Can blockchain help us better assist refugees and migrants in transit?


Technology can both empower and disempower. At a recent workshop on blockchain , we landed a challenge: how can we use it to facilitate refugee integration? I am an immediate misfit in the dynamic multiverse of people speaking in code. But at this USAID event led by the UNDP Alternative Finance Lab and AID:Tech , I wasn't the only one. My team, half tree-huggers and half tech gurus, started our brainstorming with this question: what do we have in common? The answer was a strong sense of identity. That fragile sense of self, inflated when our boss pats us on the back and shattered when somebody "swipes left". Displaced people often struggle with identity loss. It isn't just about that "blood and soil" sense of belongingness that disappears w...
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Crowdfunding in UNDP – guidance for project managers


After 7 academies, 40 campaigns, and more than 400 people educated on new financial technologies and mechanisms, we have decided to share a part of our knowledge through this guidance. If you are a forward-looking innovator excited about improving your work and the work of your institution and partners, this guide can help. The following document is divided into tips and questions for planning, launching and managing a crowdfunding campaign. Through four sections of this guide, we introduce you with Things you need to consider before launching a crowdfunding campaign and What to consider for a successful launch . In the third and fourth section, we have prepared useful tips about Managing an ongoing crowdfunding campaign and Wrapping up you...
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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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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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CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY UKRAINE 2017


Crowdfunding Academy in Ukraine is a three months project dedicated to entrepreneurs from conflict-affected areas in Donbas. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to rally all available resources to help improve the livelihoods of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities throughout Ukraine.  Experts from UNDP Alternative Finance Lab and Terra Hub NGO, who created the concept of Crowdfunding Academy, as well as trainers from the leading Ukrainian online crowdfunding platform "Spilnokosht" are helping entrepreneurs raise funding for their businesses using online tools and innovative methodologies. To be admitted to the Crowdfunding Academy, participants had to describe their business idea and specify the required investm...
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BUILD THE 1ST INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND IN TIRANA


''Build the 1st Inclusive Playground in Tirana'' is a campaign that aimed to provide, for the first time in Albania, a playground that is suitable for children with special needs and abilities. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Albania, jointly with the Municipality of Tirana launched this campaign to advocate for greater awareness towards equality of treatment for kids with special needs in joint areas such as a playground. 20 000$ were raised through the crowdfunding campaign, and playground equipment that caters to the need of special needs kids was integrated with traditional equipment. The campaign also aimed at creating a chain effect in other communities, so that they organize from within and sponsor consequent playgroun...
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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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BLOCKCHAIN RESEARCH


We have recently started to work on the White Paper with Blockchain - the world's leading Bitcoin software company. Together we are working on better understanding the development space and evaluating how this technological innovation can bring about radical transparency & efficiency in the flow of aid.The paper is exploring six key sectors - trade finance, remittances, digital ID, development aid financing, property rights, and energy blockchain. We're cooperating with the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (check out an impressive line up of people they've had for a discussion on distributed ledger technologies a few months back) on design of a challenge prize for social applications of blockchain that would (hopefully) ...
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TAJIKISTAN: SENDING REMITTANCES FROM RUSSIA TO TAJIKISTAN


In Tajikistan, we are working with BitSPark on investigating possibilities to transfer remittances money from Tajikistan workers from Russia to Tajikistan using Bitcoins. Remittances are a growing and critical lifeline for many people and countries around the world, as demonstrated clearly by Tajikistan where 50% of the country GDP relies on remittance income. ​
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MOLDOVA - Testing use of Emercoin/Blockchain for Fleet Management


In Moldova, we are testing to find out if Blockchain can provide a more effective way of managing the United Nations car fleet. On this project we cooperate with EmerCoin - a digital currency and blockchain service platform and with DeePlace company. The blockchain technology is to demonstrate the possibility of a more effective way of managing the UN car fleet in an emergency situation. Blockchain could provide a more effective way of transferring and tracking funds.
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SERBIA - SENDING REMITTANCES FROM SERBIAN DIASPORA TO THE CITY OF NIS BENEFICIARIES


