Catcalling. Revenge porn. Toxic masculinity. Despite increasing awareness of how important feminism is to global development and human rights, hate speech and discrimination against women and girls continues to spread, particularly amongst young men and boys.

In Sri Lanka, researchers recently found that a culture of casual sexism, misogyny, and objectification prevails on platforms such as Facebook. Here, a team of youth decided to do something about it.

Through creating an anonymous persona, ‘The Cool Bro’, the team are intervening in online forums and social media pages that attract majority male audiences. …


We’re inviting UNDP Asia Pacific senior managers to contribute posts for our “Letter From…” blog series. The idea is to have every one of our offices represented through the series, featured in the RBAP Digest and on our soon to be revamped corporate website.

Contributions should ideally be planned in advance and are written in the style of personal reflections anchored to key moments such as the release of a flagship report (whether global or national) or a major national or global announcement or milestone that relates to UNDP’s strategic priorities.

For 2021 we’re keen to explore topics relating to…


March marks Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day aptly themed: ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World’.

With the world facing unprecedented health security challenges, women are meeting the new risk with vanguard crisis and security responses. Over 70% of essential workers on the frontlines are women, and yet this is not reflected in decision-making roles with only 24.7% of women serving as Health Ministers, 21.3% as Ministers, 7.2 % as Heads of State, and a meagre 6.2% as Heads of Government.

The health crisis is further magnified in fragile or conflict-affected states; where the…


What happened when we connected two sets of communities — those working on climate adaptation plans at the national level — government, academia and research, to talk with those supporting community adaptation on the ground?

The topic — how we can build a pathway to long-term resilience at the local and community level brought up insights that we should all be concerned about. The questions posed were ‘How much progress have we made over the years on building local resilience and has the pace of adaptation kept up with the pace of climate impacts?’ and ‘How can Nationally Determined Contributions…


The initiation of green bonds, or Green Sukuk, has shown the Government’s commitment to addressing climate change and using innovative financing to realise the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo credit: Fauzan Ijazah/UNDP Indonesia

The costs of climate change loom large for Indonesia, the world’s 4th most populous nation. Rising to the challenge, the Government is forging new and innovative financing instruments, including issuing the world’s first Green Sukuk.

On January 1 this year, torrential rain began to fall across Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and the neighbouring provinces of West Java and Banten.

Seemingly relentless, the rain triggered widespread floods and landslides, and large-scale evacuation and relief efforts. …


It was a lesson nine-year-old Kik would not yet have received at her primary school, in the little town of Yord Nguem in the north east of Laos.

The town lies in the province of Xieng Khouang, which carries the terrible legacy of being the most heavily bombed place on earth. So, as she walked home from school with her little sister, like she had so many times before, Kik thought nothing of picking up a mud crusted object that resembled a ball.


Promoting access and delivery of health technologies through the South-South exchange of innovative technology, knowledge and solutions

By Leslie Ong and Maurice Wee, HIV, Health and Development Team, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub

A health worker in Indonesia prepares to deliver a vaccination. Photo: UNDP Indonesia.

The Challenge

Immunization is a life-saving and cost-effective intervention against many communicable diseases, saving up to three million lives globally every year. However, millions of children still lack access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, despite recent overall improvements in their health systems.

This is certainly an issue that concerns Indonesia, where only 58 percent of children have completed their basic course of immunization. …


The health community in the Western Pacific is adapting to make sure vulnerable populations are not left behind

A rapid test is conducted with a client inside the Chuuk Women’s Council mobile clinic. Photo: Chuuk Women’s Council.

The COVID-19 pandemic currently sweeping the globe is threatening to derail hard-won gains on HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, seriously impacting health programmes and causing disruptions to life saving treatment.

In these unprecedented times, national partners of HIV, TB and malaria projects in the Western Pacific, supported by the Global Fund, are adapting and implementing new strategies to ensure vulnerable communities continue to receive the health services and support they need.

Here are four of their stories:

SAMOA

Persevering to reach men who have sex with men and transgender people


UNDP Climate Change Adaptation projects in Timor Leste. ©UNDP

Timor-Leste is the newest country in Southeast Asia. With less than 1.2 million people and over 700 kilometers of coastline, Timor-Leste has a largely rural population who face increasing adversity in the face of climate change. Coastal cities and communities are threatened by the rise of sea level, flooding, cyclones, strong winds, and extreme rainfall, which causes damage to infrastructure, increases water borne diseases and landslides.


Surprisingly, until now, detailed and accurate measurement of land height has not existed for the majority of atoll islands in the Pacific region, a crucial missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding — and responding to — sea level rise. Now, new data collected via state-of-the-art LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, technology, sheds a light on the challenges in one of the world’s most threatened nations — Tuvalu, with implications for other small island developing states around the world.

It has been said that climate change poses an existential threat to some small island states. To some, this sounds alarmist, yet it is not far-fetched. Scientists have estimated that Tuvalu and others may become largely uninhabitable by the end of the century. © Aurélia Rusek/UNDP

If you’ve been following the news related to COVID-19, you will have heard the mantra “testing, testing…

UNDP in Asia and the Pacific

Working for a Sustainable Planet without Poverty

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