Silo Fighters Blog

Crowdfunding for smart cities in Albania

BY Jorina Kadare, Stefania Sechi | November 14, 2017

Let’s start with a little bit of recent history. Innovative financing for the UN goes back to the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002. The hope was that innovative financing would help to bridge the gap between what was available and what was needed to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. As the name suggests, innovative finance means raising funds for development by using unconventional mechanisms. For example, micro-levies, public-private partnerships, and other mechanisms that go beyond financial contributions. It can also mean optimising the use of traditional funding sources to transfer assets to where they are needed the most. Fast forward to 2012, when the UN, governmental institutions, and donors started to mull over realistic ways to finance the achievement of the Global Goals by 2030, bearing in mind the estimated total costs which vary between $90 and $ 120 trillion, and with a funding gap of $2.5 trillion per year. The concept of innovative financing came up again. #Crowdfunding4Children We at the UN in Albania decided to test out alternative forms of financing, which are progressively being mainstreamed across the agency’s interventions. Ever since the internet made it possible to use crowdfunding to finance projects, individuals and the private sector have used this new tool to their advantage, so why not us? We saw the potential of using crowdfunding as an integral part of our mission to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Our first successful experiment was a crowdfunding campaign launched in July 2016 that allowed the construction of the first all-inclusive playground in Albania suitable for children with special needs and diverse abilities. This work builds on our previous  open data project with the Municipality of Tirana where we blended and opened up data sets on safety of our cities in the  Open Data Portal of Tirana Smart City. Out of 22 play grounds currently under management by the Municipality of Tirana, only one is suitable for children with special needs. Building better parks will help all children interact with their peers and develop their personalities in a safe and healthy environment.  And it went pretty well! By tapping into a large pool of individuals, mainly via social media and crowdfunding platforms, and through advocacy initiatives we raised our goal of $20,000 for the #Crowdfunding4Children campaign. Supporting youth employment through equity crowdfunding UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women are also testing out how to build financial connections between mature enterprises willing to invest in promising start-ups through equity crowdfunding. The goal is to set up a sustainable system that supports emerging businesses. United Nations Albania, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tirana, was able to engage with 100 VIP companies in an exploration survey, probing their potential participation in equity crowdfunding schemes. Another component of this joint initiative relates to the assessment of a reward-based crowdfunding model among small communities in Tirana. This tool allows individuals to contribute towards a specific project with the anticipation of receiving a tangible –non-financial– reward at a later date. We are building on this model by involving private services providers. For example, integrating the option to financially contribute to a social project at the time as making a routine payment, for example, for an electricity or telecommunications service bill.  We hope that these alternative mechanisms will play an important role in transforming Tirana into a smart city. We believe that crowdfunding deserves more trust in the development world. Crowdsourcing enables resource mobilisation, promotes innovative initiatives, and galvanises active citizenship!

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‘Glocalizing’ the Sustainable Development Goals in Moldova

BY Aurelia Spataru | October 20, 2017

Almost two years ago, 193 Member States of the United Nations, including Moldova, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This bold and universal Agenda already has many countries around the world taking action to improve people’s lives and plan for a sustainable future.   In Moldova’s case, planting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in national soil and turning the 2030 Agenda into a reality has been quite the journey! The good news is that  Moldova’s national policy agenda is now aligned with more than 106 of the SDGs targets and it selected 226 global indicators to assess progress towards these global goals. 'Glocalizing' the SDGs targets The UN resolution says that the SDG targets are “aspirational and global, with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances.” The beauty of the SDGs is that they’re inclusive of everyone, so our first step was to identify which of the 169 global targets are  most urgent for the Moldovan context. This is what we mean by ‘glocalizing’ - localising a global set of goals while benefitting from the drive of the whole world towards the same ambition. So here’s how we 'glocalize': The UN in Moldova worked through 180 of the government of Moldova’s main national strategic documents to find connections between the Moldovan local reality and the global targets. We found immediate points of contact with almost two thirds of the global targets. Once we gathered this information, we spoke with public servants, civic activists, community and business leaders, and researchers. We wanted to know their thoughts on the SDG targets. If a target was not immediately applicable, then, we wanted to know how it could be adjusted to make it more concrete and specific to the Moldovan context. During the consultations, we jointly defined who would be the responsible government institution to take action and ownership so that we reach the targets. With a fresh pair of eyes, we looked at the national strategic documents again to identify all policy-related gaps that needed to be addressed. We also provided proposals to amend policies and introduce new concepts of sustainable development to deepen the focus on the most vulnerable populations, for example, adding a specific target to understand how many people fall into poverty due to natural disasters such as floods, droughts and landslides. The 2030 Agenda is a complex one, and Moldova is in full swing towards reforming its central administration. The country doesn’t have enough financial resources to cover all the costs at once. So, taking this into consideration, we set priorities and came up with a list of “triggers” that would produce a domino effect and help us reach the other linked targets. Crowdsourcing how to measure SDG progress in Moldova The Moldovan government is currently only prepared to report on half of the nationalized indicators because of financial, capacity and methodological constraints. When we realized this, we knew that we would need to engage experts across many disciplines in order to develop methodologies and data collection.     Under the leadership of the State Chancellery and the direct involvement of the National Bureau of Statistics, we worked for nine months to tailor global targets and indicators to fit the situation on the ground. Talking to different stakeholders (public authorities, civil society, and the private sector) was decisive to our success. Their valuable inputs and insights for tailoring global targets and indicators to the national context represented the first step in assuming of the 2030 Agenda by the people of Moldova. Trying to figure all of this out was no easy feat, so we developed a toolkit which will also help us with the further integration of the SDGs’ into the work of both government and partners in the next stage. The Council for Sustainable Development, which was set up as an institutional anchor to the SDGs nationalization process endorsed and disseminated all of our collective efforts. The process to nationalize the SDGs in Moldova has even catalysed a broader reform aimed at streamlining the policy planning framework. Given the success, the Government has asked the UN to support in the evaluation of its current national strategy and the new Strategy Moldova 2030. Even after all this… the work has just begun! Do you have any advice for us?  Let us know!

