While a fine wine might get better with age, the same is not true for flawed political theories.
Western analysts all too often take a distorted and reductionist approach to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says Kai Koddenbrock, who analysed more than 50 policy papers for a study published in the journal International Peacekeeping in November 2012.
Despite existing local expertise and strategies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build peace-supporting structures at the community level, official debates and media coverage continue to focus predominantly on military interventions.
Rape is often perceived as an individual trauma, but in reality its impact extends far beyond a single person and instead affects entire communities, complicating the already challenging task of helping victims of sexual violence.
Journalists can play a crucial role in helping to shift traditional attitudes within societies where the cruel practice of female genital mutilation is an everyday reality.
Conflicts of interest can be viewed as drivers of societies and human development, although recourse to violence has destroyed millions of people’s lives and leaves generations wounded for decades and even centuries.
By now, the dilemma is well recognised but hardly solved: as the global population grows, resources become increasingly scarce. Indeed, food production will have to increase by a whopping 60 percent by 2050 in order to meet the future demand for food and agricultural products.
Human rights should be explicitly recognised as an indispensable ingredient of sustainable development at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, says Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Building the cities of the future requires not only smarter planning but a profound shift toward greater equity and social justice, says Joan Clos, executive director of the U.N. Human Settlements Programme, or UN-HABITAT.
As Africa's Sahel region faces a new food crisis, smallholder famers hold the key to making future development policies sustainable.
After Latin America and the Caribbean's "lost decade" of the 1980s, the region has experienced a period of "light and shadow", says Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Empowering rural women in the Iraqi marshlands, who mostly remain off the radar of international support, must involve local languages and dialects as well as local women trainers, says Mishkat Al Moumin, founder of the Iraqi group Women and the Environment Network (WATEO).
In Haitian refugee camps, women are still crammed under plastic or cloth tarps that provide no security and quickly become overheated by the sun. Sexual abuse, harassment, assault and rape run rampant, even as political responses to these dangers have stalled. But KOFAVIV, a women's organisation founded by and for rape survivors, offers a glimmer of hope.
Tools such as "gender markers", which screen budgets and resources dedicated to promoting gender equality, are proving critical to improving the effectiveness of monetary support that seeks to empower women and girls.
Promising methods of tracking aid funding intended to improve women's and girls' livelihoods also offer the possibility of revealing whether donors and policymakers are walking the walk when it comes to gender financing.