“SDGs is about people, this is about leaving no one behind, about creating a world for our current generations, for our future generations.”It has to be about having a new vision, a new paradigm with implementation from all sectors. We want Europe to be leading from the front and Belgium is in a strong position to be a champion of change.” Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, United Nations Representative in Belgium urged to innovative thinking, stronger partnerships and more ambition in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Combating inequality matters and our lifestyles matter to meeting the sustainable development goals. We need a whole of society approach and the center of gravity for political innovation lies within cities and people. We have an impressive set of initiatives run by associations in Belgium that provide civic platforms between people and the government.” Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, highlighted that we must all start changing the way we live.
On 23 November, representatives from private sector, local governments, civil society organisations and students took part in a one-day inter-ministerial conference to tackle how Belgium can implement the Agenda 2030 and oversee a truly transformative multi-stakeholder approach.
The UN SDG Action Campaign, along with the UN and UNDP in Brussels, organized an SDG Action Zone, occupying a central space to engage visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals, bring the voices of children, men a women from around the world and their needs to the center of the discussions.
For a growing number of countries, innovation — spurred by technological advances and increased access to global markets — is a leading driver of economic growth and prosperity. New technologies and an appetite for social, economic, and policy reforms are creating new entry points to address the most stubborn development challenges. Whether it is around technology innovations, alternative finance models or experimentation policy, governments are increasingly realizing that they need to invest in social innovation approaches to better engage with citizens, establish their overall legitimacy and create the next generation of services.
The report ‘Spark, Scale, Sustain’ shares UNDP’s approach to innovation: over 40 case studies of innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals in practice and Features on Alternative Finance, Behavioral Insights, Data Innovation and Public Policy Labs.
The innovation initiatives are testing and scaling solutions to address challenges across five areas:
Millions of people are not benefiting from progress, with the gap set to widen unless deep-rooted development barriers, including discrimination and unequal political participation, are tackled.
Stockholm – A quarter-century of impressive human development progress continues to leave many people behind, with systemic, often unmeasured, barriers to catching up. A stronger focus on those excluded and on actions to dismantle these barriers is urgently needed to ensure sustainable human development for all.
The report finds that although average human development improved significantly across all regions from 1990 to 2015, one in three people worldwide continue to live in low levels of human development, as measured by the Human Development Index.
“Leaving no one behind needs to become the way we operate as a global community. In order to overcome the barriers that hamper both human development and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, inclusiveness must guide policy choices,” said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, speaking at the launch of the report in Stockholm today, alongside UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and the report’s lead author and Director of the Human Development Report Office, Selim Jahan.
“The world has come a long way in rolling back extreme poverty, in improving access to education, health and sanitation, and in expanding possibilities for women and girls,” said Helen Clark. “But those gains are a prelude to the next, possibly tougher challenge, to ensure the benefits of global progress reach everyone.”
This is a concern in developed countries too, where poverty and exclusion are also a challenge, with over 300 million people – including more than one-third of all children – living in relative poverty.
Left behind and unable to catch up: systemic discrimination against women, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, among others
The report notes that not only are deprivations high, but disadvantages disproportionately affect some groups.
“We place too much attention on national averages, which often mask enormous variations in people’s lives,” stated Selim Jahan. “In order to advance, we need to examine more closely not just what has been achieved, but also who has been excluded and why.”
The report shows that in almost every country, several groups face disadvantages that often overlap and reinforce each other, increasing vulnerability, widening the progress gap across generations, and making it harder to catch up as the world moves on.
Women and girls, rural dwellers, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees, and the LGBTI community are among those systematically excluded by barriers that are not purely economic, but political, social and cultural as well.
In the case of women, the largest of these groups, the report notes that while global gender disparities are narrowing slowly, longstanding patters of exclusion and lack of empowerment for women and girls remain pressing challenges.
Women tend to be poorer, earn less, and have fewer opportunities in most aspects of life than men. In 100 countries, women are legally excluded from some jobs because of their gender, and in 18 countries, women need their husband’s approval to work. Dangerous practices like female genital mutilation and forced marriage continue.
Populations living in rural areas also face multiple barriers. For instance, children from poor rural households attending school are less likely to be learning reading, writing and mathematics.
Moreover, migrants and refugees often face barriers to work, education and political participation and more than 250 million people in the world face discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity, the report notes among other examples.
It is time to face up to deep-rooted barriers to development
“By eliminating deep, persistent, discriminatory social norms and laws, and addressing the unequal access to political participation, which have hindered progress for so many, poverty can be eradicated and a peaceful, just, and sustainable development can be achieved for all,” Helen Clark said.
