City2City
HLPF 2020 Side-Event: Imagine a post-COVID-19 city—with women's human rights
08 July 2020 - This panel discussion will challenge us to imagine the post COVID-19 city that respects women’s human rights, builds resilience and prevents crises, and puts feminist and women’s movements’ aspirations into local action. Panelists will include representatives from the feminist and women’s movement, UN agencies and mayors. The event will open up to a Town Hall meeting using Zoom and will have simultaneous interpretation.

08 July 2020 - This panel discussion will challenge us to imagine the post-COVID-19 city that respects women’s human rights, builds resilience and prevents crises, and puts feminist and women’s movements’ aspirations into local action. Panelists will include representatives from the feminist and women’s movement, UN agencies, and mayors. The event will open up to a Town Hall meeting using Zoom and will have simultaneous interpretation.

This side-event to the High-Level Political Forum 2020 is being organized by the International Alliance of Women, Feminist and Women's Movement Action Plan, NGO CSW/NY, Habitat (To Be Confirmed) and UN Women (To Be Confirmed).

Event Details:

COVID-19 and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery
02 July 2020 - This note takes a capabilities approach to document the severity of the unfolding human development crisis. Such an approach implies an evaluative framework to assess the crisis and shape the policy response that emphasizes the potential for people to be and do what they aspire in life as opposed to material resources or economic activity.

02 July 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic is unleashing a human development crisis. On some dimensions of human development, conditions today are equivalent to levels of deprivation last seen in the mid-1980s.

But the crisis is hitting hard on all of human development’s constitutive elements: income (with the largest contraction in economic activity since the Great Depression), health (directly causing a death toll over 300,000 and indirectly leading potentially to an additional 6,000 child deaths every day from preventable causes over the next 6 months) and education (with effective out-of-school rates – meaning, accounting for the inability to access the internet – in primary education expected to drop to the levels of actual rates of the mid-1980s levels). This, not counting less visible indirect effects, including increased domestic violence, yet to be fully documented.

The pandemic was superimposed on unresolved tensions between people and technology, between people and the planet, between the haves and the have-nots. These tensions were already shaping a new generation of inequalities—pertaining to enhanced capabilities, the new necessities of the 21st century, as defined in the 2019 Human Development Report. But the response to the crisis can shape how those tensions are addressed and whether inequalities in human development are reduced.

This note takes a capabilities approach to document the severity of the unfolding human development crisis. Such an approach implies an evaluative framework to assess the crisis and shape the policy response that emphasizes the potential for people to be and do what they aspire in life as opposed to material resources or economic activity. To assess the crisis, the note draws from original simulations that are based on an adjusted Human Development Index—with the education dimension modified to reflect the effects of school closures and mitigation measures—and that incorporate current projections of gross national income (GNI) per capita for 2020.

The simulations suggest conditions today would correspond to a steep and unprecedented decline in human development. With almost 9 in 10 students out of school and deep recessions in most economies (including a 4 percent drop in GNI per capita worldwide), the decline in the index –reflecting a narrowing in capabilities-- would be equivalent to erasing all the progress in human development of the past six years. Importantly, if conditions in school access are restored, capabilities related to education would immediately bounce back – while the income dimension would follow the path of the economic recovery post-crisis. The simulations also show the importance of promoting equity in capabilities. In a scenario with more equitable internet access—where each country closes the gap with the leaders in its human development category—the decline in human development would be more than halved. This would be eminently affordable. In 2018 it was estimated that $100 billion would be needed to close the gap in internet access in low- and middle-income countries—or about 1 percent of the extraordinary fiscal programmes announced around the world so far.

