analyst, UNDP Denmark

In the recent years, we are seeing an increased focus on delivering cash via vouchers, mobile money or cash-in-hand as part of development and humanitarian projects. … Read more

Can we produce 376 million tonnes of meat without destroying our planet?

27 Apr 2016 by Faik Uyanik, Communication Specialist, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Producing one kilogram of beef can use up as much as 27 kilograms of carbon emissions. That’s almost the same quantity as if you were to burn between 6 and 10 litres of petrol. The world’s meat production is growing at an unprecedented rate and the driving force behind this surge is a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization. Agricultural food production and agriculturally-related change in land use substantially contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide. Four-fifths of agricultural emissions arise from the livestock sector. Livestock require large quantities of deforested land and water. The sector uses 3.4 billion hectares for grazing and one-third of global arable land to grow feed crops. Cattle emit huge amounts of carbon and so do the value chains for processing meat. In spite of this, based on current consumption patterns, the annual production of meat is projected to increase from 225 million tonnes to 376 million tonnes by 2030. This represents a 67 percent increase in 15 years. Imagine what that will mean in terms of carbon emissions. In the countries of Europe and Central Asia, governments are investing considerable amounts in promoting livestock and poultry farming so they can achieve self-sufficiency. … Read more

From "welfare as cost" to "welfare as investment": Social impact bonds and the case of Sitra

06 Apr 2016 by Milica Begovic Radojevic, Innovation Specialist based in Regional Hub for Europe and CIS

Funding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a daunting challenge. By some estimates, it will take nearly 20 times last year’s official international aid or the combined GDP of Africa’s 30 biggest economies in additional funds each year to keep on track. … Read more

3 things I learned about development from giving a TEDx Talk

31 Mar 2016 by Claire Medina, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Malawi

I cringe every time I think of my TEDx talk.I cringe every time I think of my TEDx talk.
What those on stage in California make seem effortless is actually the result of months of work: an incredibly difficult process of condensing thousands of ideas into one simple message. For me, this was all the more difficult because I am a bureaucrat. Advocate, promote and represent are verbs in my job description but “give an inspiring talk without notes or slides on a difficult development topic in front of hundreds of people which will be posted online to be seen by many more” is not – at least not until now. … Read more