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Open data for social good in the Kyrgyz Republic

BY Markel Toromyrza uulu | June 30, 2017

At the UN in Kyrgyzstan, we believe that open and reliable data is essential to data-driven decision making by key policy makers and other organizations that use data for social good. As Ashish Soni, a machine-learning and data-science expert, says, there are five characteristics which constitute building blocks for data analysis and decision making:       Accurate: data and information must be reliable and accurate       Complete: partial data depicts a partial picture; completeness of data and information is essential for sound decisions       Consistent: systematic collection using consistent methodology and updates are important for data users and decision makers       Unique: good decisions need high-quality data and information       Timely: new and current data is more valuable than outdated data With this and the current national situation in mind, we worked with the country’s National Statistical Committee developing an open data website and the StatKG mobile application to make specific national data available to everyone free of charge. The app and the website rely on the data provided by the National Statistical Committee, an institution with unique and reputable methodology and tools to collect, analyse and interpret raw data. 24,000+ data points in Russian, Kyrgyz and English The open data portal and mobile app is our attempt to  reflect reliable and open data in Kyrgyzstan related to the Sustainable Development Goals and it is a one-of-a-kind in the Commonwealth of Independent States region. The mobile app also supports data in English, Kyrgyz, and Russian languages. We think it’s pretty cool that  the application is not just an electronic handbook of statistical data, but also a powerful tool which allows comparison across different data points.  This thing is packed:  3,293 indicators across 312 categories with a total amount of 24,731 indicator values. We believe that this tool will be  useful for government decision makers, journalists, academia, NGOs and international agencies dealing with development issues. Both are convenient ways to get accurate, complete, consistent, unique, and timely data on various social, economic, and environmental aspects of life in Kyrgyzstan. Developing the website and its mobile app was a laborious process where a team of experts, IT specialists and statisticians from the National Statistical Committee spent long days trying to simplify vast dynamic tables to come up with a user-friendly way to visualize statistical data. Working on a beta version allowed us to identify bugs and errors that we could successfully fix. We are now proud to share the we have a user-friendly powerful tool on statistical data and analysis.  And this was just the beginning! Want to learn more? Now that we have these new tools, a team of national experts is working to increase their analytical capability. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic is working on taking the globally agreed goals and targets and finding ways to measure them that work for the Kyrgyz Republic. This will help us establish a solid baseline to monitor the SDGs, support the government, and strengthen UN accountability through monitoring and evaluation. Pretty impressive, right? If you want to know more, go and check out our free of charge statistical data and analysis tool. Have a look at it and let us know what you think!   Photo:UNFPA/Y-PEER Kyrgyzstan

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Reflections on Montenegro’s forward-looking plan of cooperation with the UN

BY Ana Dautovic, John Sweeney | August 17, 2016

Administration, planning, and foresight are three siblings of varying age with different familial responsibilities. Administration is the elder and has been moving things ahead, which often requires negotiation and some degree of compromise. Planning, the middle child, feels the same pull of the present as her elder sibling but also recognizes the importance of looking ahead, if only to forge a path forward. Foresight, the youngest, is the rebel in the family and champions not being tied down to a single path as change can come swiftly and disrupt even well laid plans. When separated, the limits and constraints of each practice are evident, but when integrated, these three interrelated operations can and might enable an anticipatory capacity for not just navigating uncertain futures but also shaping the future. This cohesion is precisely what UN Montenegro sought to develop in using a foresight approach to enhance the UNDAF planning process. As anyone who has siblings can attest, tensions are certain to arise, but at the end of the day, family is what matters most. Here is what this family looks like. Whereas administration focuses on the here and now, planning moves a bit further afield in time and usually necessitates including additional perspectives. Foresight requires one to imagine effects and impacts on a grander scale by mandating a diverse range of perspectives and broadening the scope of time under consideration. Conversations invariably change when one begins to think about the effects of climate change upon his own grandchildren and beyond, and some have called for the advent of “Ministries of Future Generations” to institutionalize a forward-looking and anticipatory approach to policy, planning, and strategy development. Looking Back… Insider’s perspective “Old ways won’t open new doors”. – (unknown) If someone told me few years ago that I would actually enjoy every step of a process of developing a new five-year programme of cooperation so much, I would declare them mad. Apart from the dull process of planning and strategizing the new plan, there were other challenges:  How to align it with the new global Agenda for Sustainable Development? How to make the process innovative? How to involve new voices? And all of that having in mind the positioning of the UN in the relatively developed and European Union candidate country? But, I enjoyed it all thanks to the youngest, the rebel in the family. Integrating administration, planning and foresight seemed as a challenge at the beginning. But, you have to open your mind for new opportunities and insights. Like the rebel child does, it woke me up from a routine and changed the way of doing things, living, meetings, practices, and deliberations. With foresight, we discussed probable and preferred futures by 2021 and even by 2030, once we, citizens, government, private sector and civil society, implement the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. We employed this methodology of thinking and planning by developing and playing a serious game, which we have also put online. The colorful board and numerous cards and tokens that we played and used to discuss the futures from the perspective of challenges, opportunities, partners, actions and values, helped us unleash our mindsets. We touched the blind spots of our futures and emerging issues to discover the critical uncertainties of what the future on which we could have a lot of influence holds for us. We saw opportunities that seemed uncommon before but feasible now. Thus, we learned that citizens prioritize family values and culture before all. They see the biggest potential in the youth, the generations to come, for whom we should leave at least the same opportunities for development and growth which we inherited. Sustainable future. We learned that experts see the same strength in the youth, the agents of change who have opportunities to transform the world for the better. We learned that people want employment and quality education and health services, they want to be equal in all terms and help save the planet. We also learned that they saw UN’s role in all of this challenging but possible work. We learned that most of people are optimists, ready to give their wholehearted contributions in helping develop the sustainable country in areas of social inclusion, democratic governance, environmental sustainability and economic development. We learned all of this and much more from more than 700 people, young and older, experts and non-experts, public servants and citizens, who took active part in development of the new UN’s programme of cooperation with Montenegro. We also learned that one cannot live without good old administration and strategic planning but one can make them much more proactive with innovative approaches such as foresight and backcasting. Looking Back… Outsider’s perspective "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." – Dwight D. Eisenhower As it has been six months since UN Montenegro held its strategic prioritisation discussion with the government, the question of institutionalization has been on my mind. While the results from our public consultations and the outputs from a joint Backcasting exercise with UN Montenegro’s government partners were well-received and impactful, my ultimate goal, as well as my primary metric for success, centres on the degree to which foresight gets institutionalized and becomes part of the normal planning process. In short, did it scale? My sense is that there continues to be lots of interest and future initiatives will be driven by champions rather than institutional mechanisms, but this is often how big changes begin. It is easy for foresight to get lost, or take a back seat, once the drive to move forward with a plan takes over. Foresight works best, as in the above family, when it is integrated into administration and planning processes. This, however, is easier said than done, but there are good examples of how to do it. Yes, it requires resources of various scope and scale, and, perhaps most importantly, the process is more important than the product to paraphrase Eisenhower. One clear lesson learned from Montenegrin UNDAF development process comes from the Futrplay platform. First and foremost, we should have gone fully mobile. When we tracked how participants were accessing the site, it became evident that a mobile application would have provided a more seamless user experience and likely reached more participants. Face-to-face events, such as mini-workshops at schools and universities, could have supported further participation, and with more time these would have certainly been easy to organize. Overall, I am excited to see if others can learn from what we did and take our efforts further. Let us know!

