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.

Local Action on Sustainable Land Management
This publication presents an updated overview of the Small Grants Programme's (SGP) community-based approach/portfolio in the area of sustainable land management as part of overall UNDP's related portfolio, with special attention to gender and youth and a spotlight on the innovative partnership with SOS Sahel International with a focus on the Sahel region. It also includes a selection of case studies to showcase best practices and lessons learnt.

Local Action on Sustainable Land Management

Originally published by UNDP on 13 May 2022

Access the full publication here: https://www.undp.org/publications/local-action-sustainable-land-management

Aiming Higher: Elevating Meaningful Youth Engagement for Climate Action
This guidance explores what meaningful youth engagement in climate action looks like, both conceptually and practically. It does this by identifying dimensions and pathways that support meaningful youth participation and by providing actionable recommendations for climate action in general and NDC implementation specifically. 

Aiming Higher: Elevating Meaningful Youth Engagement for Climate Action

Originally published in March 2022 by UNDP

This guidance explores what meaningful youth engagement in climate action looks like, both conceptually and practically. It does this by identifying dimensions and pathways that support meaningful youth participation and by providing actionable recommendations for climate action in general and NDC implementation specifically. The guidance builds upon UNDP's knowledge and experience working with young people and was developed after extensive consultations with global youth climate actors.

Access the full publication here: https://www.undp.org/publications/aiming-higher-elevating-meaningful-youth-engagement-climate-action

Yokohama Urban Design Sketchbook: Translating a Community-Led Vision into Practice
Pioneered in Yokohama City, Japan, the Yokohama Urban Design Sketchbook (YUDS) is a citizen engagement and urban design co-creation methodology at the neighbourhood level. It leverages cross-sectional sketches and drawings to translate citizensʼ visions and ideas of urban areas into concrete urban design proposals. YUDS was also piloted in Panama City in 2019 and Barranquilla, Colombia in 2020.

Yokohama Urban Design Sketchbook: Translating a Community-Led Vision into Practice

Originally published by The World Bank on 10 March 2022

Authors: Haruka Miki-Imoto, Jennifer Shkabatur, and Tsuneo Noda

DESCRIPTION

Pioneered in Yokohama City, Japan, the Yokohama Urban Design Sketchbook (YUDS) is a citizen engagement and co-creation methodology for urban design at the neighborhood level. It leverages cross-sectional sketches and drawings to translate citizens' visions and ideas of urban areas into concrete proposals of urban design. YUDS also develops interest among the community on urban areas and it enhances community engagement in broader urban planning and municipal processes. Based on the experience of Yokohama City, the YUDS methodology has been successfully piloted and tested in two distinct urban contexts: in Panama City, Panama, in April 2019, and in Barranquilla, Colombia, in February 2020.

The YUDS methodology consists of structured participatory workshops, in which participants collaboratively produce sketches that reflect their urban vision. The uniqueness of the methodology derives from the use of cross-sectional sketches, a simple yet powerful tool that overcomes barriers of communication and encourages consensus among participants regard-less of their language, generation, or social position.

The most significant feature of YUDS is the use of schematic representations by the use of cross-sectional sketches. This approach is different from traditional urban design methodologies, which typically rely on photography, maps, and bird's-eye view illustrations.The implementation of the YUDS methodology requires careful planning and dedication of time and resources. Workshops require the preparation of urban design materials and their simplification for nonprofessional participants. The methodology also works best when a municipal champion is committed to the process, and when university researchers and students are closely engaged in the preparation and implementation of each workshop.

CITATION

“Miki-Imoto, Haruka; Shkabatur, Jennifer; Noda, Tsuneo. 2022. Yokohama Urban Design Sketchbook : Translating a Community-Led Vision into Practice. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/37135 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Access the full publication here: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/37135?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=sns&utm_campaign=tk&fbclid=IwAR33zrAdar_m41nyEVZFW93zNssMs95bR2N7Yn09mIfUsFOMgv3ulisqUyI

or download the PDF of the publication from the attached document.

A Decade of Support for Water Governance Reform: Final Report of the GoAL WaSH Programme
This report details the key outcomes of UNDP’s GoAL WaSH programme, which implemented assessments, policy coordination, and water governance in 15 countries from 2009-2019. Sub-national interventions have been highlighted across Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Cambodia, Jordan, Togo, Lao PDR, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Niger, Tajikistan, Paraguay and the Philippines.

