Our Perspective

How tackling illegal outflows of money from Asian economies could bring schools, hospitals and bridges, where there are none

image
Globally, illicit financial flows drained roughly US$950b from the developing world in 2011 according to Global Financial Integrity. Photo: WatchSmart licensed use under CC2.0

Illicit financial flows (cross-border flows of money that are illegally earned, transferred or utilised) are depriving the poorest economies in the region from vital funds for development. And the consequences of these flows on the sustainability of some of the region’s strongest economies are still largely underestimated.... Read more

How Malaysians could literally be 'driving' the Malayan tiger back from near-extinction

image
The challenge was to find ways to involve Malaysian citizens in conservation efforts so that it wasn’t just about donating money or paying a green tax. UNDP Photo.

It’s called ‘the spine.’   It’s the ‘The Central Forest Spine’ in all the official paperwork of course. An appropriate mouthful for a formidable five million hectares of wildlife sanctuary that is essentially the green lung and water tower of Peninsular Malaysia. It harbours an incredible array of plant and animal species including the endangered Malayan tiger, (perhaps less than 500 left alive today) largely limited to this sanctuary. The ‘Spine’ is also the source of essential water for over 28 million people including the inhabitants of Singapore. Recognising that the country’s breakneck economic growth was coming at the terrible cost of the long-term viability of the country’s wild spaces and eco-systems, the Malaysian government decided to set up a National Conservation Trust Fund to look for ways to straddle growth with conservation. A powerful idea emerged. A new conservation masterplan would connect patches of fragmented forest across the country into one sustainable whole. Here at UNDP, we’ve been supporting the government to operationalise the masterplan that looks as far into the future as two decades.    The challenge, of course, has been to find ways to finance these efforts. The more we thought about it, the more conviction we found... Read more

Should megacities be shifting their focus to moving people instead of traffic?

image
Dhaka’s transport system is hurtling towards ever worsening gridlock and the estimated 3.8 Billion USD economic losses are no doubt rising. Photo: Adam Cohn Licensed under CC4.0.

Before we can even dream of reorienting the transport policy to one that focusses on moving people instead of moving vehicles we need to reach a tipping point where enough people have access to public transport that is acceptable to them. Because if anything more than a small percentage of people consider public transport unacceptable such change will not be achievable.... Read more

Bangladesh | Crowdsourcing flash-flood warnings that race the waters downstream

image
Fast-moving waters that descend from the Himalayan foothills can sweep away houses, flatten crops and leave a trail of death and destruction in a matter of hours. UNDP Photo.

Alerting people about the imminent onrush of flash floods in northern Bangladesh (located along the highest rainfall zone in South Asia) would help save lives especially those of the elderly and children from the rush of oncoming waters.... Read more

In Nepal, social media games battle gender stereotypes

image
UNDP's work will primarily target 500 young people between 13-19 years of age, as research shows that adolescents are still forming their attitudes at this age. UNDP Photo.

Behaviour change is easier said than done, but we’ve decided to take on the weakest link in the chain of violence that perpetuates through generations: young people and their willingness to question social norms. ... Read more