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Embracing diversity in Moldova, from theory to practice

BY Sandra Cavallo, Xenia Siminciuc | June 23, 2016

Last year the Diversity Task Force of the United Nations in Moldova tasked us, its communication focal points, with conducting an internal diversity survey to verify the degree of diversity among UN staff in the country, and staff attitudes towards diversity. The results were something of an eye-opener. Not only were some groups of the population – LGBT, Roma, people with disabilities –underrepresented among the 300+ staff of all UN agencies in Moldova, but the attitude of staff towards minorities showed that there are still important steps to be taken in this regard. The data shows that one in four staff members would not feel comfortable working with a colleague with a mental impairment. Also, 7 percent of the respondents will not feel comfortable working with an openly lesbian boss. A reason behind these prejudices might be that a part of our staff had never been exposed to people from these groups before and is therefore affected by irrational fears and misconceptions. A plan to embrace diversity When discussing the management response to these results, one of the most innovative proposals was to launch a first internship program for persons from vulnerable groups. How would that work? The idea was to kill two birds with one stone: Thanks to this internship program, we would address the problem of UN staff never having had the chance to work really closely to some of the minorities we work for. And, at the same time, we would offer a unique opportunity to members of these communities to try out what it means to work for an international organization and gain much-needed on-the-job experience to help in their future job search. That’s how, on Zero Discrimination Day (1st March), the UN in Moldova launched our Diversity Internship Programme. Following an open call which we distributed widely through all our civil society partners and public information channels, we could recruit a uniquely varied group of interns who put their skills at the disposal of UN agencies for two and a half months (you don’t want to miss their videos talking about this opportunity!). A recent study by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) demonstrates that direct contact with persons from underrepresented groups considerably reduces social distance and increases social inclusion. We will measure in our next Diversity Survey if this is reflected in changed attitudes of our staff towards relevant groups. But certainly it is already clear that working side by side with our new colleagues with disabilities, from underrepresented ethnic groups or coming from traditionally marginalised communities has been an eye-opener for many of us. The new colleagues have brought with them a fantastic wealth of new ideas and perspectives. While we rejoice seeing them thrive in the UN working environment, reinforcing our belief that Moldova is missing on an enormous potential by not fully using the talents of all its population groups. To share these impressions, while the program was rolling out we decided to come out in public with our first results. After presenting our interns and the best practices of our partners, we invited public and private institutions to accept a challenge – and commit to create same internship opportunities for vulnerable groups within their offices. This resulted in seven public and private organizations signing a solemn commitment with concrete follow-up steps. We are now helping potential candidates participate in initial interviews and get ready to meet major changes in their lives. This makes us extremely happy since it realizes one of the key aspirations of our Diversity Task Force: adopting best practices to change ourselves and inspire others. Or as they say: “be the change you want to see in the world”.

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Which came first: The ICT chicken or the joint operations egg?

BY Ognjen Krstulovic | April 26, 2016

It’s the eternal question: form before function or the other way around? It is hard to tell which came first – joint operational processes in UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the ICT tools that support them. As early as our move to a One UN House, it was an important question: Can we have an ICT system that will help us all to manage conference rooms in the new building in a transparent and efficient way? If not, we might not be able to share space, each agency would end up having its own conference room, and the whole point of coming together under one roof would be lost. Fortunately, we were able to set up a system to meet this one simple business need. But, as we spend more time together, more and more operational processes would obviously be more efficient if done jointly, or at least in the same way by everyone. So we ask ourselves: Which other processes could benefit from new technologies? A few examples came to our minds, but we asked around for everyone’s feedback… the response was overwhelming. Colleagues immediately came out with processes that could benefit from a 21st century approach and we were thrilled! Here are some (the list is long): vehicle and driver booking system, translator roster, intern roster, ICT support request and consultancies management. Prioritization After the great response from our colleagues across all UN agencies, we got on task to see which processes could be made more efficient, which processes matter for the whole UN community, and which everyone is doing in the same way but separately from each other. It was a challenging activity, because there is no single process that matters equally to all of the UN community.  For example, a smaller organization may not need an application to book a vehicle whereas a larger one might do. I am reading your mind… getting colleagues who report to different bosses to agree on something? Good luck with that… Well I guess we were lucky or we just followed the right path. We identified those processes that could be turn into applications, We gave everyone an equal shot at expressing their needs, And prepared specifications for every application we wanted. It worked! After a tedious and complex procurement process, I am proud to say that the UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina will shortly have a few new great applications in our One UN intranet available to make everyone’s life easier. We have about 10 “design” teams composed of stakeholders in different roles from various agencies working together – analysing business processes openly, learning from each other and laying the groundwork for innovation. And it doesn’t end there! We only have sketches of the future processes but one can already see possible improvements – steps we will be able to skip, papers we will be able to omit, information that will flow easier. All in all, as we move through our packed meeting schedule we are getting closer to our first look at the new system. Will keep you posted. Looks like the chicken and the egg are equal partners…

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Prototyping continuous collaboration in Kosovo*

