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Now, more than ever: Youth social entrepreneurship and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

UNSDN - 5. August 2020 - 16:53

Very early during the COVID-19 pandemic, young people demonstrated their ingenuity and solidarity by helping at-risk community members such as older persons or persons with medical conditions. I have witnessed several examples of this, ranging from young people organizing themselves in small groups to coordinate deliveries of food and medication to those who need to stay home, to youth in my home country – and countless other countries – getting together to create engaging social medial messages raising awareness about contagion prevention. Young people were doing this as the pandemic was impacting their own lives, destroying their jobs, and disrupting their education.

In all types of crises and times of need, from climate change to armed conflict, young people have repeatedly proven they are quick to act and respond to local or global needs. I am profoundly convinced the climate change movement would not be where it is today without the actions and passion of young people. Now, more than ever, young people are rolling up their sleeves and taking steps to mobilize, organize, innovate, and deliver solutions toward the pandemic response and recovery.

The social entrepreneurship model is increasingly perceived by young people as a tool to do exactly that – mobilize, organize, innovate and deliver solutions – while generating employment. Young social entrepreneurs often live in the communities they seek to serve, which regularly include marginalized or underserved groups. Moreover, a growing number of young social entrepreneurs are focusing their efforts on global challenges such as promoting climate action, sustaining peace, addressing inequalities, and now, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Intriguingly, many young people see social entrepreneurship as a way to contribute to a multilateral approach.  Indeed, social entrepreneurship is based on the same values as multilateralism, i.e. solidarity, reciprocity, trust and cohesion. These values are critical to building a solid social fabric which is essential deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda and leave no one behind.

One of the key advantages of social enterprises is their relative financial independence and community anchor which allow them to complement broader responses to complex social challenges. Governments often face financial and institutional constraints that reduce their ability to address the needs of marginalized groups, while commercial enterprises — even those inclined to support social development — often shy away from contexts characterized by high risk and low profit potential. Social enterprises, with their focus on social impact, can help bridge this gap by providing customized services to those suffering from intersecting inequalities. Simply put, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will not be successful unless it effectively reaches the most marginalized communities, those who are at risk of being left behind. 

Youth social enterprises have been quick to react to the pandemic. One example is Tiwale, a social enterprise created by Ellen Chilemba – at the age of 18 – to improve the lives of women in rural Malawi. Tiwale quickly reoriented its tie-dye fabric activities toward sewing face masks to be donated to essential workers and sold to the public to support further the production. Without Tiwale, many people in rural Malawi might not have access to face masks and the protection they grant.

Tiwale team member Lydia Tembo making a face mask in Malawi using the tie-dye fabric.

Youth social enterprises have tremendous potential to complement government actions aimed at addressing the needs of groups that may fall outside of mainstream responses to the pandemic. However, their full potential can only be unleashed by removing the many barriers young social entrepreneurs still face today. These obstacles include lack of access to funding, training, technical support and markets. Several of these obstacles are age-related, such as the minimum age to open a bank account, or the need to own land or a house (assets that take often a lifetime to acquire) to secure a business loan. Other obstacles are also disproportionally impacting young women, young migrants and rural youth and are often liked to stereotypes.

Unless rapid and swift measures are taken to remove the barriers to youth social entrepreneurship, neither young people nor their communities will realize their full potential. And if we do not remove the roadblocks preventing young social entrepreneurs to play their full role in the pandemic response and recovery, we will have a hard time to build back better.

As we are at a critical point in the pandemic response and recovery and need to leverage everybody’s contribution, I invite you to read the World Youth Report on Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 AgendaThe report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)seeks to support decision-makers in their efforts to develop an enabling policy environment for young social entrepreneurs.


by Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Source: ILO Decent Jobs For Youth

Kategorien: english

Education in the face of COVID-19 disruption

UNSDN - 5. August 2020 - 16:47

Describing education as “the key to personal development and the future of societies”, António Guterres issued recommendations to get children back in the classroom in a policy brief launched alongside a new global campaign called Save our Future.

“As the world faces unsustainable levels of inequality, we need education – the great equalizer – more than ever,” he said in a video message.

“We must take bold steps now, to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future.”

COVID-19 and the classroom

The UN estimates that the pandemic has affected more than one billion students worldwide.

Despite efforts to continue learning during the crisis, including through delivering lessons by radio, television and online, many are still not being reached.

The UN chief said learners with disabilities, members of minority or disadvantaged communities, as well as refugees and displaced persons, are among those at highest risk of being left behind.

