Rethinking Road Safety – Investing to Save People’s Lives


Every few months, I go to pay condolences to families who lost their loved ones in traffic accidents or visit an acquaintance in hospital due to an injury they suffered in a car crash. I am pretty sure I am not alone in that. Montenegro is one of the countries with the highest number of persons killed in traffic accidents in Europe. In 2016 alone, there were more than 5,200 traffic accidents, with 65 persons killed and another 2,500 lightly or seriously injured. Although we all hate putting a price tag on a human life, the economic case for preventing accidents is just as important as the moral one. Studies show that every human life lost in a traffic accident costs our country about half a million EUR . This includes legal and medical expe...
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Georgetown University Library Hosts UN Development Programme's Alternative Finance Lab


​On Tuesday, July 25, the Maker Hub and the Gelardin New Media Center are hosting a special afternoon of conversation, socailizing, and workshops with the UN Development Programme's Alternative Finance Lab from UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub in Lauinger Library. The afternoon will begin at 2:00pm with a presentation by members of the AltFin Labin the Murray Room (5th Floor, Lauinger Library). The AltFin Lab is an internal startup, run out of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub for Europe and CIS. It is a mechanism for exploring and tapping into new financial technologies and mechanisms to access investment for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will discuss their activities related to crowdfunding, crowdlending, and crowdinvesting, as ...
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10 Steps to Successful Crowdfunding


  The spirit of gotong royong is taught to children from a very young age at schools all over Indonesia. It is the Indonesian brand of volunteerism, or communal work—where members of a community gather to accomplish a task. Traditionally, the task could be to fix a neighbor's home, or build a road or a bridge. Today, especially in urban areas, such community work is hard to find. But it does not mean the spirit of gotong royong is gone. The communal culture stays with modern Indonesians. In spite of busy lifestyles, they continue to help others through philanthropy. A study found that philanthropic support in Indonesia totals $600 million per month. Young and tech-savvy Indonesians use the internet for their philanthropic activities—gi...
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“From Russia to Tajikistan”: changing the way money moves


​ Could blockchain-based payment systems make financial access easier for migrant workers sending remittance payments from abroad, make the transfer cheaper, faster and more secure ? Citizens of Tajikistan rely heavily on remittances . A lack of job opportunities means that up to 1 million (out of a population of 8 billion) migrate elsewhere for work, mostly Russia. Until 2014, the share of remittances made up around 43 percent of the national GDP, roughly US$4 billion a year , The global recession and the depreciation of the Russian and Tajik currencies against the US dollar has since caused a sharp decline in remittances. But its share is still significant at 20-25 percent, as labor migration continues to be attractive .  When we vis...
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Crowdfunding SMEs for SDGs – and how we do it in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina…


  What is necessary for building up a crowdfunding ecosystem Our first 2 years of experience with crowdfunding taught us that the approach is not just a new market place for accessing funds but a tool to build community engagement; not just a PR fad but a powerful outreach and advocacy mechanisms; and not merely a support system for an initiative but an effort to catalyse new business models, technologies and solutions for social issues. Just donating money is like buying a blanket for one person in need; and crowdfunding an SME is like setting up a company that produces affordable blankets to hundreds in need. Re-inventing the business model, building an ecosystem of supporters and ambassadors, and a powerful leapfrog. This year, our ...
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Mašenjka Feels Happy, From A to W, Twelve Campaigns Will Go Out Crowdfunding!


What are the campaigns, what is in the #BigStoriesSmallBusinesses? Take a small A to W quest with Maša and find out! A. stands for Antonov, Ukrainian engineer who constructed the biggest cargo plane in the world, the famous Antonov! Produced in Ukraine. Mašenjka saw it in Zagreb several years ago, once it landed to pick up a transformer for a powerplant . The queue of curious people was the longest queue she has ever seen! Can you imagine how thrilled she was she realised we have another Antonov in one of the teams that is composed of engineers who once worked in the Antonov factory? Now The A. team has created the first electric cargo bike in Ukraine – find out what is their name and try-out the bike when they go out to the crowds with gue...
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Mašenjka Goes Crowdfunding in Kyiv