BY Nora Sahatciu, Andrew Russell, Mjellmë Doli | April 6, 2016

When we set out to design a new Common Development Plan for the UN Kosovo Team in the fall of 2014, we decided to do things a bit differently. We were very interested in determining the substance of our new plan (the “what”) but we also wanted to use the planning process as an opportunity to take a critical look at the quality of our approach to collaboration (the “how”).  So we decided to take a two-track process to the design of the plan. The “formal” track was derived from the standard UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) guidelines while the “informal” track took its inspiration from design thinking methodologies that would allow for a wide variety of participants to work together to analyze the challenges to effective inter-agency collaboration and to collectively design and prototype solutions. These new ways of working together could then potentially be tested out in the context of new and ongoing joint initiatives related to programming (“One Programme”), advocacy (“Communicating as One”) and operations (“Operating as One”). The second, informal track began with an initial prototyping workshop from September 15-16 2014. The purpose of the prototyping workshop was to create a space for over 70 interested staff members from 15 different agencies to come together and explore new ways of thinking and working together. The workshop focused on identifying and naming the key challenges or patterns of thinking and behaviour that would need to be addressed in order to achieve more effective inter-agency collaboration. The idea of “Unwanted Repetitive Patterns” (URPs) was presented and the group was asked to think in terms of the “recurring patterns” that tend to block or impede efforts to collaborate. During the workshop participants also identified eight potential prototypes for practicing new ways of collaborating on programming, advocacy and operations, using “Open Space Technology”. Four of these prototypes have since moved forward in one way or another, a 50 percent success rate.  One of the prototyping ideas suggested at the workshop that received the most interest was that of promoting youth engagement. UNDP, UNICEF, UNV, UNFPA and WHO have since applied a highly participatory human-centred programme design approach to create the first UN joint programme in Kosovo that is derived entirely from the collective creative energies of young people. More recently, UNDP and WHO have been exploring crowdsourcing and citizen-generated data for more effective advocacy on environmental impacts on health. Six months later, at a second Prototyping Lab, the team reviewed what had changed. A third set of prototyping working sessions were held in early 2016.  In this way, we are treating prototyping as an ongoing dialogue process on collaboration and as a sustained platform for strategic conversations. Ultimately, what people talk about is what they pay attention to.  And what they care about is also what will help them join others moving beyond their own agency or issue-based silos into broader, more effective partnerships. These most recent working sessions have focused on internal inter-agency business processes. We have used business process reengineering (BPR) to review processes related to joint programme design and website communications, with the aim of increasing efficiency but also to acquire a shared vision on these processes can and should work to incentivize a stronger culture of collaboration. With the support of UNDP’s Management Consulting Team (MCT), we convened technical and communications staff from all agencies to identify pain points, rooms of improvement and new tools.  This includes a complete, collaborative re-design of the new UN Kosovo Team web-site. We should have a beta version ready to share very shortly. During these working sessions we also tackled processes related to UN Common Services. Teams from all agencies helped to identify common problems and to recommend viable solutions. This same participatory approach will be used in implementing the improved processes. We used video to help illustrate some of these problems and to propose solutions. Support from the UNDAF Innovation Facility has allowed the Office of the UN Development Coordinator to increasing serve as a hub for these kinds of experimental activities. This way of working has begun to spin off into unexpected directions.  We recently facilitated an ad-hoc collaboration by the UN Kosovo Team with the Kosovo Emergency Management Agency in piloting the first Big Data prototype for emergency response in Kosovo. We also served as liaison for UN Kosovo Team agencies with the Kosovo Office of the President to coordinate data gathering for Kosovo’s application to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which resulted in the MCC Board of Directors selecting Kosovo as eligible to develop a compact. This opens the door for Kosovo receive up hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. assistance for the fight against poverty and corruption. So what have we learned from our journey so far? In these rapidly changing times, where it appears that even time travel is now possible, we need to be much more agile, responsive and adaptive in the way that the UN engages in development assistance. And we need all be willing to think “out-of-the-box”.  Creating time and space for collective dreaming and creativity is not a luxury, it is a necessity. We strongly believe then that co-design of joint UN solutions and prototyping should: Be a standardized operating procedure. Be a collaborative and engaging process. Be used as a means of incentivizing a stronger culture of collaboration. What are your own thoughts and experiences? We’d be happy to hear them and share more details of our prototyping journey, including business process maps and other specific outputs from our working sessions. We can be reached through unkt.ks@one.un.org and look forward to hear from you!   *References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

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Crowdsourcing Albania’s UNDAF: Putting People in the Driver’s Seat