Marginalized groups often have limited opportunities to influence the institutions and policies that determine their lives. Changing this is central to breaking the vicious circle of exclusion and deprivation.
For example, indigenous peoples account for five percent of the world’s population, but 15 percent of people living in poverty. And members of the LGBTI community cannot actively advocate for their rights when same-sex acts between men are illegal in more than 70 countries.
The report calls for far greater attention to empowering the most marginalized in society, and recognizes the importance of giving them greater voice in decision-making processes.
The report also calls for a more refined analysis to inform actions, including making a shift toward assessing progress in such areas as participation and autonomy. Key data, disaggregated for characteristics such as place, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity, is vital to know who is being left behind.
Moreover, the report warns, key development metrics can overstate progress when they focus on the quantity, rather than the quality, of development. For instance, girls’ enrolment in primary education has increased, but in half of 53 developing countries with data, the majority of adult women who completed four to six years of primary school are illiterate.
Human development for everyone is attainable
“Despite progress gaps, universal human development is attainable,” said Selim Jahan. “Over the last decades, we have witnessed achievements in human development that were once thought impossible.”
Since 1990, one billion people have escaped extreme poverty, and women’s empowerment has become a mainstream issue: while as recently as the 1990s, very few countries legally protected women from domestic violence, today, 127 countries do.
The report stresses the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to build on these gains, noting that the agenda and human development approach are mutually reinforcing.
The report includes recommendations to reorient policies to ensure progress reaches those furthest behind, and urges reforms of global markets and global institutions to make them more equitable and representative.
ABOUT THIS REPORT: The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2016 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and its economy is worsening. Malawians are struggling to earn enough money to feed their families and two years of poor harvests means that people are hungry. There’s no welfare state, so earning a living is vital for survival.
To make matters worse, Malawi also faces a serious youth unemployment crisis and the highest working poverty rate in the world. According to a report of the National Statistical Office and ILO, in 2013 only 11.3% of the working population was in formal employment, and the figures for those under 35 are worse.
A large part of the population is left to fend for themselves with over 54% being self-employed. But what are the lived realities? The Building Bridges Foundation team discovered on the road in Malawi that there is hope for the landlocked “Warm Heart of Africa”.
The Road to Nairobi 2016 bus traveled around Malawi to meet 10 youth entrepreneurs working in a range of sectors in order to learn from their challenges and to get a better understanding of their experiences as entrepreneurs in one of the world’s most disadvantaged countries.
We met youth involved in fashion, improved seeds generation, water pipe construction and much more. These entrepreneurs proved to be change makers in Malawi who are not just creating employment for themselves, but also for others despite all the challenges they face.
Extensive power cuts, little education, corruption, lack of access to funding as well as scarcity of incubators and mentorship programs all hinder growth and sustainability. In the MY World survey, young Malawians expressed that education, healthcare, better job opportunities, affordable and nutritious food and access to clean water and sanitation are their top five concerns. The Malawian youth entrepreneurs we met were not only concerned with earning their own living, but especially with changing society and Malawi’s situation.
“My vision is to give a future to those most in doubt and nurture them so that they do not merely become another statistic of African hardship and suffering,” said 15-year old Tawile. She expresses her feelings and hopes for the future through fashion and aims to unite Africa.
Other entrepreneurs are focusing on the challenges faced by Malawian girls such as child marriage, lack of education and sexual abuse. “Women are nurturing and can use that ability to take care of the economic situation in their home, community and country. They need to be empowered and inspired.”
“The future of each and every nation is in the youth and entrepreneurship is the best way to go,” said Alexious. Young Malawian entrepreneurs should be empowered and supported as they are providing solutions for the country. To ensure youth are not discouraged and continue to change their circumstances, it’s important to understand the lived experiences. The Road to Nairobi team spoke to youth entrepreneurs in Malawi and asked what changes they would like to see:
Tadala T: Provide resources, information and opportunities on a merit basis, not because of who you know or what political affiliations you have.
Dumisani: Change the mindset of young people and the syndrome of dependency.
Ahmed: There needs to a better information system accessible everywhere where people can find all information related to entrepreneurship.
Alexious: Entrepreneurship should be part of the curriculum. It should be supported so that the youth are empowered.
Author: Charles Lipenga (Youth Ambassador Road to Nairobi project). Edited by: Annemarelle van Schayik (Research Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation) & Samantha Ndiwalana (Project Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation)
Entrepreneurship is the key driving tool for most African economies. It facilitates effective economic growth and development for enhanced sustainability. Most young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who strive to see a better Zimbabwe in the near future have taken this to heart.