As remittances are an important part of the economic impact of migration, in Serbia we're working on designing a proof of concept for remittance transfers over blockchain. The program's goal is to find a cheaper cross-border transfer system which cuts out intermediaries such as Western Union, and targeted toward specific needs in Serbia. In this project, we are working together with AidTech - a blockchain startup, one among ten finalists of the European Commission 2016 Social Innovation Competition. ​
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SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS - PROJECT: YOUTH EMPLOYMENT BOND


To tackle the challenges and negative impacts of long-term youth unemployment, UNDP together with Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the Government of Serbia is designing a Youth Employment Bond pilot with the Social Impact Bond (SIB) mechanism. Social Impact Bond is a result-based financial instrument for impact investing, where private investments are intended to create a positive social or environmental impact as well as a financial return. The first SIB was launched in 2010 in UK and by now over 60 SIBs have been commissioned across Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States. SIBS have raised over $200m of capital and touched over 90,000 lives in the areas such as employment, homelessness, health, child welfare, education and crimin...
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FORECAST BASED FINANCE - PILOT: DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING THE FBF MECHANISMS FOR THE VRBAS BASIN


Alternative Finance Lab (AltFin Lab) is helping UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina and their national and regional partners in the Vrbas region in designing an Forecast Based Financing mechanism that seeks to attract insurance investment into addressing the risk on the basis of the forecast based triggers. Based on the Red Cross/Crescent Climate Center Forecast Based Financing model UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina is piloting implementation of using weather forecasting models for raising financial support of regions that might be hit by extreme weatherUltimately our intention is not only to minimize the risk and secure funds before a disaster has received sufficient media support but also to test the feasibility of attracting new sources of funding (t...
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GLOBAL CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY


UNDP'S 1ST GLOBAL CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY UNDP's 1st Global Crowdfunding Academy took place in December of 2015 in Istanbul. Inspiring projects that ranged from community green solutions to peacebuilding and poverty reduction were presented by 11 teams from around the world. Global Crowdfunding Academies are envisaged as 3-6 month service where the team identifies a pipeline of potential ideas, develops ideas into crowdfunding campaign and provides hands-on support during the campaign. The team is moving into the area of setting regional support centers with the best candidates by providing education, training and by connecting local actors, diaspora, start-up community, and social enterprises. UNDP'S 2ND GLOBAL CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY The intere...
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BRLOG. A COOPERATIVE BREWERY ON THE CROATIAN COAST


​Ana and Maja are two girls whose great passion is manufacturing quality beer. Up to March 2016, their passion was just a hobby, but then they came to an idea of founding the first women-run cooperative craft brewery in Croatia - Brlog. Craft beer is a preservative free, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer. Such a beer has higher nutritional and, most people believe, culinary value. Through the crowdfunding campaign, they have collected funds to finance fermenters, bottles, labels and cases. The initial goal was to raise $ 8,000, but with the support of more than 300 backers, they raised more than $ 11,000!Brlog has thus become an operative brewery, which works on the principles of good economics. This means that profit is not the supreme goa...
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UNDP'S 2ND GLOBAL CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY


​ Global Crowdfunding Academy is a program aimed at training UNDP staff to learn to conduct their own crowdfunding campaigns and thus contribute to 2030 Agenda and its goals. The interest for this year's academy was twice as large as last year and can be understood as an indication that new funding mechanisms are beginning to gain larger ground in CO operations across the globe. This year's Global Crowdfunding Academy was conceived as an educational program that brings together two types of teams, so the program includes two types of Academies. This year, 11 different teams from around the world will be educated through this program. Most of the work will be done through webinars and individual consultations, while the campaigns will accomp...
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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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Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017


"How can we finance the next 15 years of development work? In what ways should true innovators be engaged in the development process? How viable is impact investment for business and governments alike?" - these were only a few of the many questions discussed at the very first global summit on impact investment for development, held in Yerevan on March 21-22. The summit, has been hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and INSEAD's Social Impact Initiative as a knowledge partner. Together they have brought together some of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, impact investors and development practitioners. During the two-day event UNDP officials, social entrepreneurs, impact business leaders, representatives...
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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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