BY Nora Kushti | March 10, 2016

People are eager to talk about development if they are asked. Last year, the UN Agencies in Albania embarked on a dynamic journey to develop the new United Nations Development Action Framework (UNDAF) - the UN strategic plan which aims to help Albania advance its development agenda and create a better life for citizens. In Albania we engaged with the public to get their priorities while designing our programme. As a communication professional, I believe that there is nothing more rewarding than talking with your stakeholders. I believe in the combination of old face-to-face communication, digital communication and even picking up your phone when it is needed. Building on previous conversations This was not an entirely new approach for us at UN-Albania. During the last three years, we held vibrant and inspiring conversations with thousands of people across the country through our “Future We Want” and “Voices from Albania” campaigns, enabling us to get a vivid picture of the world people want to live in. I’m glad to mention that their priorities are translated in the 2030 Development Agenda. The consultations helped us prepare a common country assessment, for a solid panoramic analysis of the current economic and social situation for the UN and its national counterparts. We addressed development challenges at central and local levels as well as priority areas for UN interventions. We were able to redefine the UN’s comparative advantages in the current Albanian development context. Albanians want to shape their own reality Consultations were organized in selected regions of Albania such as Shkoder, Korce and Tirane. Civil society activists, media, students, local and central government representatives, Roma, people with disabilities and other minority groups…people from all walks of life participated actively. They spoke out about issues in their daily lives. Lack of employment and economic empowerment ranked first among all their priorities. They spoke of the need for quality education and health, the need to have programmes to address poverty gaps, social exclusion, social protection, a healthy environment and good governance. The results came as no surprise since around 4,000 Albanians prioritized the same issues in the My World Survey 2015. I was struck by the diversity and wealth of ideas flowing from participants. People were free with unedited information and opinions. They showed us that they don’t simply want to be beneficiaries of a reality created by others – they want to shape their own reality. The UN Albanians want The second phase focused on priority areas for UN involvement, the comparative advantages of the UN versus other partners, and guidance on where UN should focus its programmes. People clearly indicated that we should put more effort in strengthening civil society to give a voice to voiceless communities so that they can hold decision-makers to account. They wanted a more local approach, better communication about programme impact, and scaled-up efforts, especially in areas such as the rule of law, electoral assistance, and anti-corruption. They wanted the UN to do more to ensure human rights. I was also struck by how much people trust the UN. “Transparent,” “inclusive,” “accountable,” “results-oriented”…we heard these words the most. In an always-changing political scene in Albania, our stakeholders appreciate the UN’s political neutrality to ensure continuity of reforms and the programs under implementation. This campaign helped us know what kind of UN the people want. I think this puts more responsibilities on the UN itself, to live up to people’s expectations. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication, but to maximize our reach, we also used a digitalized foresight methodology called Futurescaper, to create an online questionnaire. We also collected people’s voices through video diaries and video interviews. We asked people: “What development challenges you think the UN should focus on in the coming five years and what do you perceive as the greatest benefits of UN involvement?” 600 people expressed their aspirations for a better Albania and the need to address development challenges. Good news: they all resonate with each other. Consultations gave our UNDAF process an immense value. They gave a voice to those whose opinions are often not enough taken into account. We got constructive feedback for programme development. They sparked serious conversation on development. It helped empower people by asking and encouraging them to have a say on issues that affect their lives. The UN should keep implementing surveys such as “The UN 4 You” or “The UN You Want” to make us reflect on our work and improve how we do it. And I believe there is plenty of room for improvement. An UNDAF that captures the voice of the people Our UNDAF is still in the making. Reliable data are still lacking and we are working on improving our baselines. But this UNDAF has a strong foundation because it has included feedback from a large array of partners. It is well aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda. It is guided by the true spirit of the One UN. It is not written behind closed doors. It has the voice of the people. To see some of the video material we produced as part of our consultations, please click on the following links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4FIQr2I-ec https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vu2or8A0_I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k72ft7iB9_Y

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Preparing for the future(s): Open space for citizens’ engagement

BY John Sweeney | December 14, 2015

Buckminster Fuller was a polymath and one of the most well regarded futurists of the 20th century. Bucky, as he liked to be called, astutely encapsulated the aim of foresight in a single phrase: “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” In doing its utmost to engage citizens, especially youth, UN Montenegro is not only seeking to harvest insights—it is looking to find and support architects of the country’s future. Given that youth unemployment remains a challenge, UN Montenegro thought it was critical to meet this demographic on their own terms and where they share what they think—online. As Marija and Ana noted in an earlier blog, our peak is the next UN’s five-year plan of cooperation with Montenegro, so we are climbing the proverbial Everest of the UN, so to speak, and in June 2015 we setup base camp and began planning our ascent. According to survey conducted by Montenegro Statistical Office, 90 percent of 16-34 year olds in Montenegro access the Internet everyday or almost every day, and 76 percent of the population participated in social networking. It is one thing to know that citizens are active online, and it is another thing entirely to engage them there. When we began discussing a strategy on how we might, we decided that the enhanced survey tool, which has received high marks from citizens, might be a good model. After all, it was designed to replace traditional survey instruments, and if there is one aspect of development that screams for innovation—it is the good ‘old fashioned stakeholder survey. Open Spaces for Citizen Insight… Our challenge was an interesting one: design an engagement that maintained the dynamism of the enhanced survey tool, but create a meaningful single-user experience that would generate the insights we were looking to harvest. One thing we knew we wanted to do was to continue the conversation with citizens that UN Montenegro has facilitated since 2012. To do this, we used outputs from the post-2015 national consultations  and two workshops organized in June 2015. To say that we used outputs from our face-to-face workshops is a bit of an understatement—we turned them into a robot…an algorithm to be exact. We synthesized the key outputs and developed a “player” to be part of the user experience. Additionally, we developed a UN Montenegro “player” whose choices were driven by results from an internal consultation and the Sustainable Development Goals. In crafting this engagement, we did not want to ask citizens simple questions and receive packaged answers. So, we left things open. We only provided a few prompts for users, which we made into a brief video introduction video introduction, Since we knew that Facebook was the preferred social media network in Montenegro, we asked users to share their results online and encourage others to play. Continuing the Conversation… Within a few days, a couple hundred people played, and the online platform generated some unique results. They differed markedly from our workshops in Podgorica—Montenegro’s largest city and capital. One thing that became apparent was that we were reaching a new audience, and almost half of our total respondents were from outside Podgorica. Furthermore, we saw some major differences in people’s priorities, or preferences, especially when asked about opportunities and values for Montenegro’s preferred future. We are still compiling all of the data and will be sure to share the final report on the online platform as soon as it is available. All findings of citizen engagement are feeding into the new  five-year plan of the UN Montenegro. We did, however, pull some preliminary results to generate scenarios for a backcasting exercise that took place at the strategic planning meeting with the Government in October 2015. Whereas our face-to-face workshop resulted in Sustainability and Hard Work as the top two key values for Montenegro’s preferred future, the online platform yielded Culture and Family. We also saw a difference in opportunities—Youth and the European Union (face-to-face) versus Social Innovation and Startups (online). The face-to-face engagements were limited to citizens primarily from the central region, but the online platform reached both the southern and northern regions. While most planning methods start in the here and now and move toward the future, backcasting works the opposite way and challenges participants to think about cause and effect relationships from alternative futures back to the present. Multiple development pathways are the name of the game in backcasting, and we will soon share the results along with some lessons learned in another post! Stay tuned and let us know if you used the foresight and backcasting in engaging ordinary people in strategic planning!