  On a calm early Saturday morning, with her tiny feet and red hair-locks under her cap, Mašenjka walked swiftly across St. Sofia square. And then down with a funicular to Podil. And then straight along Riviera to Kyiv Hub 4.0. More then thirty curious entrepreneurs waited for her. Fifteen komandas couldn't wait to learn about a whole new world of crowdfunding. Mašenjka was not alone. Little rasta-girl with blond dreadlocks from the Crowdfunding Academy was with her, and two nice and bright comrades from Spilnokosht platform and a cheerful piccola djevushka Italiana. The komandas started pitching: We want school-kids to grow trees and turn grey destroyed areas into green woods. We want anti-cafe in Slavyansk to have a wonderful yard an...
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Providing Youth Education and Employment In the IT Industry


In six months, after a successful pilot in the Korail slum , we helped students who were barely familiar with computers to transform into IT freelancers, earning an average of $100 USD per month. Following up on that success, on October 9th UNDP Bangladesh launched the Youth Employment through Skills (YES) campaign . Today, we are raising money to build our first pilot classroom. If successful, we will expand this programme to 100,000 students across Bangladesh. The Inspiration for Youth Employment through Skills (YES) Despite the huge gains that Bangladesh has made addressing poverty, almost 1/3 of the population, or 45 million, still live below the poverty line. Not only that, but, approximately 41% of Bangladeshi youth are NEET : Not Emp...
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Jobs For Youth, Savings For Government, Return For Investors – All In One?


​ UNDP Serbia is experimenting impact investing through Youth Employment Bond together with Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The high cost of youth unemployment The youth unemployment rate is very high in Serbia, which requires more attention and also innovative ways to tackle the challenges. The youth unemployment rate in 2015 was 43.2 %, which is significantly above the general unemployment rate in the country (18.2 % for the population of working age 15-64). Having 4 out of 10 young people (ages 15-30) neither in employment, education or training (NEET youth) costs the Government over EUR 1.6 billion a year. You read it right- EUR 1.6 billion. This figure includes costs of various unemployment related social benefits and foregone income ta...
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Saving Lives – One Student At a Time


In a school in a town South of Lebanon, a young boy rushes out of class on a Friday excited to get home and start the weekend. He exits the school gate onto a crowded road that leads to a concealed curve where cars rush by. There is no pavement, no footpaths, and no security measures. The child runs up and down the street looking for his mother, stuck in the usual heavy traffic around the school…  Last year alone, 83 children under 14 years of age lost their lives in road accidents. Many of these accidents took place within the school's perimeter. Live Lebanon is launching the Green Light zone Project to reduce the number of casualties by providing a safe environment for students within and around the school. Children In Direct Danger ...
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UNDP Moldova is keeping the doctor away from more than 3000 school-age children


​ The idea of tackling the problem of low fruit intake in Moldova came during a banal lunch. We were intrigued by the paradox that in a country that is a regional "garden", abundant in fruits and vegetables, the average consumption of these goodies constituted only 60% of the minimum WHO recommended quantity. We then thought about connecting the private sector represented by the fruit producers with the educational institutions, targeting the young generations of our country, where the culture of fruit consumption is just about to be shaped. Our mission was to increase children fruit consumption, by offering them local fresh apples, sliced and delivered in an attractive package, thus making the consumption process "cool" for them. The chall...
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Crowdfunding is not (only) about the money


If you need just money, go to the bank and don't use crowdfunding. Use crowdfunding if you need awareness building, campaigning, initiating debate, attract other funders and build up your community. When we started our first campaign for an energy independent school in Croatia, we didn't have the slightest idea where crowdfunding would take us. From conducting a successful campaign to setting up Crowdfunding Academy and UNDP Alternative Finance Lab , helping to launch more than 15 campaigns in 10+ countries - crowdfunding has definitely taken a hold on us. In the UK alone, crowdfunding for civic causes has gained $30 million over the last five years . But crowdfunding is so much more than about getting the required financing for your projec...
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CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY: DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVE FINANCING CULTURE IN CROATIA


​ Seems like the last few months have gone away in a blink of an eye – that's how long it passed since a group of seven started to plan the Crowdfunding Academy project at small UNDP office in Croatia. Many e-mails, social media posts, new faces, public presentations, crowdfunding facts and working hours later, we are starting to realize the real size of a rock that we've managed to move by successfully bringing this project to life. Within the Crowdfunding Academy educational programme we gathered experts in business, financing, marketing, social media, journalism, strategy planning and many other fields, along with more or less successful crowdfunding campaigners from Croatia. They've shared their experiences through three modules tacklin...
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Crowdfunding As a Potential Behemoth: A Billion Euro Industry Waiting To Happen


Enter your text  Nothing could beat the pleasure of starring at a packed auditorium while I was waiting for the opening talk of the Zagreb Crowdfunding Convention and thinking back of the months of preparations behind us. Industry experts, NGO's and private companies, government representative and numerous curious individuals – we got them all at one place to discuss future of crowdfunding in our region! We've been intensively focusing our work on a variety of crowdfunding activities in order to climb closer to the goal we've set more than one year ago, when we co-founded the Crowdfunding Academy . That was to contribute to the development of a crowdfunding market in Croatia. Our Zagreb Crowdfunding Convention event nowadays comes as a...
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UNDP Alternative Financing Lab - the next big thing is a lot of small (and smart things)!


