Mar 31, 20163 things I learned about development from giving a TEDx TalkI cringe every time I think of my TEDx talk. What those on stage in California make seem effortless is actually the result of months of work: an incredibly difficult process of condensing thousands of ideas into one simple message. For me, this was all the more difficult because I am a bureaucrat. Advocate, promote and represent are verbs in my job description but “give an inspiring talk without notes or slides on a difficult development topic in front of hundreds of people which will be posted online to be seen by many more” is not – at least not until now. In Armenia, we’re partnering with TEDx Yerevan to bring difficult topics into conversation, and to do it well: no notes, no props, no speech writers.
Apr 22, 2016A Perfect Marriage: Bringing together development and entrepreneurshipAccording to some estimates, achieving the Global Goals will cost $172.5 trillion by 2030. Consider that aid towards developing countries currently sits around $350 billion annually. It’s clear there is a major gap in funding between where we are and where we want to go.
Armenia: Communities have their say via SMS pollingLast November we discussed the development of an easy-to-use micro-referendum tool – an SMS polling application – to encourage citizen engagement in communities throughout Armenia. We wanted to help local authorities reach their constituents by providing them with a safe and open forum to express their opinions.
Armenia: Increasing Resilience by Reducing the Risk of DisasterFor years, the people of Sipanik expanded the area of land under cultivation in an attempt to grow more food. But each time the Hrazdan River thwarted the efforts of this small, remote community, situated in one of the most disaster-prone areas of Armenia. It swelled and flooded their crops, and the people had to start over once more.
May 7, 2015Climate Change: a predictable shockLast month UNDP in Armenia held Yerevan’s very first TEDx Salon. Speakers of all shapes and sizes – environmental experts, civil society leaders, government ministers, and academics – spoke in front of a packed audiences on the perils of climate change and what we need to do to combat it.
Empowering Vocational Education Schools for Better TrainingVocational education (VET) colleges see their role as providing general education, as well as work-related skills demanded by the labor markets. In order to match the international best practices, the Armenian educational system needs to reassess the roles of general education and the VET system; schools need to develop general education curricula, while VET system needs to focus on the skills needed in non-academic professions and required by the labor market.