Our Perspective

      • Tackling vulnerability: Five reflections on the Human Development Report in Moldova

        13 Aug 2014

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        By Alex Oprunenco and Dumitru Vasilescu Last month, the 2014 Human Development Report was officially unveiled. It is probably the most comprehensive and empirically robust analysis of progress and trends in human development. On top of this, it guides us towards new policy approaches that tend to shatter our ‘business as usual’ approach. Here’s how we see its relevance in the Moldova context, where we’ve spent last couple of years trying to understand underlying trends in human development. 1. Making up for lost time? The Human Development Index (HDI) is a tool that measures and assesses long-term progress in three basic dimensions of development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living. This year, with an HDI of 0.663, Moldova is ranked 114 out of 187 countries. On average over the past decade, Moldova’s HDI value has increased by 0.12 percent per year, propelled largely by improvements in health and education. 2. Many shades of vulnerability The chief topic of this year’s report is human vulnerability or the prospects of eroding people’s capabilities and choices. Vulnerability is not only about money; it is also lack of access to basic services such as education, health, and waterRead More

      • The confidence question? Meet the investment lady

        22 Jul 2014

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        Mayor Elena Josan shows a newly functional water supply network benefiting people from both banks of the Nistru River. Photo: Natalia Costas/UNDP Moldova

        By Victor Dragutan & Natalia Costas Could the problem of gender inequality be compounded by a confidence gap? A recent article in the Atlantic says yes – evidence suggests that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed in today’s world, it takes as much confidence as it does competence. We thought about this in Moldova, too. Here, men hold most elected offices, and women are acutely underrepresented in leadership positions across most sectors of the economy.  Tellingly, most women in Moldova prefer a man for president, despite evidence that decisions made by female leaders are often a better fit for the community’s needs (in Romanian). In the EU-UNDP Support to Confidence Building Measures Programme, we also deal with stereotypes and issues of trust, albeit in a different, post-conflict dimension. Working to develop confidence between people on both sides of the Nistru River, whose life is affected by the still unresolved status of Transnistria, we’ve come across a number of women who could use a self-confidence boost as well. These women are doing a great job every day, leaders in business or their community, but give themselves little credit. While the role of women in all stages of conflict-prevention hasRead More

      • Game changer: Five things we learned playing Youth@Work in Moldova

        10 Jun 2014

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        Winners of the Youth @ Work game. UNDP Moldova

        The three exciting weeks of playing Youth@Work on Community PlanIt are over. The awards have found their winners and we are in the process of analyzing the results. We at UNDP, the Engagement Lab at Emerson College, and National Council of Youth from Moldova, have been hard at work for the past five months, designing and implementing this exciting project. While a more comprehensive analysis is forthcoming, we are eager to share five things we learned from the project thus far. 1. Gaming is a cool and effective way to harness social energy of youth. When we were weighing our options on how to engage with youth on employment, we really wanted to step outside of routine and have an authentic, exciting, and unconventional discussion. We wanted to do so through play. When people play, they are more open to discovery, opportunities and challenges. And when people play games, they can do all those things within a safe context outside of the strictures of everyday life. The risk for introducing a game as a means to confront a serious problem is great: What if people discounted the idea as too frivolous or as making light of a serious situation? That is something thatRead More