Roma migration: An option of last resort?

14 Jan 2014 by Jaroslav Kling, Roma Inclusion Policy Analyst, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans - Gypsy Camp near Arles (1888, Oil on canvas)
Nowadays, migration is a regular part of our lives. Migration, in fact, launched the whole process of sustained attention to the issue of Roma exclusion in the European Union. - But is Roma migration really as huge as portrayed by the media? - What are the main reasons for Roma to migrate and do they fulfill their expectations? - Are the reasons that Roma migrate abroad different from the reasons of non-Roma’s who also migrate? - What are the most frequently chosen destinations? - What are the typical profiles of Roma and non-Roma migrants? - What is the life of Roma immigrants in the receiving countries? A recently published paper by Stoyanka Cherkezova and Iona Tomova tries to respond to these questions. … Read more

Youth and technology for peace in Kyrgyzstan

09 Dec 2013 by Sanzharbek Alimzhanov, UNDP Kyrgyzstan.

10 November marked both World Youth Day and the fifth annual youth conference JashtarCamp 2013, which brought together more than 1,000 young people from across Kyrgyzstan to discuss technology and peace. JashtarCamp (meaning “youth camp” in the Kyrgyz language) 2013, supported by UNDP in Kyrgyzstan among other partners, was held in four locations across the country, including southern Kyrgyzstan’s Osh State University. … Read more

Youth led solutions for youth problems

29 Oct 2013 by Ana Dautovic and Jelena Miljanic, UNDP Montenegro

Youth led solutions for youth problems in MontenegroIn a context of very high youth unemployement, the UN joint programme on Youth Empowerment is trying to apply user-led design so that young people come up with solutions to problems they are facing. Photo: UNDP Montenegro
Being young – what more could you wish for? Let’s consider the reality in Montenegro: 45 percent of young people between 15 and 24 are unemployed (in the total active population, for the last quarter of 2012) according to National Statistic Agency. This is much higher than the national average of 19.7 percent in 2010. Only one third of young people are informed about institutions or organizations that deal with youth issues. At the same time, more than half of young people believe that relevant public institutions do not support them adequately in finding jobs. … Read more

Bringing water-saving technologies to the Aral Sea region

22 Jul 2013 by Zakiya Abdurazakova, Specialist, UNDP Uzbekistan

Women farmers near the Aral Sea. Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan
Can we save the livelihoods of farmers of the devastated Aral Sea region? Unsustainable use of the region’s natural resources has led to a dramatic shrinking of the Aral Sea since the 1960s. It is now a mere 10 percent of its original size, and the effects have been disastrous to the region’s environment and economy. The way out is not only to find ways to increase water levels but to bring modern agricultural practices to farmers and to create new economic opportunities for the region’s citizens. The UN Aral Sea Programme is working to create new income-generating opportunities for small subsistence farmers and to create new jobs in tourism and handicrafts for the region’s most vulnerable: women and young people. … Read more

Gender inequality: How much does it affect development in Europe and Central Asia?

01 Jul 2013 by Barbora Galvankova, UNDP Eurasia

Inequality between women and men has been clearly identified as one of the causes blocking development over the last two decades. It is often difficult to establish evidence based causal links between impacts of gender inequality on a country's development because of the lack of available sex-disaggregated data. And because of limited data, we also can’t capture the complexity of gender inequality in different contexts. One way to measure gender inequality is to look at the differences for women and men in areas such as education, health, decision making and access to economic opportunities. Analysis based on quantitative data reveals that considerable progress has been made in terms of women’s access to education and healthcare in the region. (see attached data below) However, this level of analysis doesn’t show how gender inequality influences policies. This is why we decided to dig deeper. … Read more

Policy 2.0 – Can we move beyond the classic policy cycle?

28 Jun 2013 by Albert Soer, UNDP Eurasia

In Croatia, citizens are discussing energy policies with decision makers and experts. Photo: UNDP
Despite new ways to engage stakeholders in policy making – design, formulation, implementation, monitoring – most of the discourse seems to be stuck in the classic policy cycle. The dynamically changing environment in which policies are made and implemented, however, suggests we need a more dynamic conceptual framework to capture how policies are made, validated, implemented, assessed and most of all, how they evolve with a changing world. … Read more

Social marketing: Promoting social values in fYR Macedonia

24 May 2013 by Boran Ivanoski, UNDP Skopje

Drawing by Marina Danev for the “Saving energy” campaign
What impresses me most about the whole concept of social marketing is how it applies the tried-and-tested techniques of commercial marketing to ‘sell’ social values in ways that have the potential to change our behaviour and improve society as a whole. When you think about it, social marketing is not so different from other efforts to influence public behaviour. People have different needs, of course, and form different groups in the community to resolve common issues that affect their lives. In short, they initiate different forms of association and make efforts to influence our behavior: the same aim as that of social marketing campaigns. … Read more

Shared Words: a peacebuilding game in Cyprus

20 May 2013 by Nuri Sılay and Spyros Armostis

10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3 Yes we are indeed counting down to launch the Shared Words language learning game. Well, not just yet but we are almost there! Shared Words project has been an interesting project and a starting point that has the potential to affect, motivate, and contribute to rapprochement between the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus. … Read more

All are equal before the law but is the law equal to everyone?

29 Apr 2013 by Emira Shkurti, UNDP Albania

Students in Albania are united against gender based violence. Photo: UNDP Albania
“Yes!” says the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Yes!” says the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. “Yes!” says the Constitution of the Republic of Albania and an array of international instruments Albania has ratified. But what do women and women’s organizations say? … Read more

Women in the police means a better response to community needs

18 Apr 2013 by Bojana Balon, Programme Coordinator at UNDP

Women in the police, Montenegro. Photo: UNDP Montenegro
Having more women police officers is essential if law enforcement agencies are serious about combating sexual and gender based violence. This interrelationship has long been established (see: Progress of the world’s women: In pursuit of justice (pdf)) and most recently the outgoing United Nations Police Adviser, Ann Marie Orler, said that there is a critical need for more female officers in peacekeeping operations as a precondition for the UN Police to become a modern, professional police organization. Ms. Orler insists that women police officers play a critical role in addressing sexual and gender based violence which disproportionately affects women and children. … Read more