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Business sector still far from reaching sustainability goals, UN report shows, 20 years on from landmark summit

UN #SDG News - 4. Juli 2020 - 6:20
A new UN report on tbe private sector, released by UN Global Compact, shows that progress on bringing about a sustainable future for people and the planet is patchy, and the majority of companies involved in the Compact, are not doing enough to help bring about the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Kategorien: english

Business sector still far from reaching sustainability goals, UN report shows, 20 years on from landmark summit

UN ECOSOC - 4. Juli 2020 - 6:20
A new UN report on tbe private sector, release by UN Global Compact, shows that progress on bringing about about a sustainable future for people and the planet is patchy, and the majority of companies involved in the Compact, are not doing enough to help bring about the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Kategorien: english

Unlocking entrepreneurship opportunities for youth could lower unemployment and bring social benefits

weitzenegger.de - 3. Juli 2020 - 12:31
UN report finds youth social entrepreneurship can create jobs and help the most underserved communities

The World Youth Report: Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda seeks to contribute to the understanding of how youth social entrepreneurship can both support youth development and help accelerate the implementation of the SDGs. To do so, the Report first synthesizes the current discussion on social entrepreneurship and anchors it in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Chapter 2 of the Report then turns toward the situation of youth and examines weather youth social entrepreneurship can offer not only employment opportunities, but also support other elements of youth development such as youth participation.  In the third chapter, the Report assesses the potential and the challenges of youth social entrepreneurship as a tool supporting the 2030 Agenda and youth development in its broadest sense. Finally, chapter 4 first examines how new technologies can be leveraged to address some challenges faced by young social entrepreneurs as well as further support youth social entrepreneurship in its efforts to advance sustainable development. This last chapter finally offers policy guidance to build enabling, responsive and sustainable national ecosystems for young social entrepreneurs.

Tearing down barriers that prevent more young people from becoming successful social entrepreneurs will contribute to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and tackling the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, according to a new report released today by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The report calls on governments and other decision-makers to remove obstacles to youth social entrepreneurship, such as access to start-up funds that are presently limiting the ability of young people to engage in profitable activities. Many regulatory systems often prevent — sometimes involuntarily — young people from accessing financial products and services needed to start an enterprise. And a lack of access to training, technical support, networks and markets are also discouraging the growth of youth social enterprises.

The 2020 World Youth Report “Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda,” defines social entrepreneurship as businesses that generate profits while seeking to generate social impacts.

Unemployment among the world’s 1.2 billion young people is far higher than for adults and COVID-19 has worsened their outlook for job prospects. Estimates dating from before the pandemic suggest that 600 million jobs would have to be created in the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs.

The economic impact of COVID-19 is set to make the job market more challenging for youth. The ILO reports that in the first quarter of 2020, about 5.4 per cent of global working hours, that is equivalent to 155 million full-time job, were lost relative to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Social entrepreneurship can provide a viable path forward for young people to earn a living and help address their communities’ needs while advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly, the report found that social entrepreneurship can enhance the social inclusion of vulnerable groups.

“Creating pathways for youth social entrepreneurship can generate positive outcomes for everyone,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “When supported by enabling policies and programmes, social entrepreneurship can represent a great way for young people to earn a living, and improve the world around them.”

The benefits of social entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship, the report states, can contribute to sustainable and inclusive job creation. Estimates suggest that in 2016, social enterprises benefitted 871 million people in nine countries in Europe and Central Asia, providing services and products worth EUR 6 billion and creating employment, particularly among the most marginalized social groups.

“Wherever supportive and enabling entrepreneurial policies and programmes are in place, youth social entrepreneurship can leverage the energy and creativity of young people as agents of change,” said Elliott Harris, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist. “However, supporting youth social entrepreneurship does not release decision-makers from their obligation to address the needs of youth, especially in terms of employment.”

Young social entrepreneurs have already made a difference. Zaid Souqi, a young man from Jordan created The Orenda Tribe: Art for Hope in 2014. This value-driven enterprise uses art and art therapy to empower Syrian and Jordanian children in vulnerable situations. Ellen Chilemba, now 30, started Tiwale in Malawi when she was 18 and now has trained over 150 women as entrepreneurs, among other community-based initiatives.

Toufic Al Rjula and partners created Tykn, which aims to provide self-sovereign identity to stateless people and refugees. And Pezana Rexha, a young architect from Albania, created Pana Design: Storytelling Furniture which uses reclaimed wood to create furniture and employs members of society who would normally face difficulties finding employment, such as older persons and persons with disabilities.