The note suggests three principles to shape the response to the crisis:

  • Look at the response through an equity lens.i Countries, communities and groups already lagging in enhanced capabilities will be particularly affected, and leaving them further behind will have long-term impacts on human development.
  • Focus on people’s enhanced capabilities. This could reconcile apparent tradeoffs between public health and economic activity (a means to the end of expanding capabilities) but would also help build resilience for future shocks.
  • Follow a coherent multidimensional approach. Since the crisis has multiple interconnected dimensions (health, economic, and several social aspects, decisions on the allocation of fiscal resources that can either further lock-in or break free from carbon-intensive production and consumption), a systemic approach—rather than a sector-by-sector sequential approach—is essential. A recent survey conducted in 14 countries found that 71 percent of adults globally consider that climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19, with two-thirds supporting government actions to prioritise climate change during the recovery. ii

The United Nations has proposed a framework for the immediate socioeconomic response,iii with which this note is fully consistent and meant to inform and further flesh out both the analysis of the crisis and possible responses.

Finally, the note also highlights the importance of collective action—at the community, country, and global levels. And the response to this crisis is showing how people around the world are responding collectively. The adoption of social distancing behaviour—which in some cases started before formal policies were put in place—could not possibly be fully enforced. It depended on the voluntary cooperation of billions of people. And it was done in response to a shared global risk that brought to the fore as a priority something other than having economies grow more rapidly. If we needed proof of concept that humanity can respond collectively to a shared global challenge, we are now living through it.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

COVID-19 and Human Development: Assessing the Crisis, Envisioning the Recovery
02 July 2020 - This note takes a capabilities approach to document the severity of the unfolding human development crisis. Such an approach implies an evaluative framework to assess the crisis and shape the policy response that emphasizes the potential for people to be and do what they aspire in life as opposed to material resources or economic activity. 

02 July 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic is unleashing a human development crisis. On some dimensions of human development, conditions today are equivalent to levels of deprivation last seen in the mid-1980s.

But the crisis is hitting hard on all of human development’s constitutive elements: income (with the largest contraction in economic activity since the Great Depression), health (directly causing a death toll over 300,000 and indirectly leading potentially to an additional 6,000 child deaths every day from preventable causes over the next 6 months) and education (with effective out-of-school rates – meaning, accounting for the inability to access the internet – in primary education expected to drop to the levels of actual rates of the mid-1980s levels). This, not counting less visible indirect effects, including increased domestic violence, yet to be fully documented.

The pandemic was superimposed on unresolved tensions between people and technology, between people and the planet, between the haves and the have-nots. These tensions were already shaping a new generation of inequalities—pertaining to enhanced capabilities, the new necessities of the 21st century, as defined in the 2019 Human Development Report. But the response to the crisis can shape how those tensions are addressed and whether inequalities in human development are reduced.

This note takes a capabilities approach to document the severity of the unfolding human development crisis. Such an approach implies an evaluative framework to assess the crisis and shape the policy response that emphasizes the potential for people to be and do what they aspire in life as opposed to material resources or economic activity. To assess the crisis, the note draws from original simulations that are based on an adjusted Human Development Index—with the education dimension modified to reflect the effects of school closures and mitigation measures—and that incorporate current projections of gross national income (GNI) per capita for 2020.

The simulations suggest conditions today would correspond to a steep and unprecedented decline in human development. With almost 9 in 10 students out of school and deep recessions in most economies (including a 4 percent drop in GNI per capita worldwide), the decline in the index –reflecting a narrowing in capabilities-- would be equivalent to erasing all the progress in human development of the past six years. Importantly, if conditions in school access are restored, capabilities related to education would immediately bounce back – while the income dimension would follow the path of the economic recovery post-crisis. The simulations also show the importance of promoting equity in capabilities. In a scenario with more equitable internet access—where each country closes the gap with the leaders in its human development category—the decline in human development would be more than halved. This would be eminently affordable. In 2018 it was estimated that $100 billion would be needed to close the gap in internet access in low- and middle-income countries—or about 1 percent of the extraordinary fiscal programmes announced around the world so far.