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Silo Fighters Blog

We want all voices at the table: UN Moldova makes diversity a priority

BY Claude Cahn | October 30, 2015

Moldova may be ahead of the curve when it comes to creating a diversity-friendly UN. Up for review are hiring practices, procurement, public communications and making UN facilities more accessible. Diversity begins at home Staff representation is important for reasons of intrinsic justice and fairness. It will also bring diverse perspectives and experiences to our development work – we want all voices at the table. It will also improve how we communicate UN values to the public. We want to be visibly out ahead in promoting and deepening the celebration of diversity in Moldova. A task force and three commitments The story starts in 2010, when the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Moldova began to give serious attention to its own diversity issues. We established a Diversity Initiative Task Force (DITF) to examine hiring and management because we want UN staffing to more closely reflect the diversity of Moldova’s population.  And we made three clear commitments: We resolved to redouble our efforts to hire persons from groups not sufficiently (or not at all) represented on our teams. Meriting particular attention were persons with disabilities, Roma, and persons from underrepresented regions, in particular Transnistria; We decided to conduct a mapping exercise to establish a baseline from which to measure improvements; We started diversity training for staff of the United Nations in Moldova. Here’s what we did next: Adopt common wording for terms-of-reference documents and public announcements, to encourage persons from marginalized or stigmatized groups to apply for opportunities at UN Moldova; Place public calls for employment in minority-language media; Provide training in this area for UN staff (with seminars in 2012, 2014 and 2015); Carry out an internal survey of diversity issues at the UN in Moldova, discovering that UN staff believe they are diversity-sensitive UN staff and welcome further attention to these issues, though in fact UN Moldova is not particularly diverse; Renovate the UN House ground floor, to render it accessible, using ad hoc contributions from a number of UN agencies (2014). Picking up speed in 2015 This year we are working with our first serious funding for our efforts, thanks to support from UN DOCO. The majority of funds are for continuing the renovation of UN common premises. It is our commitment that, by the end of 2015, all floors of UN House will be accessible to persons with disabilities. We also intend to make serious progress with the other UN premises. In addition to renovations, we are committed to taking a number of actions in 2015: Conduct a thorough assessment and improvement of the accessibility of UN communications, including rendering our website accessible (here are some tips for making your website disability-friendly); Review contracting and public procurement and other administrative procedures, to strengthen human rights, gender equality and diversity commitments; and Carry out a second UN diversity survey to see what has changed since 2012. Our work in this area is far from finished and our 2015 agenda as we have designed it is intense. We do this work happily, with a view to joining in common cause with Government, civil society, religious and belief groups, minority communities and the private sector to move forward Moldova’s human rights-based development.

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Silo Fighters Blog

Preparing for the Future(s): Foresight, citizens’ insights and serious games

BY Ana Dautovic, Marija Novkovic | October 20, 2015

Most people feel that the future is linear: if you perform well in school, you’ll get a job; if you work hard, you’ll be promoted; if you save, you’ll be able to live well through your retirement age, et cetera, et cetera. There is a great level of comfort in the IF → THEN causal link because there are fewer variables, fewer elements that could go off the rails. There is more certainty and we feel more in control. However, through Futures Studies there are alternative futures (possible, probable, plausible, and preferred); consequently, there are multiple development pathways. Professor Jim Dator, the pioneer of modern futures studies once said that “the future cannot be predicted because the future does not exist.” Indeed, the last few years brought forward unfathomable changes with deep, far-reaching ramifications. The global financial crisis, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, nuclear power plant disasters, the rise of extremism, and the ongoing global refugee crisis, to name just a few. The linear path from A (The Past) to B (The Now) to C (The Future) in these occurrences has been more challenging, if not impossible, to pin down. Because of the rapid pace of changes, development organizations are, in fact, asked to be more resilient and more agile so as to navigate uncertainties. We in the UN System in Montenegro were mindful of the fact that the realities of the present day and age require innovation at the highest point of impact – the five-year strategic plan of support to the country. We created a strategy that would infuse our long-term planning with foresight and civic engagement. It consists of three steps. 1. Serious games for empowering new voices in strategic planning Working in Montenegro over the last few years has brought us closer to the country's rising new voices -- a generation witnessing and creating unprecedented changes to the social fabric. Working across think-thanks, academia, statistical office and NGOs, they are disruptive innovators, digital champions and active youth. We engaged them through collaborative workshops, where they learned about foresight, and most importantly, created alternative futures for Montenegro. We are particularly proud to have used a serious game that was custom-made for Montenegro by John A. Sweeney, another member of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies and deputy director of the Center for Postnormal Policy and Futures Studies. The game, beautifully designed to showcase elements of the national costume, served as an enhanced survey tool, prompting the players to ponder on values, challenges, opportunities, stakeholders and actions, which will likely shape the future of the country. 2. Digital engagement fit for the 21st century Civic engagement, particularly through social innovation and online platforms, has been high on UN Montenegro’s agenda. So far, we’ve engaged thousands of Montenegrins and garnered their insights through the massive post-2015 national consultations (12,000 people), the Youth Employment Solutions platform (10,700 people), and uncovered social change heroes through the Open Ideas and Be Responsible campaigns (over 7000 civic reports of informal economy leading to generating public revenue in excess of 1 million EUR). However, public consultations on the next five-year strategic plan of collaboration between the UN and the Government of Montenegro were the new peak we had to conquer. We turned to digital technologies, and moved our serious game into the online space, hoping for a wider outreach. We are both anxious and excited about receiving citizens’ insights into the future! 3. Innovating at the point of strategic prioritization While this summer seemed like one giant roller-coaster journey, we do have few more rides ahead of us! Moving away from traditional planning processes, we are bringing in foresight into strategic planning with the Government. Applying foresight should allow us to unlock a much broader scope of analysis.  We plan to use backcasting, i.e. a forward looking planning process where we start from future(s) scenarios to define programmes that will help make them a reality. This strategic meeting with the government will be as collaborative and hands-on as possible, to inspire everyone to engage more than they would by filling out a survey or validating pre-defined strategic priorities. It will enable considering new horizons of the five-year plan, the integrated nature of sustainable development and human rights, and creating a more resilient society. Thinking critically about preferred futures will lead the way towards creating a more fluid and agile structure so that when challenges arise, we can navigate them. This approach will ultimately promote proactive versus reactive attitudes. In our next blog post, we will share what we have learned so far. Stay tuned, check out the video feature, and join the ride!