Even those students who can access distance learning face challenges, as success depends on their living conditions, and other factors such as fair distribution of domestic duties.

Looming potential catastrophe

A learning crisis existed even before the pandemic, the Secretary-General said, as more than 250 million children were out of school.

Furthermore, only a quarter of secondary school children in developing countries were leaving school with basic skills.

“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Mr. Guterres. “The knock-on effects on child nutrition, child marriage and gender equality, among others, are deeply concerning.”

Back to school

The policy brief calls for action in four key areas, starting with the re-opening of schools once local transmission of COVID-19 is under control.

The UN chief also called for greater investment in education, as low- and middle-income countries had already faced an annual funding gap of $1.5 trillion prior to the pandemic.

“Education budgets need to be protected and increased,” he said.

“And it is critical that education is at the heart of international solidarity efforts, from debt management and stimulus packages to global humanitarian appeals and official development assistance.”

Education initiatives must also seek to reach those at greatest risk of being left behind, he continued. They also should be sensitive to the specific challenges faced by girls and boys, and women and men, while also addressing the digital divide.

Quality education for all

For his final recommendation, the UN chief highlighted what he sees as the “generational opportunity” to deliver quality education for all children, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 17 goals, which world leaders adopted five years ago, provide a pathway to a more sustainable future that benefits both people and the planet.

“To achieve this, we need investment in digital literacy and infrastructure, an evolution towards learning how to learn, a rejuvenation of life-long learning and strengthened links between formal and non-formal education,” said Mr. Guterres.

“And we need to draw on flexible delivery methods, digital technologies and modernized curricula while ensuring sustained support for teachers and communities.”

Full policy brief on “Education during COVID-19 and beyond“.

Source: UN DGC

Kategorien: english

New Study: Coastal Flooding Could Cost Up to 20% of the Global Economy

UN Dispatch - 5. August 2020 - 16:38

Ebru Kirezci, University of Melbourne and Ian Young, University of Melbourne

Over the past two weeks, storms pummelling the New South Wales coast have left beachfront homes at Wamberal on the verge of collapse. It’s stark proof of the risks climate change and sea level rise pose to coastal areas.

Our new research published today puts a potential price on the future destruction. Coastal land affected by flooding – including high tides and extreme seas – could increase by 48% by 2100. Exposed human population and assets are also estimated to increase by about half in that time.

Under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions and no flood defences, the cost of asset damage could equate up to 20% of the global economy in 2100.

Without a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, or a huge investment in sea walls and other structures, it’s clear coastal erosion will devastate the global economy and much of the world’s population.

In Australia, we predict the areas to be worst-affected by flooding are concentrated in the north and northeast of the continent, including around Darwin and Townsville.

A clean-up after flooding last year in Townsville, an Australian city highly exposed to future sea level rise.
Dan Peled/AAP Our exposed coasts

Sea levels are rising at an increasing rate for two main reasons. As global temperatures increase, glaciers and ice sheets melt. At the same time, the oceans absorb heat from the atmosphere, causing the water to expand. Seas are rising by about 3-4 millimetres a year and the rate is expected to accelerate.

These higher sea levels, combined with potentially more extreme weather under climate change, will bring damaging flooding to coasts. Our study set out to determine the extent of flooding, how many people this would affect and the economic damage caused.



Read more:
The world may lose half its sandy beaches by 2100. It’s not too late to save most of them

We combined data on global sea levels during extreme storms with projections of sea level rises under moderate and high-end greenhouse gas emission scenarios. We used the data to model extreme sea levels that may occur by 2100.

We combined this model with topographic data (showing the shape and features of the land surface) to identify areas at risk of coastal flooding. We then estimated the population and assets at risk from flooding, using data on global population distribution and gross domestic product in affected areas.

Many coastal homes, such as these at Sydney’s Collaroy beach, are exposed to storm surge damage.
David Moir/AAP Alarming findings

So what did we find? One outstanding result is that due to sea level rise, what is now considered a once-a-century extreme sea level event could occur as frequently as every ten years or less for most coastal locations.

Under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions and assuming no flood defences, such as sea walls, we estimate that the land area affected by coastal flooding could increase by 48% by 2100.



Read more:
Water may soon lap at the door, but still some homeowners don’t want to rock the boat

This could mean by 2100, the global population exposed to coastal flooding could be up to 287 million (4.1% of the world’s population).

Under the same scenario, coastal assets such as buildings, roads and other infrastructure worth up to US$14.2 trillion (A$19.82 trillion) could be threatened by flooding.

