Voices from Eurasia

For women in government, glass ceilings and invisible obstacles

06 Nov 2017 by Barbora Galvankova, Gender equality and women's empowerment programme specialist, UNDP

Public administration efforts have a significant impact on our daily life. They determine the way decisions made by governments are implemented, and how budgets are allocated and spent. Unfortunately, public administrations often leave out women’s voices in the planning, decision-making or implementation stages. When women are not involved in decision-making, their ability to shape the well-being of societies weakens considerably. … Read more

Can blockchain help us better assist refugees and migrants in transit?

03 Nov 2017 by Kristina Mikulova, Advisor at the Board of the World Bank. 

Technology can both empower and disempower. At a recent workshop on blockchain, we landed a challenge: how can we use it to facilitate refugee integration? I am an immediate misfit in the dynamic multiverse of people speaking in code. But at this USAID event led by the UNDP Alternative Finance Lab and AID:Tech, I wasn’t the only one. My team, half tree-huggers and half tech gurus, started our brainstorming with this question: what do we have in common? The answer was a strong sense of identity. That fragile sense of self, inflated when our boss pats us on the back and shattered when somebody “swipes left”. … Read more

Tuberculosis recovery requires more than just medicine

17 Oct 2017 by Bahar Bayramova, Psychologist, Strengthening TB project, UNDP Turkmenistan

Psychologist Bahar Bayramova checks on TB patients’ records. Photos: Nazik Avlyakulova / UNDP Turkmenistan
Tuberculosis (TB) treatment is a very long and complicated process. Often, patients are left to face the condition on their own because people are afraid of contamination. Many lose their jobs and contact with their friends and family. Thanks to modern medical care, TB is curable, but only if the diagnosis is made and the treatment has started on time. ,bThe burden of a regular TB is no longer a burning issue in Turkmenistan, because there is rapid testing and free medical treatment for patients. But with its long treatment, MDR-TB poses a heavy burden. As a result, many patients drop the treatment which causes reappearance of the symptoms. … Read more

How can we create lasting economies in developing countries?

13 Oct 2017 by John Kay, British economist and Professor

Countries like Britain and the United States have created a finance sector which has lost touch with the real economy, trading with itself, talking to itself, judging itself by its own criteria. This attitude has produced outcomes that have proved catastrophically unstable. How can we help countries at an earlier stage of financial evolution avoid the same mistakes? When I say ‘Financial inclusion,’ it could mean two very different things depending on your background. For people whose background is in the finance sector of the West, ‘financial inclusion’ means ‘how can we sell our product range to poor people?’ But in the context of developing economies, ‘financial inclusion’ is about identifying ways in which enterpreneurial energy can be channelled for public as well as private benefit. … Read more

Rethinking road safety – investing to save people’s lives

10 Oct 2017 by Irena Jokić, Programme Associate, UNDP Montenegro

traffic accidentMontenegro is one of the countries with the highest number of persons killed in traffic accidents in Europe. Photo: UNDP Montenegro
Every few months, I go to pay condolences to families who lost their loved ones in traffic accidents or visit an acquaintance in hospital due to an injury they suffered in a car crash. I am pretty sure I am not alone in that. Montenegro is one of the countries with the highest number of persons killed in traffic accidents in Europe. In 2016 alone, there were more than 5,200 traffic accidents, with 65 persons killed and another 2,500 lightly or seriously injured. Although we all hate putting a price tag on a human life, the economic case for preventing accidents is just as important as the moral one. Studies show that every human life lost in a traffic accident costs our country about half a million EUR. … Read more

What does joining hands really mean? Lessons from rural Kosovo

09 Oct 2017 by David Svab, Sustainable Development Programme Analyst, UNDP Kosovo*

RaspberriesPhotos: Atdhe Mulla and Arben Llapashtica: UNDP Kosovo
If there’s one thing I’ve learned at UNDP, it’s that good development projects don’t just happen. Here at UNDP in Kosovo*, I have seen well-designed and delivered programmes change the lives of people in rural areas. In the last year alone, over 1,100 people found jobs thanks to our projects throughout Kosovo and earn more money than they used to. But when I’m asked to give good advice, I’m just as guilty as everyone else in repeating jargon and buzzword-filled sentences like “design for the community with the community,” “build on local context and leverage local potential,” or “partners assume concerted roles.” But what do these sentences actually mean in practice? … Read more

A happy place once more

26 Sep 2017 by Natalia Olofinskaya, Regional Technical Specialist, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Since childhood, my imaginary happy place was always a small house in the mountains besides a river. But being a consummate worrier, I know that rivers aren’t safe places. Flash floods wipe away homes. Water levels rise and wash away hard-earned harvests. And sometimes, lives and are lost. Those happy places can transform instantly to places of sorrow. During an assessment mission to Georgia, I found what just might be my dream-come-true place on the banks of the Tskhenistskali River in the Rioni Basin. Looking up through the valley, you could see fruit gardens, bucolic villages and the type of pastoral beauty that belongs only in impressionist paintings and travel brochures. … Read more

Time to say goodbye to the drug crisis in Moldova

22 Sep 2017 by Dorin Rotaru, Project Manager, Procurement, UNDP in Moldova

I have seen many heathy people become a candle in the wind at the blink of an eye. Such is the story of many people living with HIV in Moldova – any opportunistic infection can be fatal to them. According to official statistics, more than 11,000 cases of HIV are registered in the Republic of Moldova. Approximately 300 people die annually from HIV-related causes. Fortunately, we now have effective treatments that allow patients to live long, heathy lives – as long as they receive timely care. Last year alone, 4,500 people received antiretroviral therapy across the country. One major threat to the health of people living with HIV is discontinuation of treatment. If patients stop taking their meds, there is a major risk that their medications will stop being effective when they start taking them again. So treatment adherence is for people living with HIV a matter of life and death. … Read more

What does inequality look like?

15 Sep 2017 by Jodi Hilton, Photojournalist

Photographer Jodi Hilton traveled to 5 countries in Europe & Central Asia to document inequalities for UNDP’s Regional Human Development Report. Here is what she saw through her lens. … Read more

From labs to movements? An invitation to join our conversation on re-imagining labs

15 Sep 2017

In the run-up to UNDP and Nesta’s two-day conference Istanbul Innovation Days (Oct 31-Nov 1), we wanted to take stock and critically reflect on current lab practice and the impact labs create, and to consider what future directions might look like. We reflected with a small group of expert lab practitioners — from public innovation and development labs — on current lab practice, and in this blog we share our reflections, identify a number of needs, and suggest what actions could be taken. We invite you to read it and to join in the conversation on the future of lab practice. … Read more

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