The youth peak bulge has not spared Zimbabwe, as estimates reflect that it is probable that 60% of Zimbabwe’s national population is under the age of 30. Like many other young people in Africa, Zimbabwean youth have been challenged by the predicament of high unemployment rates and limited civic engagement opportunities, amongst other adversities.
The informal sector dominates the Zimbabwean economy. More youth are now entering the scene with hopes of economic survival, yet the job market is not opening up enough opportunities for them. This has been lamented by many youth entrepreneurs. Despite many of them having received a good education, some are still unable to find stable, formal jobs.
Most universities are churning out more graduates than the economy can sustainably accommodate in its current state. However, many of the schools are also channeling out students who have more book knowledge than the technical skills required for self-sufficiency in the current market.
The MY World global survey shows that inZimbabwe most people want a good education. The sampled entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe reinforced this. They want to see an education system which explores more and delves deeper into instilling an entrepreneurial mindset in its curriculum. They wish to have an education system which is not over-reliant on job acquisition immediately following graduation, but one that instead focuses on acquiring a set of business skills which will help in the development and sustenance of entrepreneurial ventures. It is with this notion that the entrepreneurial spirit could be embraced and fueled by graduates, or within the universities’ immediate communities.
The exact unemployment rate in Zimbabwe is currentlyunknown, butestimates as high as 95% have been calculated for the country. Youths face an uncertain future, but for many of them hope has been rekindled with the surge of entrepreneurial ventures. The hope is to create self-employment opportunities that will lead to a constant revenue flow, allowing sustainability in line with household expectations.
The Building Bridges’ Road to Nairobi 2016 project seeks to harness the spirit of entrepreneurship within all youth to inspire hope for the future, in which effective growth and sustenance is in reach.
Zimbabwean youth entrepreneurs face a range of challenges such as lack of financial assistance and restrictive government regulations on company registration. These difficulties hinder them from seeing their dreams as viable ventures.
Despite the many struggles that youth encounter along the way in changing the current economic landscape, they continue to shed light on the hope that entrepreneurship is key to a better future. From the exuberant energy exhibited by most entrepreneurs, it has been established that youth have the innovation and energy that is required to drive successful enterprises and entrepreneurial ventures
Youth are characterized as vibrant, go-getters and enthusiastic, and such energy if well applied, will lead into the successful implementation of the SDGs. Zimbabwean entrepreneurs are working on challenges they identify in their communities, such as the lack of access to basic education, unaffordable healthcare, health problems due to poor cooking fuels and many more.
The future is in the hands of youth who define and map the journey that lies ahead. It is with this notion that youth could be effectively equipped with the necessary business skills to be the ones to see through the successful implementation of the SDGs.
These are a few of the solutions to improve the entrepreneurial spirit amongst youth in Zimbabwe deduced from the hearts and minds of the surveyed entrepreneurs:
Terrence: Government should create an enabling environment, incentivize people through the creation of funding structures, and build a strong database for youth entrepreneurs to access mentorship who will oversee the successful running of the businesses.
Candice: Youth should be made aware of the beauty of entrepreneurship. People have great ideas but they can’t develop them without assistance.
Shaun: Government could have proxies in youth businesses to ensure that they are run sustainably. This way you can give funds and ensure they will be paid back.
Tinashe: Entrepreneurship should be made part of the curriculum. The youth needs to get inspired, motivated.
Tichaona: We need a hub for entrepreneurs. We need IT skills and to make changes through technology.
Chiedza: We need a transparent government where ministers are held accountable. They should focus on advancement of the country rather than how much they can make by helping you.
Author: Kudzanai Chimhanda (Country Team Zimbabwe of the the Building Bridges Foundation)
Did you know, the MY World Survey is comprised of much more than one simple question now?
On July 18, 2016, the UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with UNDP, ODI and Global Pulse, launched the next phase of MY Worldin the UNHQ. Partners from multiple sectors joined in the discussion, reporting on methodologies and strategies. They also presented lessons learnt and preliminary results from early pilot testing and representative studies.
See what our speakers and panelist have said during the MY World 2030 Launch!