This equates to 20% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2100. However this worst-case scenario assumes no flood defences are in place globally. This is unlikely, as sea walls and other structures have already been built in some coastal locations.

In Australia, areas where coastal flooding might be extensive include the Northern Territory, and the northern coasts of Queensland and Western Australia.

Elsewhere, extensive coastal flooding is also projected in:
– southeast China
– Bangladesh, and India’s states of West Bengal and Gujurat
– US states of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland
– northwest Europe including the UK, northern France and northern Germany.

Bangladesh is among the nations most exposed to coastal flooding this century.
SOPA Keeping the sea at bay

Our large-scale global analysis has some limitations, and our results at specific locations might differ from local findings. But we believe our analysis provides a basis for more detailed investigations of climate change impacts at the most vulnerable coastal locations.

It’s clear the world must ramp up measures to adapt to coastal flooding and offset associated social and economic impacts.

This adaptation will include building and enhancing coastal protection structures such as dykes or sea walls. It will also include coastal retreat – allowing low-lying coastal areas to flood, and moving human development inland to safer ground. It will also require deploying coastal warning systems and increasing flooding preparedness of coastal communities. This will require careful long-term planning.

All this might seem challenging – and it is. But done correctly, coastal adaptation can protect hundreds of millions of people and save the global economy billions of dollars this century.




Ebru Kirezci, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne and Ian Young, Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post New Study: Coastal Flooding Could Cost Up to 20% of the Global Economy appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Can COVID-19 revive philanthropy’s risk appetite?

OECD - 5. August 2020 - 15:38
 By Clare Woodcraft, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, Cambridge Judge Business School This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. Philanthropic capital is risk capital – an attribute often overlooked amidst … Continue reading Can COVID-19 revive philanthropy’s risk appetite?
Kategorien: english

Household Waste Analysis in Solingen: Enhancing Better Sorting from a Consumer Perspective

SCP-Centre - 5. August 2020 - 14:31

What can garbage bins reveal about consumer waste sorting practices and underlying behaviours? How can such information be used to improve waste separation? Is behaviour change or a change in the product package design the best solution in a specific case? The Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions, as part of CIAP (Consumer Insight Action Panel), conducted a household waste analysis in Solingen to shed new light on potential interventions for more sustainable practices in waste management.

A search through the bins of residual and recyclable waste from private households was central to the analysis in the aim of understanding recurring waste sorting patterns. Members of the Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions (Club für Nachhaltige Verpackungslösungen) looked at four product categories in particular: dairy cups, food packaging consisting of tray and film, cleaning products packaging, and blister-cardboard combinations as used in batteries. For example, it was looked if the yogurt lid had been separated from the cup or if soap pouches were thrown into the residual or the recyclable bin. In addition, attention was paid as to whether the packaging of specific products included any separation instructions for the consumer. CSCP’s Stephan Schaller, who moderates the club, highlighted the importance of “clear and simple messages for the consumer” in order to facilitate proper sorting.

The aim of the club is to work with stakeholders in integrating consumer insights into the development of sustainable (circular) packaging and generate new solutions. The household waste analysis will offer useful cues about barriers and enablers towards better sorting practices. The results of the analysis will be completed in September 2020, whereas the general findings of the project will be directly fed at the EU level in the form of policy recommendations. Outcomes, such as documents and (virtual) learning sessions, will support knowledge-sharing with other actors, particularly Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Members of the CIAP Club for Sustainable Packaging Solutions include retailers like ALDI Nord/ALDI Süd, dm drogerie-markt and REWE Group, system gastronomy providers like McDonald‘s Germany, packaging companies, waste collectors and recyclers as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The Consumer Insight Action Panel (CIAP) is a non-profit initiative led by the CSCP and funded by Sitra and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU), in partnership with the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.

For further questions, please contact Stephan Schaller.

Der Beitrag Household Waste Analysis in Solingen: Enhancing Better Sorting from a Consumer Perspective erschien zuerst auf CSCP gGmbH.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

Thailand’s COVID-19 response an example of resilience and solidarity: a UN Resident Coordinator’s Blog

UN ECOSOC - 5. August 2020 - 2:00
In January, Thailand became the second country to confirm a COVID-19 case but, since then, the country has shown remarkable resilience and, as of late July, there had not been any recorded cases of domestic transmission for nearly two months. Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, explains that this success is thanks to a combination of government action, social responsibility and community solidarity. 
Kategorien: english

The changing geopolitics of North-South relations: introducing ODI MED

ODI - 5. August 2020 - 0:00
The Mediterranean is a region of opportunity, but not for everyone. Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy introduces ODI MED: the context, challenges and goals.
Kategorien: english

Mental health and COVID-19 in developing countries

OECD - 4. August 2020 - 16:01
Par Anna D. Bartuska, Programme Coordinator, Community Psychiatry PRIDE, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Luana Marques, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Clinical Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Director, Community Psychiatry PRIDE This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on … Continue reading Mental health and COVID-19 in developing countries
Kategorien: english

Rapid Research: Youth Networks

#Volunteering - 4. August 2020 - 15:02

This report shares findings from a rapid research aimed at looking at how VSO youth networks are responding to COVID-19 across three countries: Kenya, the Philippines and Sierra Leone. Qualitative data was gathered via online platforms and interviews to understand the:

• IMPACT of COVID-19 on young people and their communities;
• ACTIONS young people are taking to respond;
• APPROACHES young people are using to support each other and their communities;
• CHALLENGES youth networks are facing; and
• SUGGESTIONS young people have for how to amplify their work and support them.

The findings are presented alongside other emerging evidence to support VSO’s youth engagement team in policy and advocacy and programming to amplify youth voices in the response and recovery to COVID-19. The research used online methods to engage a range of young people through interviews and social media channels. Although, young people are diverse and facing different contexts of COVID-19, the issues and challenges they are facing are similar. Young people are creating solutions rooted in their own contexts. However, similarities can be found in terms of the approaches they are taking such as the use of technology; working collaboratively; and sharing their voice.

Young people are impacted negatively by COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been put in place to address it.

Young people are taking actions, using technology in innovative ways to bring together online and offline elements to support their communities with accurate information about COVID-19, and to address the broader impacts of COVID-19 disruption.

Young people are using a collaborative approach leveraging existing networks and partnerships.

Young people are supporting each other to build resilience through the uncertainty and stress caused
by the Global pandemic.

Young people are raising their voice and showing leadership, through their actions by highlighting how
the response to COVID-19 could be improved especially in terms of social inclusion accountability from
decision makers.

Young people are demanding recognition of the work they are doing and requesting representation and support so that they can do even more.

Young people and the organizations they are part of are pivoting to respond to COVID-19 whilst also drawing attention to ongoing development needs.

Young people are concerned about who is being left behind in the move to online engagement approaches in terms of access to networks and data.

Young people are facing challenges in ensuring their views are heard by other organisations and institutions, they are also facing barriers to finding support for their ideas and projects and are struggling to build partnerships and have influence where relationships with government, institutions and organizations are not strong.

Young people see an opportunity to amplify and strengthen youth leadership in development.

Kategorien: english

Gender norms and women in politics: evaluating progress and identifying challenges on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform

ODI - 4. August 2020 - 0:00
This guide reviews the role of gender norms in politics and progress in women’s political representation over 25 years since the 1995 Beijing Platform.
Kategorien: english

Eight Catastrophic Risks That Threaten Humanity — And How International Cooperation Might Stop Them

UN Dispatch - 3. August 2020 - 18:03

There is a certain category of disaster, whether manmade or natural, that poses an existential threat to humanity.  These are called global catastrophic risks. Some of these are fairly obvious, like nuclear war, and some may seem more the realm of science fiction like an asteroid impact.

My guest today, Jens Orback is the CEO of the Global Challenges Foundation, a Sweden based group that is seeking to prevent these catastrophes or mitigate their impact through enhanced international cooperation.

The Global Challenges Foundation recently released a report identifying eight global catastrophic risks and the current state of global governance or international cooperation to deal with them.

This includes: nuclear warfare, biological and chemical warfare, catastrophic climate change, ecological collapse, pandemics, asteroid impact, super-volcanic eruptions, and the misuse of Artificial Intelligence

As Jens Orback argues, what binds each of these risks is not only their potential to decimate human life, but also that they can be mitigated through stronger international cooperation and global governance.

Get the podcast to listen later Apple Podcasts  | Google PodcastsSpotify  |  Stitcher  | Radio Public

The post Eight Catastrophic Risks That Threaten Humanity — And How International Cooperation Might Stop Them appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Resetting the state for the post-COVID digital age

OECD - 3. August 2020 - 15:45
By Carlos Santiso, Director for Digital Innovation in Government of the Development Bank of Latin America and Member of the Global Future Council on Transparency and Anticorruption of the World Economic Forum This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the … Continue reading Resetting the state for the post-COVID digital age
Kategorien: english

Globale Nachhaltigkeitsdiplomatie im Schatten von Corona

Global Policy Forum - 3. August 2020 - 13:56

Vom 7. bis 16. Juli 2020 tagte in New York das Hochrangige Politische Forum (High-Level Political Forum, HLPF) der Vereinten Nationen. Es ist das zentrale UN-Gremium für nachhaltige Entwicklung und soll hauptsächlich die Umsetzung der Agenda 2030 und ihrer globalen Nachhaltigkeitsziele (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) überwachen. Infolge der Corona-Pandemie fand das Forum virtuell statt und stand auch thematisch ganz im Zeichen der Krise. Das Leitmotiv lautete „building back better", denn der Wiederaufbau der Wirtschaft nach der Krise soll nicht zur alten Normalität zurückführen, sondern Entwicklungsstrategien folgen, die besser im Einklang mit der Agenda 2030 und ihren Nachhaltigkeitszielen stehen. Leider blieb es bei diesem Appell. Am Ende des achttägigen Treffens konnten sich die Regierungen noch nicht einmal auf eine gemeinsame Ministererklärung einigen.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

03.08.2020 Atrocities committed against Yazidis must not be forgotten, says Development Minister Müller

German BMZ - 3. August 2020 - 13:00
Six years ago, the group calling itself Islamic State began its atrocities against Yazidi people in Iraq. On the anniversary of the sad events, German Development Minister Gerd Müller stated: "Yazidi women and men have gone through immeasurable suffering. Girls and women were raped, enslaved and forced into marrying IS terrorists. 360,000 Yazidis were displaced from their home region. Most of the displaced are still living in camps for internally displaced people in northern Iraq – ...
Kategorien: english

Paradigm Shift or Rehashing Corporate-led Development: Unpacking the role of AIIB and NDB in financing development in Asia

Reality of Aid - 3. August 2020 - 11:09

With the rising development aggression among rural communities, ballooning national debt of developing countries, and countless violations of peoples’ rights, it is imperative to review the frameworks of new, Southern-led international financial institutions (IFIs) that once promised to shift the paradigm of the financial landscape controlled by the traditional Bretton Woods institutions, the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Reality of Aid – Asia Pacific (RoA-AP) and CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness […]

The post Paradigm Shift or Rehashing Corporate-led Development: Unpacking the role of AIIB and NDB in financing development in Asia appeared first on Reality of Aid.

Kategorien: english

Reconstituting social contracts in conflict-affected MENA countries: Whither Iraq and Libya?

GDI Briefing - 31. Juli 2020 - 12:57

This article discusses the prospects for forging new social contracts in highly fragile and conflict affected countries. Building on analytical insights from the political settlements and state fragility literature, conceptualising peacebuilding processes as efforts to forge social contracts enables us to address the roles of governments, social groups, citizens and external stakeholders. We discuss the potential for peacebuilding processes to realise social contracts by assessing societal perceptions of the core public good that citizens expect the state to provide, namely protection. We address two cases where ‘stateness’ was destroyed by foreign intervention and civil war: Iraq (since 2003) and Libya (since 2011). We discuss the troubled recent trajectories of efforts to build peace in Iraq and Libya along the substantive, spatial and temporal dimensions of the social contract. Drawing on interviews, survey results and estimates of civilian casualties, we take a ‘bottom-up’ perspective of their societies’ experiences and expectations regarding protection. We conclude that in both countries the provision of protection by the state and others runs counter to the expectations of significant parts of the population. At the national level, major social groups have been unable to overcome mutual distrust, while continued threats to physical security reduce the prospects that any social contract able to deliver other public goods can ever emerge. Existing political settlements in both countries have rewarded the politicization of ethno-sectarian identity (especially in Iraq) and have benefited economic war lordism (especially in Libya). We conclude that as social contracts at the national level are unlikely to emerge, the consequences of de-facto break ups of both countries must be acknowledged if social contracts at sub-national levels are to have any chance of delivering peace.

Kategorien: english

Health must come before the economy, insists top UN official for Latin America and the Caribbean

UN ECOSOC - 31. Juli 2020 - 6:35
In Latin America, where much of the region has dealt with years of sluggish growth, the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing millions more into poverty, says Alicia Bárcena, the head of the UN regional body for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Kategorien: english

Inclusive economic growth in Kenya: the spatial dynamics of poverty

ODI - 31. Juli 2020 - 0:00
This report examines Kenya's economic growth and extreme poverty.
Kategorien: english

Human rights are at a crossroads – but accountability and activism can inspire change

ODI - 31. Juli 2020 - 0:00
Human rights are under pressure but respect for them creates value and change is possible, say our Global Reset Dialogue contributors.
Kategorien: english

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