The note suggests three principles to shape the response to the crisis:

  • Look at the response through an equity lens.i Countries, communities and groups already lagging in enhanced capabilities will be particularly affected, and leaving them further behind will have long-term impacts on human development.
  • Focus on people’s enhanced capabilities. This could reconcile apparent tradeoffs between public health and economic activity (a means to the end of expanding capabilities) but would also help build resilience for future shocks.
  • Follow a coherent multidimensional approach. Since the crisis has multiple interconnected dimensions (health, economic, and several social aspects, decisions on the allocation of fiscal resources that can either further lock-in or break free from carbon-intensive production and consumption), a systemic approach—rather than a sector-by-sector sequential approach—is essential. A recent survey conducted in 14 countries found that 71 percent of adults globally consider that climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19, with two-thirds supporting government actions to prioritise climate change during the recovery. ii

The United Nations has proposed a framework for the immediate socioeconomic response,iii with which this note is fully consistent and meant to inform and further flesh out both the analysis of the crisis and possible responses.

Finally, the note also highlights the importance of collective action—at the community, country, and global levels. And the response to this crisis is showing how people around the world are responding collectively. The adoption of social distancing behaviour—which in some cases started before formal policies were put in place—could not possibly be fully enforced. It depended on the voluntary cooperation of billions of people. And it was done in response to a shared global risk that brought to the fore as a priority something other than having economies grow more rapidly. If we needed proof of concept that humanity can respond collectively to a shared global challenge, we are now living through it.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

Cities as bridges between SDGs and citizens in a post-COVID-19 world: elements for socio-economic recovery

The Venice City Solutions Series is a yearly event addressing issues that are central to the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local level, with specific focus to the

role of local and regional governments as key drivers of the 2030 Agenda. In 2019, the event focused on how the SDGs can be an instrument to create citizenship and to promote the values of the Agenda as well as on strategies to bring the SDGs closer to the people.

Each year, the organizers of Venice City Solutions 2030 bring the recommendations of the event to the formal mechanism of the HLPF. This year, this official side event has adapted the narrative of SDG role in creating citizenship to the situation created by the COVID 19 pandemic. 

As the COVID-19 global health crisis has demonstrated, we live in an uncertain world; and recovering from the current crisis is going to require both strong individual action and a monumental collective effort. The contribution and collaboration of citizens in the recovery phase of the pandemic is going to be even more relevant than in our recent past. Local and regional governments are responding to the emergency by keeping essential services going, caring for the most vulnerable and finding rapid solutions to adapt to changing and unpredictable needs. Socio-economic recovery, with a global economy that has come to a sudden stop, is going to require local development and a lot of local action. Local and regional governments are going to play a substantial role in bringing the citizens along, on one end, and to support local businesses and local economic action, on the other. Within this new context, coordination between spheres of government and policy coherence between central and local governments will be more important than ever. Multi-level governance needs to be strengthened both vertically and horizontally.

The event will gather representatives of local and regional governments, their associations, Mayors, Governors and other governmental representatives and selected partners to discuss the way ahead for SDG implementation at local level.

This HLPF side event is co-organized by AICCRE, UCLG, UNDP, UN-Habitat and the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Tackling Social Norms: A game changer for gender inequalities
02 July 2020 - The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. The analysis reveals that despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90 percent of men and women hold some sort of bias against women, providing new clues to the invisible barriers women face in achieving equality. The publication also includes the GSNI trends for 31 countries, representing 59 percent of the global population. The trends show that while in some countries there have been improvements, in others, attitudes appear to have worsened in recent years, signaling that progress cannot be taken for granted.

02 July 2020 - Gender disparities are a persistent form of inequality in every country. Despite remarkable progress in some areas, no country in the world—rich or poor—has achieved gender equality. All too often, women and girls are discriminated against in health, in education, at home, and in the labour market with negative repercussions for their freedoms.

This is the time for a reality check. The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25) provides an opportunity to reassess the path to gender equality and adjust actions to close gender gaps.

