Voices from Eurasia

Effective development cooperation

What kind of blender do we need to finance the SDGs?

12 Jul 2017 by Mara Niculescu, Partnership Development Analyst, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will take between US$5 to 7 trillion, with an investment gap in developing countries of about US$2.5 trillion. At the same time, the most recent OECD DAC report shows that in 2016 the total official development assistance reached a peak of US$142.6 billion, which is one order of magnitude smaller than the needs. … Read more

How do you inspire entrepreneurship in a conflict-affected region?

12 Apr 2017 by Janthomas Hiemstra, UNDP Ukraine Country Director and Sofiya Oshchebska, National Coordinator - Crowdfunding Academy, UNDP Ukraine

Pavlo, 71, is a, blacksmith from Lugansk and will open his new workshop in Kharkiv region. Photo: UNDP Ukraine
The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has not only disrupted everyday life in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, but also led to staggering unemployment. Out of 23 major enterprises in Luhansk region, 19 are currently not operating, while half of the enterprises in Donetsk region have lost about 950,000 jobs. Supporting employment is challenging in the best of circumstances, and far more so in conflict situations. How do you talk about the benefits of entrepreneurship to people who lost everything and, after being displaced, are just trying to find their place in a new community? At UNDP Ukraine’s Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, we have an ambitious goal: to promote entrepreneurship in Donbas, inspire people who worked all their life in mines and factories to step in the unsure path of entrepreneurship, and make them believe in themselves and their country again. So we decided to start by showing the joy of creating and developing your own business through the stories of ordinary people. Stories of people like us who, despite all the difficulties, have succeeded. … Read more

Can we track disasters before they happen?

17 Mar 2017 by Aida Hadzic-Hurem, UNDP BiH, Disaster Risk Reduction Project Manager

disaster mitigation - BiHHave you tried DRAS? Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.
In May 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina was hit by devastating floods causing loss of human life, and damages and losses of 2 billion EUR. In the midst of the tragedy, all of us were proud of the exceptional assistance that UNDP provided to the ones that needed it the most. Our staff worked tirelessly and efficiently to deliver much needed relief, putting in place recovery programs worth close to 80 million USD. As UNDP, we also used the momentum to start creating awareness that poor development decisions can worsen the impact of disasters. Disaster Risk Analysis System (DRAS) was hence born out of the understanding that disaster risk management cannot happen with civil protection measures alone. … Read more

It’s time for a climate revolution. Can the Paris Agreement take us there?

28 Nov 2016 by Daniela Carrington, Climate Change Policy Advisor

A year ago, against all expectations, delegates in Paris agreed on a groundbreaking new deal to take action on global warming. In less than a year, the agreement came into force and was ratified by 113 nations, representing 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. It was unprecedented in the history of international agreements. In Marrakesh, decision-makers moved quickly to begin to implement the deal. Here are a few of the key results. … Read more

In search of development solutions? Look south.

09 Nov 2016 by Faik Uyanik, Communications Specialist at UNDP Europe and CIS

A few decades ago, economists believed that activating a few switches would lead to a linear and universal development process. Nowadays, experts know that developing nations takes a huge amount of trial and error. Countries have different histories. Institutions, societies and cultures matter. And the uncertainty that dominates the international economy is making it increasingly difficult to come up with a recipe for becoming a global player. But there’s one thing that matters immensely: exposure and learning. Have you ever paired up with another student, exchanging German for arithmetic to complete your exams? That’s a simple way of describing what South-South cooperation is about. In a multi-polar world, development knowledge and experience have become a new currency. … 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

Turning 50 together with UNDP

21 Feb 2016 by Peter Hulényi, Slovak Ambassador to Israel

Slovak Aid, turning 50
I am a bit younger than UNDP. 31 days younger, to be precise. But I enjoy the idea of celebrating this half-century together. Not because we belong to the same generation, but because I have spent almost half of my career working with or for this UN agency. So allow me to be more personal as I recall three memories. Act 1: Giving a hand to an ugly duckling Year: 1996, Place: UN Headquarters in New York Completing my first diplomatic steps as I joined the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I found myself representing Slovakia at the UNDP Steering Committee in New York. Frankly speaking, Slovakia was not in the best shape at that time. The country was economically and politically lagging behind the region, earning its nickname as the “black hole of Europe”. My mission, received with mixed reactions, was to present a proposal to establish a UNDP Center in the Slovak capital, Bratislava. Why move UNDP to a country with democratic deficits, many delegations asked. “Exactly because of that”, said the then Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS. … Read more

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