Conclusions

The success of youth social entrepreneurship rests on an accurate assessment of its merits, opportunities and challenges and on the implementation of mutually reinforcing support measures. Tailored entrepreneurship ecosystems must be established to help young social entrepreneurs overcome challenges and make an impact. Social entrepreneurship represents one extremely promising and socially advantageous self-employment option for young people but is not a panacea for youth development and in no way releases policymakers from their broader obligation to address the needs of youth in a comprehensive and sustainable manner.

Recommendations

The report calls on governments to put in place policies and regulatory frameworks that promote skills development, ensure the availability of adapted financial capital and services, generate relevant technical support and infrastructure as well as open networks and markets to young social entrepreneurs. Fostering a culture and societal norms that support youth social entrepreneurship is also needed.

The report can be found at https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/world-youth-report/wyr2020.html

 

Kategorien: english

Clearing the air

D+C - 3. Juli 2020 - 9:51
Indoor air pollution from cooking with biomass continues to increase the vulnerability of India’s poor to respiratory diseases and Covid-19

Considering the many unknowns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s worth noting that at least one factor is indisputable: having a respiratory disease increases one’s vulnerability to the virus.

Respiratory disease is clearly linked to air pollution. So it follows that air pollution increases the risks associated with the Coronavirus. In the USA, Italy and Britain, researchers have shown that exposure to particulate matter increases people’s Covid-19 infection rates and mortality.

However bad air pollution may be in the US, Italy or the UK, it is far worse in cities in much of the developing world. Moreover, the health hazards from indoor air pollution may be even greater than those from outdoor pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that it is indeed the greatest health risk many women face. Traditional cooking with biomass fuels – usually firewood or cow dung – often leads to life-threatening levels of indoor pollution. Things are especially bad in rural areas.

In India alone, indoor pollution from cooking with biomass causes about half a million deaths per year. Things might be better if people knew how harmful indoor air pollution can be.

In 2016, the Indian government launched a large programme to cover the upfront costs of access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a clean cooking fuel. Over 80 million households adopted the new technology, but many still use traditional biomass for most of their cooking nonetheless. Apart from unawareness of health risks, main reasons are the high price of cylinder refills (the equivalent of about $ 6.5 for a six-week supply for a family of five) and supply bottlenecks. Moreover, people mention security concerns and say the food tastes different.

The good news is that once rural residents know how harmful traditional fuels are, they change their behaviour. In an experimental study we carried out in the Indian state of Rajasthan, we found that many of the households that received information on health hazards related to traditional fuels started using LPG much more frequently. After awareness raising, about 30 % of the households doubled their LPG consumption during the weeks our research observed. That strong reaction was not a surprise. Among the control group, which was not given information, only 13 % were aware of major health issues involved. Most knew, of course, that cooking with cow dung and firewood temporarily irritates the throat and the eyes, but they had no idea of long-term consequences.

Apparently, the communications related to the LPG programme were not clear enough. They referred to LPG as a “clean fuel”, but that reference could be understood as a remedy for the blackened kitchen walls. The marketing campaign did not address serious health issues directly, but highlighted the opportunity to get something that might otherwise be out of reach.

That error should be corrected fast. In view of Covid-19, the Indian government decided to include free LPG cylinders in its Corona support programme for the poor. This is a good opportunity to emphasise the link between pollution, respiratory health and Covid-19.

Only if people know about the risks posed by traditional fuels are they empowered to make conscious choices within their limited budgets. Having that knowledge can also help people to make rational fuel choices in future, once the Covid-19 emergency has passed.

Link
Zahno, M., Michaelowa, K., Dasgupta, P., and Sachdeva, I., 2020: Health awareness and the transition towards clean cooking fuels: Evidence from Rajasthan. PLoS ONE 15(4): e0231931.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231931

Katharina Michaelowa is a professor of political economy and development at the University of Zurich and at the Centre for Comparative and International Studies.

Martina Zahno is a PhD candidate in political economy and development at the University of Zurich.
martina.zahno@pw.uzh.ch

 

Kategorien: english

Inheriting Extreme Poverty

EADI Debating Development Research - 3. Juli 2020 - 9:40
By Owasim Akram After working for more than ten years as a development practitioner in Bangladesh with a tremendous opportunity to observe the lives of the extreme poor while living very closely to them, one simple question kept  chasing me all the time: why do millions of them remain still poor despite huge progress in …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

Help from the sky

D+C - 3. Juli 2020 - 9:23
For Africa’s remote and impoverished communities, help may soon come from drones flying through the sky

This year Malawi opened a new training centre for the development of drone technology and for the analysis and visual presentation of data collected by drones. The centre – the African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) – is supported by Unicef, the UN agency for children, and by aid organisations from several countries.