A Decade of Support for Water Governance Reform: Final Report of the GoAL WaSH Programme

by UNDP and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) | Originally published on 30 March 2022

The programme supported work in three main areas:

  1. Assessment, analysis and consensus building in the national water and sanitation context; 
  2. Commitment, planning and coordination for new policies, laws, coordinating mechanisms, and regulatory functions; and 
  3. Making reality the reform through the support to implementation with accountability and transparency.

FOREWARD

“The water crisis is a governance crisis.” This assertion from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report in 2006 was the catalyst for launching the Governance, Advocacy, and Leadership in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (GoAL WaSH) Programme over a decade ago.

UNDP GoAL WaSH was established in 2008 to accelerate the achievement of the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and subsequently the more ambitious water, sanitation and participation targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Countries with specific water-related challenges, often in a post-conflict context, were selected for GoAL WaSH support. This support built on the alignment of government and UNDP country office interests in addressing those challenges by way of governance reform.

Further, as a ‘gap-filling’ mechanism, GoAL WaSH complemented other ongoing initiatives and built synergies to allow national authorities to accelerate the realization of water governance reforms. As a result, GoAL WaSH has promoted water governance reform in 15 countries across all regions of the world.

The GoAL WaSH programme was designed and initiated by Piers Cross, one of the world’s most influential water experts and activists, who passed away in 2017. Piers conducted the initial reviews in most of the countries where the programme started. His deep understanding of the water governance challenge, and inspiring vision towards crafting reform in a participatory manner were essential for establishing and managing the programme. His legacy will live on.

The GoAL WaSH achievements would not have been possible without the commitment of the GoAL WaSH teams at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), UNDP country offices, and the support from Sweden channelled through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

Evaluations have concluded that the GoAL WaSH programme has been able to provide prompt responses, quality advice, and substantial support to project countries. Over the years, governance reform has paid off: for every USD 1 invested in GoAL WaSH over the last five years, USD 16 were leveraged from governments and other partners.

Beyond investments, time is a critical factor. The GoAL WaSH projects are small in monetary terms, but they were long term, reflecting the importance of partnership and trust for supporting governance reform. Running for over a decade, the programme was completed in 2019, but the building of capacities of people and institutions continues.

Andrew Hudson Head, Water and Ocean Governance Programme, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support/Global Policy Network, UNDP

Marianne Kjellén, Senior Water Advisor, Water and Ocean Governance Programme, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support/Global Policy Network, UNDP

Access the full report here: https://www.undp.org/publications/decade-support-water-governance-reform-final-report-goal-wash-programme

The Great Upheaval: Resetting Development Policy and Institutions for the Decade of Action in Asia and the Pacific

The Great Upheaval: Resetting Development Policy and Institutions for the Decade of Action in Asia and the Pacific 

Originally published by

://undp.org">UNDP on 28 March 2022

Description

At the turn of the 21st century, Asia pulled one billion people out of poverty in one generation, a meteoric rise suddenly stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. This volume examines the strengths of the Asian-Pacific response to the pandemic and weaknesses that the region must re-engineer to rebound.

The 18 authors included in this volume reimagine social and economic pathways to inform policymakers, development practitioners and other readers about opportunities to revamp production modes and networks to rekindle sustainable growth. They call for bolstering investments in universal public health, education and social protection to strengthen human capabilities and recommend marshalling a suite of global public goods to fortify societies for new digital and climactic realities.

Home to three-fifths of the world’s population, the Asia-Pacific Region already accounts for close to half of all global output. By 2050 – after a detour of two centuries and a few pandemics – Asia-Pacific can again become a centrifugal economic and social force. This volume sets out options for policymakers to consider as we head into a new Asia-Pacific Century, one where economic strength will be necessary but insufficient by itself, as inclusion, resilience and sustainability – once seen as moral choices – become imperatives for the planet’s future.

Editors:

  • Swarnim Waglé is the chief economic advisor at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in New York. Waglé also chairs the Institute for Integrated Development Studies, a South Asian think-tank. Previously, he served as a member and vice-chair of the National Planning Commission of Nepal (for three intermittent years between 2014 and 2018) and as a senior economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and UNDP in Hanoi, Colombo and New York.
  • Kanni Wignaraja is the United Nations assistant secretary-general and director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. Previously the director of the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office, Wignaraja has worked for the UN for over 25 years in the United States and the Asia-Pacific and Africa Regions, including as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zambia. Wignaraja has published articles on human rights, development policy, leadership and sustainability.

Access the full publication here: https://www.undp.org/publications/great-upheaval

or download the PDF of the publication in the attached document.