The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population.

The analysis reveals that, despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90 percent of men and women hold some sort of bias against women, providing new clues to the invisible barriers women face in achieving equality.

According to the index, about half of the world’s men and women feel that men make better political leaders, and over 40 percent feel that men make better business executives and that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce. 28 percent think it is justified for a man to beat his wife.

The publication also includes the GSNI trends for 31 countries, representing 59 percent of the global population. The trends show that while in some countries there have been improvements, in others, attitudes appear to have worsened in recent years, signaling that progress cannot be taken for granted.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery
Based on existing methods and best practices, the Resilient Cities Network and our Chief Resilience Officers are co-designing and identifying the best methodologies to enable cities to plan a resilient recovery. The Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery provides a reference framework to guide discussions in a phased manner. It comprises a suite of tools, based on best practice, which cities can use independently, as well as methods delivered in collaboration with RCN.

Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery

by Resilient Cities Network | Download the full PDF of the toolkit here

OVERVIEW

Based on existing methods and best practices, the Resilient Cities Network and our Chief Resilience Officers are co-designing and identifying the best methodologies to enable cities to plan a resilient recovery. The Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery provides a reference framework to guide discussions in a phased manner. It comprises a suite of tools, based on best practices, which cities can use independently, as well as methods delivered in collaboration with RCN.

Our toolkit enables each city to define its own path to recovery by considering four iterative activities: assessing and analyzing the situation, defining a portfolio of actions, improving the proposals, and deepening learning.

Characterized by a place-based approach, the toolkit helps local governments to identify opportunities that include not only physical solutions – such as rethinking street layout to optimize pedestrian and cycling mobility – but also cultural practices, cross-cutting issues, and governance arrangements to achieve carbon neutrality in the long term.

Our ongoing collaborations to support cities in integrating resilience into their recovery efforts have four key phases: assess, plan, optimize, and learn.

Information in the Toolkit for a Resilient Recovery is for the use of city governments and local authorities globally.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Learn more here: https://resilientcitiesnetwork.org/programs/toolkit-for-a-resilient-recovery/

What happened to gender policies during COVID-19?

REGISTER HERE


https://undp.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpcO6urjkqG90CWPVdFFf8_DfSFJnE5ks4

Agenda

Moderator: Koh Miyaoi, Gender Adviser, UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

  • The experience of Seoul, South Korea

  • Follow up comments and Q&A by the moderator taking questions from the chat (5 minutes)

  • The experience of Jakarta, Indonesia

  • Follow up comments and Q&A by the moderator taking questions from the chat (5 minutes)

  • Wrap up comments and recommendations by Silvia Llorente, Coordinator, Gender Strategy, Metropolis (5 minutes)

Total time - approximately 60 min

Background

The joint UNDP – Metropolis series Learning from cities highlights city and metropolitan solutions and insights on pressing issues, linked both to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adapt to a world in constant change.

This webinar will explore how cities have integrated gender strategies during the COVID-19 response and  the impact on gender equality over the past year and a half. Many cities have transformed the COVID-19 challenge into an opportunity, fighting to promote quality basic services in very complex situations. The pandemic has disproportionally affected women, as enforced lockdown measures have led to school closures, impact on the labour market, increase of unpaid care work and reported cases of violence against women. 

This webinar will highlight local actions that metropolitan cities have taken to ensure gender equality continued to be a priority during the COVID-19 response.

Questions to guide the discussion

  • What are the lessons learned with the COVID-19 response as it relates to gender equality?

  • What types of solutions have cities put in place during the COVID-19 response to protect vulnerable women and guarantee access to basic services, income and security?

  • What are the innovations happening in metropolitan areas to protect gender equality?   How these innovations can be used to build safer, more equal, and resilient societies?

  • What evidence and data has been gathered and used to monitor action?