Malawi has also created a corridor to test drone flights for humanitarian purposes. The corridor – for drone flights within a restricted zone up to 400 meters above ground level – is located near Kasungu airport in the Central Region. A student working there has built a drone that flew 17 kilometres, Unicef says.

The aims of both the air corridor and the ADDA training centre include speeding deliveries of critical items such as laboratory samples and emergency medical supplies to and from all parts of the country, and ultimately all parts of Africa. Many remote areas rely on much slower road and ferry transport.

Drones are also used to collect data that helps to prevent and respond to natural disasters such as droughts and floods. For example, the devices collect data that pinpoint mosquito-breeding sites so that officials can fight malaria and other diseases more effectively.

ADDA supports these aims by responding to “a lack of skills in drone and data technology in Malawi and the wider African continent,” says Rebecca Phwitiko from Unicef. Developing drone technology for humanitarian purposes fits in well with the agency‘s mission to improve the lives of children. “We want to advance technologies that deliver services more effectively to hard-to-reach communities,” says Phwitiko. “This includes new products and programming that support children’s growth, development, education and protection.”

The ADDA trainees are Africans aged between 18 and 24 years who can show proficiency in English. Students also must have university training in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics or equivalent practical experience.

The first cohort has already received certificates for completing ADDA courses in drone technology and data analysis. Those students can now use their skills in their home countries, which include Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and host country Malawi.

In all of these countries, poor transport links can delay supplies of critically needed items and medicines such as malaria drugs, antibiotics, blood transfusion kits and vaccines. Especially in poor and remote communities, health care can be hard to find. With Malawi’s drone technology and training initiatives, help may soon come from the sky.

Raphael Mweninguwe is a freelance journalist based in Malawi.
raphael.mweninguwe@hotmail.com

Kategorien: english

Covid-19: a watershed moment for collective approaches to community engagement?

ODI - 3. Juli 2020 - 0:00
How to strengthen collective approaches to communication and community engagement as a critical element of the Covid-19 response in humanitarian settings.
Kategorien: english

Helping youth enterprise take off, will bring sustainable returns, say UN economists

UN #SDG News - 2. Juli 2020 - 18:48
Young entrepreneurs who want their work to have a positive impact on their communities, urgently need more help from governments if they’re to succeed and resist the COVID-19-fuelled economic downturn, UN economists said on Thursday.
Kategorien: english

Helping young enterprise take off will bring sustainable returns, say UN economists

UN ECOSOC - 2. Juli 2020 - 18:48
Young entrepreneurs who want their work to have a positive impact on their communities, urgently need more help from governments if they’re to succeed and resist the COVID-19-fuelled economic downturn, UN economists said on Thursday.
Kategorien: english

The Sudden COVID Death of Burundi’s Strongman Ruler, Pierre Nkurunziza — and What Comes Next

UN Dispatch - 2. Juli 2020 - 18:25

Burundi’s longtime ruler Pierre Nkurunziza died suddenly on June 8th, quite possibly from COVID-19. This would make him the first serving world leader to succumb to the virus. His death came just days after an election was held, which his handpicked successor easily won. 

Nkurunziza has been president of Burundi since 2005, and in recent years his rule became firmly authoritarian. Political opposition has been suppressed and civil society organizations shut down. This spring, Nkurunziza even booted the World Health Organization from Burundi amidst the country’s worsening outbreak.  

On the line with me today is Yolande Bouka, a professor of political studies at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. We discuss the legacy of Pierre Nkurunziza and what this chaotic moment means for Burundi and the surrounding region. 

We kick off discussing the circumstances surrounding Nkurunziza’s death. We then discuss his fraught time in power This includes a key moment in 2015 when he engineered for himself a constitutionally dubious third term in office and survived a coup attempt. The conflict surrounding that episode lead to the displacement of 400,000 people — the impact of which is being felt across the region today. We also discuss the background of the new president of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye and what his rule may bring for the country.   

