Published in 2019

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius

This quote by the great Chinese philosopher summarises the key message of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) that ended last week at the UN in New York. The HLPF which is the central platform for follow-up and review of all 17 SDGs clearly showed that we as a world are not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we must step up and adjust our efforts. …


In just one year, COVID-19 has changed our world beyond our imagination. Wherever one may live or go, a lingering fear has engulfed each one of us. The fear of being infected, the fear of losing a loved one, the fear of being deprived of our basic necessities and resources, the fear of leaving behind our livelihoods, employment, and education, and the fear of not being counted; is what most of us are experiencing in these difficult times. Now imagine that this uncertainty, this helplessness being a perpetual ordeal for people with disabilities. …


Published in 2016

In today’s volatile world, more than 100 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, of which 50 per cent are children. More than 60 million people have been displaced and are facing extreme situations due to conflict, emergencies and natural disasters. Some of the major consequences of these are mass displacement, separation of families, loss of parents, lack of opportunities in the formal labour market, increased poverty, and greater chances of children going missing and becoming invisible. Prone to more vulnerability, children in such delicate times remain the worst sufferers who continue to be attacked…


The last decade saw an unrivalled rise in the incidence of populist parties finding themselves in government, resulting in a powerful wave of populism and nationalism around the world. This wave has not only enveloped places like Latin America but also Europe and parts of Asia.

Concepts of ‘populism’, ‘nationalism’ and ‘authoritarianism’ are often used interchangeably but they can occur independently and can be mutually reinforcing. Populism is characterised as a way of carrying out politics that agitates not only against the ‘elites’ to implement the will of ‘the people who failed to serve the interests of the ‘majority; but…


In the post-COVID-19 world, the internet has become an indispensable entity. It is an imperative tool for businesses to continue operations, for schools to continue education, for governments to monitor the COVID-19 infection rate and for scientists and researchers to find innovative solutions to various socio-economic-health problems.

Today, the pandemic has brought a behavioural change in the way we work, play, learn, socialise and shop. In 2020, it inducted thousands of new internet users, including older people and women. Globally, the adoption of social media surged by more than 12% in the last year, translating into 14 people using social…


Introduction

In India, women constitute about 48.1% of the population, however only 20.3% of women aged 15 and older participate in the labour force as of 2020, (compared to 76.0% of men) (World Bank, 2020). Some valid reasons for women’s low participation in the workforce include restrictive cultural norms regarding women’s work, the gender wage gap, an increase in time spent for women continuing their education, and a lack of safety policies and flexible and supportive work offerings. Due to such factors and many more, women have been left behind.

Even though the government has taken a number of measures to…

Maina Sharma

Seasoned international development and public policy professional

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