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Public sector innovation in the United Arab Emirates: How it occurs and what it delivers

For many people, innovation in government is considered an oxymoron. There is a popular perception that innovation is really driven by the private sector (nowadays this is exacerbated by the role of 'big tech'). But this is far from the truth, the public sector innovates, and you can find great exam...
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A retrospective on our first Master’s Student Ambassadorship: Process innovation in practice

A post by Lisa Färber, former Student Ambassador on our MSc. in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP) … Just a couple of years ago, I was looking for a truly future-oriented Master’s programme. It’s a competitive market, with glossy brochures and slick videos all over social media. B...
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UNU-MERIT Director’s Corner Podcast — November 2021

It’s actually pretty exciting to see what is happening on the comprehensive innovation frontlines. As we said in a previous podcast, our Comprehensive Innovation teams are actually the trailblazers to explore and build on that concept of comprehensive innovation. I was meeting with the team leads la...
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Towards e-compliance: Exploring e-governance initiatives in the case of Bhutan

Technology is well-known for increasing efficiency and productivity – but it also has more complex ‘darker’ sides. In your PhD thesis, which you defend on 16 November 2021 in Maastricht, you investigate the willingness of government employees in Bhutan to use new e-government systems. Can you tell u...
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The new normal of ‘Climate Grief’: Why mental health must feature in adaptation and resilience planning

The lives of billions of people are at stake at this month’s COP26 Summit, as regional and national leaders meet to mitigate the worst case scenarios of climate change. Against this backdrop, we know that thousands of lives are already being lost every year – but what about the climate survivors? Wh...
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For a ‘Better World’: UNU-MERIT helps SBE claim second place in global MBA sustainability ranking

Contributions from some 40 UNU-MERIT researchers and lecturers helped Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics (SBE) claim second place out of almost 150 business schools in the Corporate Knights’ 2021 Better World MBA ranking. According to this latest global ranking, SBE is the #1 b...
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COP26: The psychological game behind a successful negotiation

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we negotiate in every aspect of our daily lives - whether it be persuading a child to eat its vegetables, haggling over a property price, or discussing the terms of a job offer. Negotiation can be viewed as “back-and-forth communication designed to reac...
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Master’s alumnus wins UN IPCC scholarship ‘for innovative and efficient solutions’ to climate change

Master’s alumnus Manuj Bhardwaj, a lawyer from India, has been awarded a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) programme scholarship, 2021-23, from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. IPCC Secretary Abdallah Mokssit called the programme “an important step...
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International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists: Exploring another dark side of innovation

The 2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists highlights the instrumental role of prosecutorial services, in investigating and prosecuting not only killings but also threats of violence against journalists. This year’s campaign highlights the psychological trauma experien...
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Message from the Secretary-General on United Nations Day 2021

  “Seventy-six years ago, the United Nations was created as a vehicle of hope for a world emerging from the shadow of catastrophic conflict. Today, the women and men of the UN carry this hope forward around the globe. COVID-19, conflicts, hunger, poverty and the climate emergency remind u...
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UNU-MERIT Director’s Corner Podcast — October 2021

This month is interesting for a number of reasons, so maybe I can start with some of the meetings I will have this month. Our UNU Rector is on a European tour. He’s in in Paris already as we speak, but then he will visit UNU-CRIS, our sister institute in Bruges. He will then visit The Hague. He’s un...
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Informal workers in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso have been hit harder by COVID-19

A joint post by PhD alumni Racky Balde and Elvis Avenyo. … The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated counter-measures continue to shed light on the social and economic challenges facing African countries. Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa countries is expected to decline, putting pressure o...
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International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste: Dumpster diving in Germany

The average weight of a pony is 300 kg – and that is roughly equivalent to the amount of edible food wasted every second in Germany alone– totalling around 18 million tons per year. Living in Germany, people have the privilege of buying food products whenever they want from all over the world, and o...
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Why cooperation is key to better city environments

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) aims at “Uniting the World to Tackle Climate Change”. While the technical aspects to addressing climate change is more evident in the goals of COP 26, it is time attention is equally paid to the governance of climate change at the metropolita...
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Royal SDG Advocate meets UN in Brussels, pays virtual visit to Liberia

Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians paid an in-person visit to UN House in Brussels, the headquarters of several agencies, funds, and programmes of the United Nations in the Belgian capital, as well as a virtual visit to the UN in Liberia, on 23 September 2021. During her meeting with represe...
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PhD candidate wins World Bank fellowship on development economics

PhD candidate Mariajose Silva Vargas has been named a Robert S. McNamara Fellow at the World Bank, where she will be hosted for 2021-22 in the Infrastructure and Climate Change unit, part of the Development Impact Evaluation department, in Washington DC, USA. As a large part of her work, Mariajose u...
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Leiden calling: Alumnus Ayo Adedokun named best lecturer

PhD alumnus and affiliated researcher Ayo Adedokun was awarded the Leiden University Student platform (LUS) teaching prize, for best lecturer of the year, on 6 September 2021. “Teaching is not merely a profession; it’s a calling,” said Adedokun, who was clearly moved upon receiving the award from th...
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New Open Access Handbook on Social Protection Systems

A new Open Access Handbook on Social Protection Systems features contributions from UNU-MERIT researchers Franziska Gassmann, Tamara Kool and Zina Nimeh, as well as alumni Mira Bierbaum, Victor Cebotari and Eszter Timar. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and globally relevant overview of the in...
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New study confirms EU leadership in Open Science

A new report based on a Horizon 2020 monitoring exercise, featuring contributions from UNU-MERIT’s Ad Notten, confirms the continued progress of EU Open Science. With a steady increase over the years and an average success rate of 83% open access to scientific publications, the European Commis...
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Nigeria has democracy but not development: Book review

After struggling for 39 years to develop a fertile ground for democratic governance, Nigeria had its turning point in May 1999 when it became the world’s fourth largest democracy. This came after 16 years of brutal military rule. Despite complaints of fraud by political opposition in each election h...
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