Ten months ago we had an eclectic group of people introduce a slew of new financial mechanisms- blockchain based cash transfers and impact bonds for reducing recidivism to forecast based finance for disasters and peer to peer lending for SMEs- emerging into what the ODI calls a new ' age of choice' for the development finance . We tackle this topic not just because there is a $2.5 billion gap in funding the current SDG agenda (even though ODA flows to developing countries continue to increase year on year). We are more tickled by the sheer explosion of money coming from other sources of funding that aren't high on the priority list of either development organizations or governments (admittedly this is fast changing)- the European alternativ...
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UNDPCrowd – a New Kid on the Block?


She is in her 30-ies, borderless, decentralised and the Master-Mind of "Governance 2.0", the BitNation. Her name is Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof and she shook the minds of #UNDPCrowd yesterday, as the Sun set down over Bosporus and the room was getting hot, powered by each person emitting 100 Watts worth of heat. 100×70=7kW heat. It is so hot I can't think. What the hack is BitNation? I'll quote them as that is the zest of their existence: „ BitNation does not care where in the world you are from, where you live, or what passport you hold. Everyone has the right to enjoy high-end, competitive governance services." And that is the point behind a gal who left school when she was fifteen and is self-thought since. She did quite well with self-e...
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Who’d Say That Willy Wonka and Crowdfunding Have Something in Common?


Last week the Crowdfunding Academy team felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory – except there was no chocolate river or a lickable wallpaper. If we don't count that rainbow hallway on the way to a rainbow metro station, it wasn't even psychedelic looking. But taking into consideration that we love good ideas as much as Charlie loves chocolate – you will understand this comparison. As we've mentioned in few of our earlier blogs – Crowdfunding Academy went global. Over the last two months we've been intensively working with UNDP offices around the world on preparation of their crowdfunding campaigns. Keeping in mind that crowdfunding might not be the only alternative financing option suitable for their projects, we've been explo...
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TOUR AROUND THE WORLD WITH GLOBAL CROWFUNDING ACADEMY (part two)


For those who haven't read the first part here is a little introduction. We are travelling around the world and meeting teams and projects of Global Crowdfunding Academy. All of them wish to make a change in their community. So, at the beginning of December we will gather in Istanbul and start working on realizing those dreams. Last time we visited Macedonia, Columbia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Tajikistan. Now there are six more countries ahead of us. So let's continue our little adventure!   Today our journey starts is in Zimbabwe . Project name: Young small-holder farmers Insurance and Risk Transfer Facility . Young small holder farmers are increasingly affected by extreme weather events and the adverse effects of climate change. To ...
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Talking in tongues: From crypto currencies to breaking blockchains


​ From equity-based crowfunding and person-to-person lending, to crypto currencies and mobile money; entirely new players are disrupting the field of financing for development and public policy. So, what does this alternative finance space look like? Who are the new players and what are they up to? Crowd-power According to the World Bank, the crowdfunding market is expected to grow to US $100 billion by 2025. Recent research shows that – despite living in countries where the cost of doing business is quite high – entrepreneurs are successfully raising money by crowdfunding, and bypassing loads of red tape in the process. (Image via Allied Crowds) And it's not just money. New platforms are springing up focusing on everything from expertise a...
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TOUR AROUND THE WORLD WITH GLOBAL CROWFUNDING ACADEMY (part one)


The first Global Crowdfunding Academy organized for and by the UNDP offices around the world had a really strong competition. After a tough selection process, we have chosen 11 teams with most inspiring projects from community green solutions to peacebuilding and poverty reduction. Interested? Let's go on a little odyssey around the world, meet the teams and see what they want to change in their community with the help of crowdfunding. First station: Republic of Macedonia . Project name: Let's paint Skopje from 50 shades of GREY to 50 shades of GREEN. The main idea of this project is to pick out one prominent building in Skopje, turn it from grey to green and set an example for others to follow. The proposed building is the Skopje City Hosp...
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