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Articles
  • Developing not for but with: Co-designing Armenia Feb 13, 2015

    A common trap in development work is thinking that the service you’re providing will address all the needs of those who will use it. But what would you learn that you otherwise might not if you involved everyday citizens in the design of public sector services?

  • Dodging dystopia: crowdsourced foresight in Armenia Jan 19, 2015

    At Kolba lab here in Armenia, we have been testing foresight. We’re trying to gauge its potential in shaping the UN’s strategy in Armenia and in supporting the design of future development programmes. This blog is the second part in a series aimed at sharing our rationales, experiences and results.

  • Kolba in 2015: it’s your community, so what will we achieve together? Jan 6, 2015

    We have come a long way since Mardamej. Social innovation camps were a lot of fun, but many of the teams that emerged from these co-design events needed more support. So we built Kolba, a social venture incubator.

  • UN in Armenia Launches the HuRiCamp! Dec 10, 2014

    On the occasion of the Human Rights Day, on 10th December 2014, the UN in Armenia organized the first-ever HuRiCamp – an experimental unconference on human rights at the American University of Armenia. Human rights activists and defenders, and simply enthusiasts from a wide range of backgrounds came together to speak on various human rights issues in Armenia. In a friendly, cooperative environment designed to educate, share learning and inspire collaboration, speakers shared their ideas, solutions, challenges and achievements in tackling human rights issues in Armenia.

  • Understanding realities: Foresight for development in Armenia Dec 5, 2014

    In the past few months Kolba Lab here in Armenia has jumped on the “gold rush to the future“. This is the first in a series of blogs that aims to share our rationales, experiences, and results. Today’s challenges – increased complexity and interconnectedness of development issues, alongside endemic deficiencies within static bureaucracies – are pushing us to rethink the way the development industry operates.

  • No ceiling: Three approaches to women’s leadership in Armenia Nov 26, 2014

    In Armenia, like in much of the world, we have a problem with glass ceilings. Initially, our question was: What prevents capable and respected women to consider entering local government? Field work indicated a number of interrelated structural factors: narrow gender identities, a fear of failure and reputation loss, lack of skills, prohibitive costs, perceptions of the role of community councils, and the lack of a support network.

  • Specialists gather in Yerevan for UNDP sustainable development conference Oct 17, 2014

    How can we merge the challenges posed by climate change with the need to develop economically? From 8th to 10th October 2014 a mixture of policy-makers, business leaders, researchers and practitioners from all over the world gathered in Armenia to answer this question, looking specifically towards the role that government should play in helping to drive this process.

  • UNDP global leader in transparency Oct 8, 2014

    New York —The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the most transparent aid organization, according to a leading global ranking released today. The 2014 Aid Transparency Index recognized UNDP for its “commendable performance” in publishing information beyond international standards this year, placing it first overall out of 68 major agencies evaluated worldwide.

  • Big hits and blunders: A social innovation lab in Armenia Aug 14, 2014

    When UNDP in Armenia launched Kolba over a year ago, it was the only social venture incubator and design lab within the organization. Twelve months and a lot of (emotional) scars later, we thought it was time to share some of our big hits and blunders.

  • Armenia’s Human Rights Action Plan – the beginning of a long journey Jul 11, 2014

    Human Rights have always been high on the agenda of progressive states, including Armenia. And while I fully acknowledge that we still face many human rights issues, it is worth noting that never has such a commitment and readiness to advance human rights been recorded in Armenia as in recent years. We now have a new Human Rights Action Plan, but how do we ensure that it doesn’t gather dust on a shelf?

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