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Silo Fighters Blog

How we are ‘communicating as one’ in Iran

BY Gary Lewis | July 7, 2015

Public communications can be challenging in Iran, the country where I work. But we must be visible. Why? If we can show people that we are doing good work – and demonstrate that the United Nations is here to support Iran’s development and humanitarian agenda – Iranians will come to better appreciate the UN’s contribution inside Iran. So will those outside Iran. Partnerships will expand. And the political environment will become more conducive to funding more good work. Here are 10 ways we are communicating as one, using a communications plan approved by the UN Country Team in Iran: 1. Engage key audiences proactively Public communications efforts deliver messages designed to reach specific external audiences: the general public, the media, government, potential funding partners (including Iranian diaspora and local private sector), civil society and the general public. 2. Use UN agency Speakers’ Notes as a common script Opportunities for public speaking are actively pursued. (Check out a recent TEDx event where I discuss the linkages between the environment and human security.) Each of the 18 UN agencies in Iran prepare a set of talking points, outlining the key messages they want me to get across in any interview I have with the media on their issues. Furthermore, we have agreed scripts on cross-cutting issues like human rights, gender empowerment and youth. 3. Celebrate UN Days ― last year we celebrated around 30. We select those ‘International Days’ which connect with our ongoing development and humanitarian work. And we celebrate them. This allows us to hook onto a globally-celebrated day and then point to what the UN is doing on the ground in Iran. At the beginning of the year, the agencies plan to take the lead in organizing an activity for a specific day. 4. Give media interviews – frequently As the Resident Coordinator, I am often joined by agency heads who feel comfortable speaking with the press. We give frequent interviews with local and international media. Press releases and press briefing are structured media interactions that are used less frequently, e.g. when high-profile UN visitors come to Iran or when we have a report to launch. 5. Make the most of websites Almost every one of our 18 UN agencies runs their own website. Material from each of these sites is cross-linked to the UN Iran site. We average 70 stories each month on the UN Iran site. 6. Broadcast a regular E-Burst to friends worldwide At the end of each month we send out an e-mail with photos and links to stories to 1,500 recipients, including government officials, development partners, the private sector, media and civil society. Each issue begins with a brief overview of the preceding month’s events: one column in English; one column in Farsi. Readers can skim down the list of stories and open the links to the stories that interest them. 7. Use social media to greatly magnify messages If the UN is not visible through social media channels, no one will know about the great work we are doing. This will hurt our ability to share good practices, and it will hurt our ability to raise funds to expand the great work. The material that goes onto the website is also broadcast our other social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 8. Pay attention to quality control and speed Originally, I used to review all stories going up on the website before posting. But as time passed, others have assumed the quality control role with excellent results. As a rule we try to get up a story on any event within 24 hours. Speed is of the essence in conveying freshness and relevance. We have an enthusiastic and energetic UN communications team drawn from the UN agencies, which drives the process. 9. Try to use multiple languages In Iran, we try to run as many stories as possible in both English and Farsi. We are getting better at writing and Tweeting in both languages. 10. Monitor the results of public communications activities We are planning a Client Satisfaction Survey for our key audiences, using our 1,500 member E-Burst mailing list database. Proxy indicators can speak to scope and impact. The number of website hits is one example, along with data on the hit’s country of origin, length of time the visitor stayed, number of pages visited. We also track the number of stories we manage to place in the media. What do you think? How is Communicating as One being applied in your country?

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Country Stories

Turkmenistan: Localizing the SDGs and creating a monitoring system with an inclusive approach

November 9, 2016

Following the UN Sustainable Development Summit where the President of Turkmenistan demonstrated his support to the 2030 Agenda and the country’s commitment to realize the SDGs, the country established a joint government–UN SDG Task Group consisting of 20 national agencies. The Task Group includes the Mejlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan, diverse sector ministries of Economy and Development, Finance, Health, Education, Labour and Social Protection, Agriculture and Water, Justice, the State Committee for Environment Protection and Land Resources, the Turkmen National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights and the State Statistics Committee. The Task Group immediately approved a structured three-stage roll-out process including: national consultations, focused on each of the SDGs, to discuss and agree on the goals and targets to be adopted; incorporation of goals and targets into the next Presidential Socio-Economic Plan for 2017–2021 and sector plans and programmes; and creation of a national system to measure progress in implementing the SDGs. Reviewing existing plans and adapting the SDGs to the national context The Government of Turkmenistan hosted 17 days of national consultations during March 2016 in collaboration with the UN. This was a novel beginning to the country’s journey towards 2030. Each full-day session was jointly led by a government ministry and the UN and provided an opportunity to adjust the SDGs or define national indicators. On average 9 to 10 national ministries and departments were represented at each meeting, along with two representatives from the National Statistical Office. These consultations led to 121 out of 169 global targets being recommended for adoption without modification, while an additional 27 targets were modified; 109 of the 231 global indicators were recommended for adoption without modification, and 50 were modified. In addition, 39 national indicators were formulated, resulting in a total of 198 indicators. This list of recommendations is being submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for formal approval. Through the consultations, line ministries were able to openly exchange views and hold intersectoral discussions on sensitive topics, including discrepancies in data and HIV/AIDS indicators. The consultations provided an opportunity for capacity development by discussing in depth what each goal, target and indicator meant for the national context. They also contributed to building trust between the government and the UN for the work to follow. Inclusive participation During the process of defining the 2030 Agenda, Turkmenistan, with support from the UN, held country consultations to discuss the lessons learned from the implementation of the MDGs, to inform the public of the global discussions on the SDGs and seek their inputs into the 2030 Agenda. These consultations engaged with diverse stakeholders such as parliamentarians, academics, youth and school children (the Youth Union), women (the Women’s Union), private-sector actors (the Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs), and NGOs working with persons with disabilities. The consultations resulted in a very high level of government awareness of the SDGs and contributed to moving quickly to roll out the SDGs with a whole-of-government approach.