“MY World is an opportunity to hear from voices across the spectrum, voices of the people who really shifted this agenda” – Rosemary Kalapurakal, Lead Advisor, 2030 Agenda Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
“We really need to work together to make sure that the spirit of the MY World campaign lives” – Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP
“MY World 2030 is about monitoring progress, satisfaction and awareness” – Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
“The main focus of a questionnaire has got to be on the individual respondent” – Hayk Gyuzalyan, Methods Director, TNS Opinion
“Partnership is not about engaging varying entities, but also engaging all individuals in ensuring we leave no one behind” – Muhsin Syihab, from Indonesia
“Local actions must be taken to make impact, particular by youth” – Maria Fernando Olvera, Director of Injuve
“We must continue unfinished business of MDGs through implementation of SDGs” – Princess Orelope-Adefulire, from Nigeria
The UN MY World 2015 survey (2013-2015) showed that it is both possible and useful to bring peoples’ voices directly into policy making at a global level. MY World was designed to bring the voices of individual people into the political deliberations on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it has been highly successful in doing so. Almost ten million people have responded to the survey, and the results have fed into every part of the political process for creating the new goals. MY World has been cited as part of the High Level Panel deliberations, the Open Working Group discussions, the PGA consultations and the Independent Expert Group on Data. The SG, DSG, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Secretary General Youth Envoy and chair of the UNDG regularly reference the MY World data.
MY World 2030 will have two clear areas to contribute to, enabled through four different channels.
Main goals of MY World 2030:
Contribute to efforts to report back on progress. The aim here will be to collect globally comparable (both at scale and nationally representative) data to monitor how people feel their lives are changing. This data could feed into official monitoring efforts both locally and globally and contribute to an enhanced mechanism for the effective monitoring and implementation of the goals.
Mobilise andbuild dialogue between decision makers such as parliamentarians, local governments, mayors and citizens, in particular young people in order to contribute a “people’s perspective” on how to implement the new agenda at different levels and establish accountability mechanisms. This data and citizen voice will be focused at the community; municipal and provincial level and provide a rich source of information for national decision makers. It is envisaged that this dialogue will be aggregated at national, regional and global levels. The demand for this has been demonstrated by the MY Municipality initiative in Macedonia and the continued expansion of U Report globally.
The SDGs Exhibition Launches July 18 at the United Nations!
Throughout the post-2015 process and following a call to action from the United Nations Secretary-General in 2012, over ten million people shared their hopes and dreams with the UN to help shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we enter the era of Agenda 2030, the challenge now is to show that the SDGs are in fact achievable through partnership and action from everyone everywhere. Will YOU become a part of this movement to build a better world?
The exhibition recounts how millions of ordinary people have ensured the Sustainable Development Goals are a bold and ambitious agenda through the most inclusive and transparent process the UN has ever seen. It also provides some concrete examples of the actions people can take now to help their governments with the implementation of the SDGs by 2030.
We need YOU to help ensure the SDGs become widely known and to ensure that as the Agenda 2030 is implemented, and NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.
The exhibition was curated, designed and produced by the UN SDG Action Campaign on behalf of the UN Development Group (UNDG), in partnership with: the Federal Government of Germany, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
It features voluntary input and stories from millions of people around the world through data visualizations, photographs, videos, virtual reality. It also allows interactive ways to share your opinion, make your commitment and explore how to take action on the SDGs.
HOW TO VISIT
The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours, 418 July 18 – 7 September 2016,
Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm
The entrance isat 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.
If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Alice Chen at email@example.com (6096510945)
MDGs to SDGs
Learn about the process that led us from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals with a special emphasis on peoples’ voices. By using cutting edge technology and data visualizations, the voices of over 10 million people, especially the voices of the most vulnerable populations, are told through the following initiatives:
MY World 2015 Survey – over 10 million people, most of them youth, have told the UN their top six of sixteen priorities for a better world, data that has fed into the post-2015 agenda
World We Want – a knowledge platform hosting documentation, and data visualizations including those from online, national and thematic civil society consultations
Humans of MY World – a photo exhibition telling the stories of MY World voters around the world
Virtual Reality – immerse yourself in the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headset
Action to Engagement Arena
The action and engagement arena allows visitors to “get their hands dirty” and take action for furthering the SDGs: right here, right now! These are some of the ways to take action:
MY World Survey2030 – Modeled after the first phase of MY World, this citizen satisfaction survey will monitor Global Goal progress and allow further specialization at a local level
Women’s Economic Empowerment– tell us what you think would help to empower women economically by filling out our survey
Own Your Voice– Virtually “Meet” six young women from around the world who are using their voice to change the world, they are the Youtube Change Ambassadors!
Commitment Corner – How will you help achieve the SDGs by 2030? Make your commitment on our SDGs blackboard and take a selfie, tag us @SDGAction
There’s more, but you’ll have to come see for yourself. Visit the SDGs Exhibition before September 7th 2016 and see what actions you can take for the SDGs!
