Our Stories

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Great job: A better future is working for people with disabilities in Albania

  Sidrit Dedja is an amazing person: curious, equipped with a good sense of humor, and a real sense of purpose. He is 25 years old, and was born in the town Shkodra, Albania with a significant motor disability. Despite this, he was able to complete his primary education. For Sidrit, this was wh more

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Hackathon in Ukraine: Making sure every voice is heard

How do you ensure people’s safety and security in a conflict situation?  How do you select the most reliable sources of information in an overcrowded media environment? How do you mobilize and cooperate effectively with friends, colleagues and neighbours when conflict does arise? These were more

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I woke up when I started my education again: A success story in Kosovo*

   It’s a rare sunny day here in the Roma/Ashkali/Egyptian (RAE) quarter of Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, Kosovo; a welcome respite from a long spell of chilly, overcast winter weather. It’s also the perfect day to skip school. Or, if you’re not enrolled in school – as is the case for nearl more

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Important for the job: Border management in Central Asia

  Border agencies throughout Central Asia face profound security risks and challenges. These threats can come from a wide array of sources: the fragile security situation in Afghanistan, potential regional instability arising from religious extremism, terrorism, narcotics and weapons traffickin more

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Water and energy - twin benefits from UNDP--Coca-Cola projects

  The concept of ‘water and energy’ – the theme of World Water Day in 2014 – can conjure up thoughts of large cooling towers in power stations and the hefty power needs of industrial-scale water-treatment plants. But on a much smaller scale, within communities, water and energy also go hand in more

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Bosnia and Herzegovina chooses life without weapons

Dubica is a small city on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. In the past six months, this seemingly peaceful municipality was shaken by several serious and violent incidents committed with illegal weapons.   Two and a half hours away, in the town of Modrica, teenagers rece more

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: A brighter future for children... and their nannies

With an unemployment rate of nearly 45 percent, finding a job for many in Bosnia and Herzegovina can seem like a mission impossible. This has particularly been the case for women, many of whom have spent years trying to secure a brighter future for themselves and their families. Today, however, the more

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Restoring the health of Lake Prespa

At over five million years old, Lake Prespa is amongst the most ancient freshwater lakes in the world.   The beautiful but environmentally vulnerable region of the Prespa Lake Basin is home to more than 2,000 species of fish, birds, mammals and plants. Many of these species are unique and many more

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Kyrgyzstan: Bridging the gap between government and people

Bekzat Usenkanov, 35, says he never thought that one day he would become a public watchdog because his keen interest has always been in new communication technologies.   He spent several years studying abroad. Upon return to Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Usenkanov encountered problems when he attempted to s more

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: A step to end HIV-related stigma

Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a milestone in its effort to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination when a baby was born via C-section in January to HIV-positive parents in Sarajevo.   “We all know how much blood there can be when a cesarean section is performed, but there was no hesitation o more

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New solutions to energy challenges in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

New York, 11 December 2013 – UNDP launches the third volume of Empowering Lives, Building Resilience, a report compiling sustainable energy success stories from UNDP’s work in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. These stories demonstrate how sound policies, capacities and finan more

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Taking the drama out of disaster

Emergencies call for fast thinking and rapid reactions to prevent a crisis from becoming a disaster.   And as high-school students in Strumica discovered just recently, one of the most effective ways to take the drama out of a crisis is through drama itself—not only rehearsing and simulating d more

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Iker Casillas encourages young people in Uzbekistan to volunteer

On 5 December, the world celebrates International Volunteer Day. This year, the United Nations campaign to promote volunteerism in Uzbekistan is joined by none other than Iker Casillas, renowned goalkeeper, captain of both Real Madrid and the Spanish national football team, and UNDP Goodwill Ambass more

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Post-2015: The voice of young Kosovo*

Of the estimated 1.8 million inhabitants of Kosovo (*hereafter referred to in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244/1999), approximately half are under the age of 25, and the majority of authorities are under the age of 40.   This immense youth population matters: this demographic more

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Inequalities dampen progress in Moldova

The deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is less than two years away.   In the run up to 2015, many countries are taking stock of their achievements and setbacks. In Moldova, this exercise has demonstrated that further progress on the MDGs rests on successfully overcoming more

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UNDP regional director on development achievements in the region

Vilnius, Lithuania – 14 May 2013 – Interview with Ms. Cihan Sultanoglu, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independant States, published on “Vilniaus diena’’ (in Lithuanian) on the occasion of her visit to more

Developing world reshaping the future, says global Human Development Report

Human Development Report 2013   ASTANA/VIENNA - 9 April  2013 - “Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” says the global Human Development Report for 2013, presented this week in Astana and Vie more

The Rise of the South, as seen from Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Khalid Malik and Cihan Sultanoglu   Human Development Report 2013   The world is in the midst of profound changes, and the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are very much a part of this historic transformation: many developing countries on all continents are now driving globa more

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Being your own boss: Supporting entrepreneurs in fYR Macedonia

Senat Demiri is Roma and lives in Shuto Orizari, one of the most economically deprived areas of Skopje.   Mr. Demiri had been without a regular formal job for ten years when he first heard of a programme to help people start and run their own businesses.   "The idea of being my own b more

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“The South needs the North, and increasingly the North needs the South,” says 2013 UNDP Human Development Report

Mexico City, 14 March 2013 — Leading countries of the developing world, including key countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, are together reshaping global power dynamics in a new era of human development progress, according to the United Nation Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2013 Human Deve more