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Country Stories

Montenegro: Adapting an established national strategy for Sustainable Development to new global and regional agendas

November 9, 2016

National ownership Montenegro’s ambitions as an ‘ecological state’ pursuing a sustainable development path stem from the 1990s and were reflected as early as 1992 in the text of the Constitution. This interest was further reflected in the country’s high level of participation in global debates on the formulation of the SDGs, particularly through the Open Working Group, where the views of 12,000 people from national consultations ‘Montenegro – the Future I Want’ were presented. The UN Montenegro and the civil sector collaborated closely with the government in the ambitious consultation process with the people of Montenegro, which included the most marginalized populations. In close cooperation with the UN, the government launched the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the UN, using a jointly developed animation entitled ‘We have a plan’. Institutional coordination In 2002, Montenegro established a National Council for Sustainable Development, which acts as an advisory body to the government for implementing sustainable development policies, while the line ministry responsible for sustainable development is in charge of implementation. Chaired by the President and consisting of 25 members (representatives of ministries, local authorities, the business sector, public institutions, civil society and independent experts), the National Council provides recommendations to the government for implementing sustainable development policies; harmonizes sectoral policies with the principles, objectives and measures of sustainable development, climate change and integrated coastal zone management; and amends the existing regulations and adopts new regulations for the harmonization of socio-economic development and conservation of natural resources with sustainable development policies. Since the adoption of the first National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD) in 2007, a new strategy has been proposed to reform the institutional set-up, in order to further strengthen capacities at the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism and the public administration and improve their cooperation with national and international partners. The existing National Council was thus reformed as the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Changes and Integrated Coastal Zone Management, covering more diverse and integrated issues. Reviewing existing plans and adapting the SDGs to the national context A draft version of the NSSD 2030 was adopted by the Government of Montenegro, and a mapping of the indicators and targets proposed for each goal against existing national statistics was completed. Public consultations with a broad spectrum of relevant stakeholders have been held, and the NSSD has fully aligned national goals with the 2030 Agenda. The Strategy was adopted by the National Council for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in June 2016, while the final adoption by the government is expected in mid-2016. The previous NSSD and MDG Progress Reports were used as important inputs to the new NSSD 2030. Discussions held within the Open Working Group on SDGs, intergovernmental negotiations and the outcomes of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda influenced the content and timing of the Strategy. A longer time horizon was adopted to align it with the 2030 Agenda, and ‘governance and financing’ for sustainable development was given a central position. The UN contributed to the development of the new NSSD, and it is expected to be further involved in setting up a national monitoring and evaluation system to track progress in implementing the NSSD Action Plan. Moreover, the government and UN Montenegro developed a new plan of cooperation for 2017–2021, taking the 2030 Agenda as a starting point for UN interventions in the country. They are currently working on developing an online hub that will inter alia  help to communicate the SDGs and engage with partners in their implementation of the NSSD. Monitoring and reporting Monitoring and reporting on implementation of the NSSD has been taken seriously. An integrated NSSD monitoring framework proposes using 231 global SDG indicators, 281 national indicators, 9 composite indicators, and 36 other indicators provided by international organizations that are relevant to Montenegro. Overall, 42.3 percent of the global set of SDG indicators will be tracked through existing or newly accessible data by 2018, since the preparation of the First National Report on NSSD implementation is planned in 2019. It is anticipated that by 2024, 74.7 percent of SDG indicators will be regularly monitored and reported on. Specific tasks are being assigned for the collection and storage of input data for the statistical indicators, as well as protocols for exchanging data and ensuring compatibility. The need for improved capacity is highlighted if reporting on the full range of indicators of sustainable development is to be realized.

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Country Stories

Georgia: Prioritizing SDG implementation towards institutional coordination and policy coherence

November 9, 2016

National ownershipGeorgia is enjoying a favourable start to implementation of the SDGs due to the government’s demonstrated ownership of the SDG agenda and a national consensus about the importance of thenew global goals for the country’s development. The Administration of the Government of Georgia has established a working group comprising line ministries and the National Statistics Office to adapt the SDGs to the national context. Strong commitment to make the global goals an essential part of national priorities was clearly voiced at the Social Good Summit in September 2015 organized by the Administration of the Government, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection and the UN, in cooperation with the Government of the Ajara Autonomous Republic, one of the rapidly developing regions of Georgia that has engaged in piloting many of the SDG approaches. With the focus on pressing developmental issues faced by Georgia in the areas of environmental protection, economic growth and urban and rural development, the Summit paid particular attention to the development of national strategies required to address these challenges and the value of international cooperation to enhance the country’s role in achieving the global goals. The discussion which had started at the Social Good Summit continued at the SDG Donor Round Table in January 2016. Inclusive participation Following a highly participatory Social Good Summit which brought on board government officials, representatives of subnational governments, civil society and the media, UN support to the nationalization of the SDGs continued by assisting an inclusive national dialogue about the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This included a series of introductory meetings in five regions of Georgia that engaged local authorities, NGOs, businesses and the media. Adapting the SDGs to the national context To adapt the SDGs to national priorities and challenges, the Government’s Administration has prioritized 13 of the 17 SDGs and 79 global targets for the next 5–7 years. Additionally, 40 targets have been translated and adjusted, and 5 new national targets have been set, while the government intends to define all 17 SDGs as a permanent national priority. National and local CSOs provided inputs into identifying priority areas, and the government is continuing the dialogue process. The UNCT has held a series of consultations with the Government’s Administration and all line ministries to provide feedback on the nationalization process, including specific targets and indicators. Raising public awareness Building on the successful engagement of approximately 10,000 Georgians during the national consultations in 2013 to inform the creation of the 2030 Agenda, the government, together with the UN, is considering creating an online digital platform for interactive data collection and visualization of  the SDGs and the Georgian nationalization process. Crowdsourcing tools such as the MY World survey, including an online platform and an SMS voting service, offer the opportunity to collect fresh data on the Georgian public’s stance on the SDGs. Leaflets and guides are being developed in the Georgian language to raise awareness among local communities and municipalities. Additionally, introductory meetings were held in five regions of the country, with the aim of raising awareness of the SDGs among local governments and the private and civil sectors. The UN has also partnered with the national NGO Civil Development Agency (CiDA) to support local-level outreach round tables, and a panel discussion was convened on the SDG agenda at the international conference ‘Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Georgia’ together with CiDA and the UN Global Compact. Horizontal and vertical coordination The establishment within the Government’s Administration of two new units in 2014 greatly enhanced the government’s capacity to lead the nationalization process and provided the UNCT with clear entry points and partners to support the SDG process. The Planning and Innovations Unit has led the nationalization process and horizontal policy coordination, while the Donor Coordination Unit has led the interface between the Government’s Administration and international organizations. Monitoring and reporting With the support of the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat), a reliable information base has been analysed to set the baseline indicator for each target. Geostat has worked with the line ministries to collect the relevant data and analyse weaknesses of disaggregated statistics. As of early 2016, nearly 120 indicators have been identified as having baseline data. Still, the lack of statistical data remains a challenge to setting reliable quantitative indicators.

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