The webinar will be recorded and made available to the general public in the Learning from Cities webpage https://www.metropolis.org/learning-from-cities and the main findings broadly disseminated through the production of an infographic, podcast and other communication tools.

Additional resources

UNDP COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker

https://data.undp.org/gendertracker

UNDP – UCLG – UNCDF COVID-19 Gender-Responsive Local Economic Recovery Handbook

Cities for global health / Type of response / Gender

https://www.citiesforglobalhealth.org/

¿Cómo y por qué surge la innovación en las ciudades?

REGISTRESE AQUI

https://undp.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrfuuhqDIsG9LCbfhRgfWxyHoD5io8rnDI

La sociedad está cambiando rápidamente, y el sector público también necesita adaptarse a la velocidad de dichos cambios. Innovar el sector público se ha convertido en una necesidad más que en un lujo para unos pocos, y debe considerarse como una nueva responsabilidad para el gobierno local. La innovación no tiene que significar necesariamente algo nuevo, sino que a veces puede implicar una vuelta a formas más tradicionales de hacer las cosas y que han funcionado en el pasado. De la misma manera, la innovación no significa solamente digitalización, muchos mecanismos de mejora y cambio en la administración puede suceder más allá de la introducción de tecnologías.

Eso sí, innovar implica casi siempre tomar una cierta cantidad de riesgos, cuyos efectos son a veces difíciles de anticipar. Arriesgarse es algo que las burocracias tienden a evitar, por lo que estos procesos deben ser pensados cuidadosamente, pero se han convertido en necesarios para todos aquellos que trabajan en las ciudades hoy en día: desde el Alcalde, a los políticos locales, a los funcionarios públicos, así como para los ciudadanos que las viven.

Durante este evento, queremos lanzar algunas preguntas clave, para ayudarnos a encontrar recomendaciones e ideas de forma que los responsables de la gestión urbana tengan elementos para abordar el desafío de la innovación en la ciudad. En particular, queremos concentrar el debate sobre la posibilidad de aprovechar el potencial de la innovación social, y de cómo incorporar ese potencial a la acción pública, transformando los servicios públicos y haciéndolos más eficientes, solidarios e inclusivos.

Es posible que estos procesos sean a largo plazo, un plazo mucho más largo que un mandato electoral, ¿cómo podemos hacer políticas hoy que produzcan innovación mañana? Y lo que es más importante, ¿cómo hacerlo? Sabemos que estos procesos no surgen en un vacío, sino que precisan de una sociedad activa y propositiva, una combinación de gente joven, sistema productivo, academia y ese “factor X” que muchas veces no sabemos identificar y que se da en ciertas ciudades y en otras no.

Por último, nos centraremos en cómo los ODS constituyen una herramienta para la innovación en las ciudades y en cómo los gobiernos locales y regionales están utilizando la Agenda 2030 para impulsar el cambio e iniciar políticas públicas para contribuir al objetivo de la sostenibilidad mundial.

“Aprendiendo de las ciudades” es una iniciativa conjunta del PNUD y Metropolis que quiere identificar soluciones ciudadanas y metropolitanas sobre los desafíos de estos tiempos que corren; en parte ligados a la emergencia COVID19 pero también ligados a un mundo en constante cambio. El webinar será grabado y a continuación puesto a disposición del público a través de la página  https://www.metropolis.org/learning-from-cities junto a otros materiales de comunicación como infografías, podcast etc.

En esta ocasión aprenderemos de las ciudades de Medellin y Montevideo, gracias a las presentaciones de:

  • Natalia Currea Dereser, Directora de conocimiento e innovación de la Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín y el Área Metropolitana de Medellín, Colombia @NatCurrea
  • María Eugenia Corti, Directora del Departamento de Desarrollo Sostenible e Inteligente, Intendencia de Montevideo, Uruguay @IMinteligente
Putting People at the Centre of Rule of Law and Peacebuilding (UNDP Development Dialogues)
This event showcases the intersection of UNDP’s support to institutions to build peace and to strengthen access to justice and the rule of law in crisis and insecure settings. 

