UNDP Assistant Secretary-General Olav Kjørven took time out from his busy schedule this week to hear from global partners of the MY World on their success in engaging citizens to add their priorities for creating a better world.
Kjørven told partners in the UNDP headquarters in New York and otherswho joined via Skype, that MY World was a chance for the United Nations and global leaders to hear the issues facing people first hand.
“What are women farmers telling us? What are indigenous people telling us? What are youth in the cities telling us? People with disabilities?” said Mr. Kjørven.
Discussing the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s), Mr. Kjørven highlighted how for the first time the international community had a shared agenda and goals to work towards yet it was clear going into the Post-2015 discussion that opinion of citizens and development professionals had to be included in the discussion.
“For the first time in history, it is possible to have a global conversation with people all over the world about the next development agenda and ask people about the world we want to live in,” he said. “That didn’t happen 14 years ago, partly because it couldn’t happen…We didn’t have the means. But also people didn’t think about it and we were so used to decision making taking place behind closed doors.”
Joining Mr. Kjørven for the presentation was “MY World Mother” Claire Melamed, Head of the Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). She briefed partners on how the idea of the survey came to fruition across three continents through a conversation with Corinne Woods, Director, United Nations Millennium Campaignon creating an innovative way to hear from those people who will be most affected by the next development agenda and have political weight.
Partners from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt and Brazil spoke about a variety of creative initiatives being used at the country level as part of a successful grass roots mobilization that helped reach the capture the voices of the world’s most marginalized communities. The survey aims to bring the most pressing issues facing people to their government’s attention.
Awards were given to Sought Out Cameroon, Masawy and ChangeMob for their organizations’ mobilization efforts
Anindividual award went to youth advocate Juan Varela of Mexico who gathered 760 votes through paper ballots distributed across university campuses.
Speaking from leading private sector partners, Julie Allen of Viacom updated on the groups planned digital launch of MY World across all Viacom’s brands including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon globally with the potential to reach an audience of hundreds of millions.