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Through migrant eyes

Ever since I started working in development I have been struck by how little we talk about its linkages with migration. Most NGOs specialise in either/or. Very few of them have the courage or the capacity to address migration and development together despite the fact that these issues are often two sides of the same coin.
If anything, the growing influx of migrants and refugees into Europe has forced us to start making that link in earnest. Never before have so many people been forced to flee their homes, nearly sixty million worldwide – the equivalent size of Italy’s population.

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What can technology do to reduce gender-based violence?

International Women’s Day, 8 March, is fast approaching and surely the news will shower us with all kinds of statistics on women’s progress or lack thereof around the globe. For all the predictable talk, we have become blind to dry numbers. Statistics alone can only go so far in describing the impact of issues like gender inequality and gender-based violence on the daily life of millions of women and their families. And when it comes to countries in conflict, it is hard to even imagine what it means to experience something like gender-based violence just by looking at numbers....

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In their shoes

Sudan, circa 2007. At the time I was a consultant doing free-lance evaluations for humanitarian organisations big and small. I had spent the last three months assessing a major international NGO operating in several developing countries. The team leader and I were supposed to leave together for the final stop, a field office in a remote village South-East of Juba, the capital of the now independent South Sudan. At the last minute, though, we had to change plans: my colleague would stay in Juba to meet with local authorities while I would have to travel to the village alone...

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The dividing line

Once again Davos has kicked off the new year with its glitzy gathering of the world’s most influential leaders to discuss the hottest issues on the global agenda. This time the focus was on the so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – how do we ensure the spectacular technological changes of our times benefit our economy and the well-being of our society? How do we limit the risk of seeing more and more insecurity for people unable to keep up with these changes? A little scratch below the surface and the thorny issue of widening inequality rose again as the common...

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Humans of My World

First few days into the new year and already my shopping list of resolutions has shrunk to a couple. Besides my eternal plan to exercise more, the resolution that has stuck the most is to continue what I started last October: to help voice the opinions of those who are usually voiceless, particularly people living in the least developed countries, through my blog. I could hardly find a more refreshing source of inspiration for the challenge than to sift through the stories of Humans of My World, the human face behind the UN My World survey. As I have...

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