Empowering lives, building resilience – development stories from Europe and Central Asia

UNDP has released a publication “Empowering lives, Building Resilience – Development Stories from Europe and Central Asia” that features success stories from 16 countries where UNDP support has resulted in transformative changes, including by fostering the growth of institutional and human capacities.

The success stories in this publication show how UNDP has contributed to building the capabilities of government institutions, civil society and the private sector by providing seed funding, expertise and implementation support, and by bringing different parties together.

It is the first volume in a series devoted to documenting transformational success stories in the region, and it contains a story about the UNDP implemented demilitarization project in Montenegro („Montenegro: Defence Reform Ushers in Greater Security“, pages 63-68).

The achievements of the MONDEM programme contribute to a safer and more secure Montenegro. This programme has proved to be an excellent example of a successful cooperation between the government and international partners for the benefit of local population, especially in the areas of ammunition depots and toxic waste. The model has ensured close collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and UNDP as well as OSCE, which has promoted the programme extensively to its member states and has ensured continuous funding.

The incorporation of a capacity development component in the programme was helpful because it ensured that the programmes undertaken were not a one-off. The Ministry of Defense has been equipped with the skills to continue to improve the safety and security of its population.

Given the many challenges of development, the lessons learned from successful initiatives are an invaluable resource. Projects that have started small and grown into nation-wide programmes, or that have leveraged policy changes with national implications, should be documented, as this publication has done. Highlighting success is also a means to acknowledge the value of development cooperation and encourage its many participants to carry on their efforts to help bring about lasting improvements in people’s lives.

“’Empowering Lives, Building Resilience’ is not only the title of this publication; it is the vision and mission of UNDP. As these stories show, our successes come in different areas and contexts, but common themes emerge from them. Strong partnerships with governments and civil society, national ownership, and building capacities, are not only theoretical principles of aid effectiveness highlighted in global conferences; they are also key elements of getting success on the ground,” said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator at the official launch of the publication for the Permanent Representatives of member states to the UN. Helen Clark, full remarks

“Looking ahead, from today’s viewpoint, the trajectory for a development organization like ours is not clear or straightforward. What we see very clearly is that there is a role for UNDP in the Middle income countries. Our role as the flexible and impartial convener is needed in the MICs, and in an increasingly globalized world. It is important that we do not lose this role,” said Kori Udovički, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)Kori Udovički, summary of remarks

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