 

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

The post The Sudden COVID Death of Burundi’s Strongman Ruler, Pierre Nkurunziza — and What Comes Next appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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INVITATION - Web conversation: Building better without building back a broken system

Global Policy Forum - 2. Juli 2020 - 11:36

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined socio-economic development in many countries. Many now demand to build back better. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed transformational change? What kind of policies and strategies are necessary to ensure that human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals form integral components of all stimulus packages and government responses to the current crisis? How to revalue the importance of care and to rebuild global public services? These questions will be discussed in this year's report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. It is closely related to the theme of the HLPF 2020. With this virtual side event, we will present preliminary findings to be found in the report later this year.


Kategorien: english, Ticker

INVITATION - Web conversation: Building better without building back a broken system

Global Policy Forum - 2. Juli 2020 - 11:36

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined socio-economic development in many countries. Many now demand to build back better. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed transformational change? What kind of policies and strategies are necessary to ensure that human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals form integral components of all stimulus packages and government responses to the current crisis? How to revalue the importance of care and to rebuild global public services? These questions will be discussed in this year's report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. It is closely related to the theme of the HLPF 2020. With this virtual side event, we will present preliminary findings to be found in the report later this year.


Kategorien: english, Ticker

Can cooperatives create fairer digital work for youth in Africa?

ODI - 2. Juli 2020 - 0:00
Cooperatives can offer a means for young people in Africa to participate in the digital labour market on fairer and more equal terms.
Kategorien: english

Bringing global development closer to home

ODI - 2. Juli 2020 - 0:00
The development sector must become more visible in debates about issues at home, rather than just commenting on what is happening 'out there.'
Kategorien: english

The Global Reset Dialogue

ODI - 2. Juli 2020 - 0:00
Kategorien: english

Invitation: Web conversation “Building better without building back a broken system”

Global Policy Watch - 1. Juli 2020 - 22:19

Web conversation in the run-up to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
Building better without building back a broken system
Lessons from the global COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the SDGs

Monday, 6 July 2020, 8:30-10:00am EDT

Please register here

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive impact on the implementation of the SDGs and the fulfilment of human rights. The looming global recession will dramatically increase unemployment, poverty and hunger worldwide. Moreover, the crisis threatens to further deepen discrimination and inequalities. In many countries the macroeconomic situation had already deteriorated before the outbreak of the virus. A vicious circle of debt and austerity policies undermined socio-economic development in many countries.

Many now demand to build back better. But does “building back” really lead to the urgently needed transformational change? What kind of policies and strategies are necessary to ensure that human rights, gender justice and sustainability goals form integral components of all stimulus packages and government responses to the current crisis? How to revalue the importance of care and to rebuild global public services?

These questions will be discussed in this year’s report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020. It is closely related to the theme of the HLPF 2020. With this virtual side event, we will present preliminary findings to be found in the report later this year.

Brief Statements by

Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of Social Watch
María Graciela Cuervo, General Co-coordinator of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
David Boys, Deputy General Secretary of Public Services International
Kate Donald, Director Human Rights in Economic and Social Policy at the Center for Economic and Social Rights

Coments by

Ziad Abdel Samad, Executive Director of the Arab NGO Network for Development
Stefano Prato, Executive Director of the Society for International Development
Barbara Adams, President of Global Policy Forum

Moderator/Facilitator

Bodo Ellmers, Director of Sustainable Development Finance, Global Policy Forum Europe
Elisabeth Bollrich, Global Economy Expert at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Please register here. Participants will receive the login details for the web conversation upon registering for this event.

The post Invitation: Web conversation “Building better without building back a broken system” appeared first on Global Policy Watch.

Kategorien: english, Ticker

'Bold and creative’ solutions needed for a sustainable, post-pandemic economy

UN ECOSOC - 1. Juli 2020 - 17:58
Unless the world acts now, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying global recession, will trigger “years of depressed and disrupted economic growth”, the UN chief warned on Wednesday.   
Kategorien: english

'Bold and creative’ solutions needed for a sustainable, post-pandemic economy

UN #SDG News - 1. Juli 2020 - 17:58
Unless the world acts now, the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying global recession, will trigger “years of depressed and disrupted economic growth”, the UN chief warned on Wednesday.   
Kategorien: english

Re-imagining cities in the COVID-19 era

OECD - 1. Juli 2020 - 17:11
By Robert Muggah, Principal, SecDev Group 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. The COVID-19 pandemic is quietly and radically reconfiguring cities around the world. It has already brought several … Continue reading Re-imagining cities in the COVID-19 era
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