By Di Cao – Global Youth Advocate at the UN Millennium Campaign
(L-R) Olympic Champions and IAAF Ambassadors, Joanna Hayers and Dwight Phillips, IAAF President Lamine Diack, UNDP Country Director Agi Veres & UNDP Head of Policy and Partnerships Hannah Ryder.
UNDP and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) co-hosted a celebration of the social responsibility program Athletics for a Better World (ABW) in Beijing’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium on Aug 26th during the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015. The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding to celebrate international partnerships in sports and cooperate to promote sustainable, inclusive human development to make the world a better place. This reception is a series of events UNDP is hosting to celebrate the UN Day for South South Cooperation.
UNDP invited members of the Beijing international diplomatic community to attend the event, which included delegates and representatives from over 40 Countries and many partner organizations. The Virtual Reality film screening became the highlight of the night. The UN Millennium Campaign office brought two VR films to the audience to demonstrate global development challenges from around the world. Launched in early 2015, the film Clouds Over Sidra follows the life of a young girl living in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Waves of Grace features a community’s recovery amid the Ebola epidemic. Both films were designed to support the UNMC’s efforts to highlight the plight of vulnerable communities.
Attendees explored the ground-breaking technology through the virtual reality headsets with enormous passion, and the powerful, immersive watching experience brought the real lives of people in Jordan and Liberia straight to the Bird’s Nest. The audience were profoundly moved and gained deeper empathy of vulnerable communities.
“The most amazing watching experience ever before.” Exclaimed one diplomat working in Beijing after watching the VR Film. He added, “It’s like they are looking at me and talking to me, they are around me.”
As the world’s second largest economy, China achieved many of the Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, and has become increasingly important in the overall global performance on the newly approved Sustainable Development Goals. In the MY World Global Survey, which aims to link voices of citizens to global leaders during the process of defining the new development agenda, Chinese people contributed 321,395 votes with a high level of involvement of youth. Better transportation and roads, support people who can’t work are the two most popular priorities among Chinese voters.
2014 has come to an end and we are glad to look back at the work we have been doing and share some results.
The UN team in Belarus had a chance to seize the opportunity and combine two important processes into one: the MY World 2015 global survey and associated public consultations, which became significant for the preparation of the country strategic document: National Strategy for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Belarus till 2030.
The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus requested assistance with the development of the National Strategy and with conducting public consultations as a part of the process. After a number of meetings, we came to the conclusion that we actually already have a great means for asking people what is important for them – the MY World 2015 global survey. Since the National Strategy document consists of certain development priorities, which coincide a lot with the priorities in the survey, it was a great solution!
MASERU–As the United Nations in Lesotho celebrated the 69th birthday of the UN with national and international partners last Friday, (October 24) it also formally introduced the Basotho people to MY World 2015, the United Nations Global Survey with the help of the United Nations Volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations like the Rise Up Youth Organization.
“We will work to pass the survey on to other youth, which means getting into villages and into schools,” said Ramootsi Majalle, Director of the Rise Up Youth Organization.
Ramootsi said he hopes to enable as many Basotho as possible to have their say, including those with visual disabilities by translating MY World into braille.
Lesotho, a small landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa, is beset by a number of persistent development challenges. It has the second highest HIV burden in the world—second only to its close neighbour Swaziland. Half of the country lives below the national poverty line.
The United Nations seeks the views of the Kingdom of Lesotho on the world they would like see post 2015. Unemployment is rampant, particularly among youth, who make up almost half of the population.
“Engaging youth is critical to reaching a sizable portion of the Basotho people,” said Ms. Karla Robin Hershey, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Lesotho.
“We want to make sure that their voices are heard as we transition into the next set of sustainable development goals.”
UN Day activities led by volunteer involving organizations yielded almost 150 votes on the afternoon.
Several national volunteer groups helped collect MY World votes, including the Rise Up Youth Organisation, and the Campaign for Education Forum. In addition, MY World was supported by the National Volunteering Corps, a government volunteering initiative supported by UNV and UNDP.
“MY World Survey is a great opportunity for Basotho to have their say in determining the post-2015 agenda,” said John Villiers, a UN Volunteer from Ireland.
“The turnout was outstanding and we look forward to working with our national partners to spread MY World into other districts across Lesotho.”
Mark S. Cogan, UNDP Communications and Reporting Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, +266 Tel: (+266) 22 313 790 ext. 377