Putting People at the Centre of Rule of Law and Peacebuilding (UNDP Development Dialogues)

Event Page for RSVP: https://developmentdialogues.org/event/putting-people-at-the-centre-of-rule-of-law-and-peacebuilding/

Date and Time: 16 June 2021 | 8 AM - 9:30 AM New York Time | 2 PM - 3:30 PM Geneva Time

Description: Our integrated and people-centered approach will be demonstrated through reflections from global programming alongside country examples from Somalia, eastern Ukraine, and Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Find out about the progress of UNDP’s work in the three regions below:

Speakers Include:

  • Fionnuala Sweeney, Moderator
  • Katy Thompson, Head, Rule of Law, Justice, Security & Human Rights Team, UNDP
  • Jocelyn Mason, Resident Representative, UNDP Somalia
  • Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh
  • Manal Fouani, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Ukraine
  • Samuel Rizk, Head, Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Responsive Institutions, UNDP

Event Teaser (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Rlz5EaOdQ

ESCAP and partners launch science-based e-learning course to tackle marine plastic litter in cities
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and partners are launching an e-learning course to help reduce the impact of plastic pollution. As part of the Closing the Loop project, the course, entitled Cities and Marine Plastic Pollution: Building a Circular Economy, demonstrates state-of-the-art technologies and techniques that can measure and monitor plastic waste in urban and marine environments. The course is available as an open-source knowledge product for anyone who wants to learn more about taking measures to ensure clear waters for future generations.

ESCAP and partners launch science-based e-learning course to tackle marine plastic litter in cities

Press Release by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) | 8 June 2021

Today, on World Oceans Day, the

"The vision of ESCAP is to engage all sectors, particularly academia and the scientific community, to support the development of the science we need for the oceans we want," said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. "Collaborate, starting with linking to the Closing the Loop project. If you have a solution or technology to prevent and manage plastic pollution, we want to talk to you."

Ensuring that the course considers multiple vantage points, it has been co-developed with ten global partners, including Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) and the Ocean Conservancy. Closing the Loop also works with several Japanese agencies including the Institute for Global Studies (IGES) and is supported by the Government of Japan as part of its effort to realize the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision. This platform, developed at the G20 summit in Osaka in 2019, aims to bring marine plastic litter to zero by 2050.

"Plastic marine litter is one of today's most serious emerging issues and without any countermeasures, the amount of plastic waste in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050, posing a threat to the environment and our way of life,” said Kazuya Nashida, Ambassador of Japan in Thailand. “It is said that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased pollution from disposable products, such as plastic face masks and hand sanitizer bottles. To counteract this, we must work together to identify sources and pathways to reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste."

The eLearning course content is focused on Closing the Loop’s digital tool kit which is being developed with partners using innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), satellites, drones and machine learning to measure and monitor plastic waste in urban waterways. This technology can pinpoint the 'source to sea' movement of how plastic leaks into the marine environment from cities and help shape effective action plans to put an end to it for good.

The toolkit includes a virtual map of ocean-bound plastics using artificial intelligence, a plastic pollution calculator that identifies plastic leakage ‘hotspots’ and a data platform to share knowledge. These technologies can be adapted for different cities or communities, and the aim is for these resources to be widely used to track and reduce marine plastic waste. These tools and the eLearning course have been developed with partners like The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Marine Litter Task Force, the University of Leeds, Plymouth Marine Lab and Japan Space Systems.

Register for the e-learning course here: https://sdghelpdesk-elearning.unescap.org/thematicarea/detail?id=24

More information about Closing the Loop: https://www.unescap.org/projects/ctl

Article retrieved from: https://www.unescap.org/news/escap-and-partners-launch-science-based-e-learning-course-tackle-marine-plastic-litter-cities

Photo Credit: Closing the Loop photo bank