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

Celebrating Roma and Egyptians in Albania

12 Apr 2013 by Nora Kushti, Communication Specialist, UNDP in Albania

Almost every morning as I drive to work, I see a little beautiful Roma girl begging in the street, sitting in the same corner. Sometimes I stop to talk to her. Her name is Violeta and she thinks she is nine years old. She’s never gone to school but “would love to someday.” She seems to envy my son, who is the same age, and nicely dressed as heads to school. She is the oldest of the kids in her family, her parents are divorced, and her mother cleans the street so she can provide food for her children. My son said to me one day: “Too bad her parents did not study hard, get a good education and a good job to provide for their children.” … Read more

Don’t quit – go underground!

06 Mar 2013 by Andrey Ivanov, Human Development Advisor, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Photo: UNHCR/L. Taylor
This month, Roma activist Valeriu Nicolae posted an explosive blog stating his reasons for quitting Roma inclusion work. The reaction below comes from my own similar experience. Valeriu, your frustration about Roma inclusion work, the missing results and the role of “beggars” imposed on people doing real work is perfectly understandable. However, it does not necessarily mean that you should quit. The experience you describe is illustrative of the Law of Diminishing Funding Opportunities. It states that a project’s chances of getting funded are reversely proportional to the level of its meaningfulness and the successful track record of the applicant. In other words, the better the work, (the more tangible, accountable and cost-efficient results you produce), the lower the chances of getting resources. … Read more

Roma inclusion: building houses does not solve the housing issue

25 Feb 2013 by Jaroslav Kling, Roma Inclusion Policy Analyst, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Our next batch of Roma analysis is out - this week’s focus is on housing. The latest report is part of the Roma Inclusion Working Papers series, and is based on data from the survey UNDP did together with the World Bank and the European Commission in 2011. When we talk about Roma housing, many of us might imagine substandard shacks in a segregated and poor part of the village. The survey data show that this image is reality for many Roma across Central and Southeastern Europe. Leaking roofs, no access to utilities mainly due to inability to pay bills, and the threat of eviction. Overall poor housing conditions is the everyday reality for a large number of marginalized Roma. But do Roma really have to live in such conditions? Is it primarily their responsibility? Should society leave marginalized people on their own? … Read more

I paid a bribe, so what? An experience from Kosovo*

04 Nov 2012 by Alexis Franke, Programme Analyst at UNDP Kosovo*

Over on the Democracy sport blog, Tiago Peixoto started a thought-provoking conversation about the impact of websites like I paid a bribe that encourage citizens to report cases of corruption (both the blog post and the comments are well worth a read). How can we assess whether these sites make a difference? I thought it might be useful to add my (admittedly, biased!) two cents to the debate based on my experience working on Kallxo.com, a project that encourages citizens to report cases of corruption in Kosovo via a Ushahidi-based platform. Kallxo is still at too early a stage of development for a thorough assessment of its impact, (after four months, over 300 cases reported, more than 36,200 page views, and 3,600 “Likes” on Facebook) but, to Tiago’s point, I like to think that we had a theory of changing mindsets when we set out to develop the project together with our partners … Read more

Unlikely allies: Can social networks help build new business?

18 Jul 2012 by Milica Begovic Radojevic, UNDP Montenegro

It’s a paradox: Montenegro’s poorest citizens live in the northern region endowed with 100 percent of surface water reservoirs and hydro-electric potential, 67 percent of the cultivable land, 71 percent of the timber mass, 70 percent of cattle stock, and immense potential for year-around sustainable tourism. This paradox is most evident in the tourism sector, where out of 1.5 million tourists that visit Montenegro only five to seven percent visit the northern region. Could social network theory provide some ideas as to how to address this problem? … Read more