The MY World global survey was front and centre of UNIC Canberra’s promotional activities at the National Multicultural Festival. With almost 300 thousand attendees, this year’s National Multicultural Festival was the biggest ever and proved a perfect opportunity to promote the MY World global survey as well as other UN initiatives and programmes.
To help garner support for the MY World global survey a real voting booth was set up together with a large colourful banner, factsheets, stickers and even a replica Secretary General, who proved very popular with the crowds. On what was a very sunny Canberra day, a group of UN Youth volunteers were also on hand to encourage people to vote and have their voice heard. Despite some finding it difficult to narrow down what is important to them to just six choices, almost 400 votes were collected from people of all walks of life, with some even from as far away as the United Kingdom and Sweden.
This year again UNIC Canberra partnered with the regional United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office (UNHCR) to promote the wider role of the United Nations in areas such as peace and security, human rights and environment.
The festival provided a great opportunity for UNIC staff to interact with the community and raise awareness about the UN’s role in the region and its priorities for this year.
The National Multicultural Festival is an annual event hosted in Canberra which this year is celebrating its centenary. The festival celebrates cultural diversity and showcases an array of multicultural arts, music, dancing and food.
The Guardian‘s Liz Ford interviewed ASG Amina Mohammed in Monrovia during the most recent meeting of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Process. Mohammed, who is also a member of the Leadership Council of the SDSN, is Special Adviser to SG Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning and is responsible for coordinating the various work streams on Post-2015, both inside and outside the UN system.
Mohammed said, “I don’t think we ever have enough time, but the time we have got is sufficient to get concrete ideas to shape what we want to do post-2015, drawing on so much that has already been done.” She also spoke about the inclusion of human rights, and the challenge of integrating so many different stakeholders and streams of work.
The web version of MY World was launched in mid-December and has quickly picked up pace in January. As of today, 183 countries have started to choose their priorities for a better world. More than 55% of those that have taken the survey are women. 124 partners, listed in the annex, have signed up to promote MY World to their members, including through offline methods. Work with the Nike Foundation will see MY World taken offline into 15,000 villages in Rwanda. In India one of the largest civil society coalitions, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, will help the survey reach 100,000 people.
The mobile phone version of MY World, using texts and voice technology, will be launched soon in India. Discussions are also underway with mobile phone providers in Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines, and we will expand the mobile survey to at least another 15 countries over time.
The offline version of MY World is now being rolled out, with a survey involving a stratified sample of over 2,000 people already conducted in Liberia. Over the next three months, offline surveys will be taken forward in an additional 20 countries.
This early report provides detailed results for the first comprehensive MY World survey, in Liberia, and preliminary results from the online survey.
All the hopes and aspirations we place into the idea of empowerment and equality.
This particular action was in a village in the state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern Indian and it involved no more or less than a “charpoy”, a traditional sitting bench, and a young woman called Devika.
A scene that many of you working in development will recognize: The team of development workers arrives in the village and the charpoy is bought out and the visitors and men of the village sit to talk. Around them gathers the village—lanky teenage boys staring, sinewy old men dressed in white cotton leaning on sticks, small grubby children dressed in oversized party dresses falling off their shoulders and old toothless women crouching on the floor. So we talked, of polio and nutrition, of births and water pumps—and then we asked about “school and girls.” Much nodding of heads and shouting. Then, through the crowd came a slender girl, pristine, wearing a powder blue shalwar kameez. She sat on the “charpoy.” She didn’t stand or crouch, she took her place with the elders and talked, telling us about her girls club and the work they did for children with polio. “And your mother,” we asked. She pointed to an old toothless woman squatting on the floor.
This moment when Devika literally took her place at the table—despite her youth and her gender—is one we should strive to repeat in everything we do. Empower young people, and particularly young women, to speak up and contribute to the larger discussion. Let’s ensure that the millions of Devikas know that they have a place at the table and have their say.
We, at the United Nations want to hear from you!
Vote for what’s important to improve your life and the world around us at My World 2015.
Join citizens worldwide and help build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals.
Your results will be submitted to the Secretary General´s High Level Panel for Post-2015 and will feed into their final report and recommendations for a new development framework in May 2013.
By Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign