“Global_Risks_and_Opportunities_Survey_Report” analyzes the results of a perception survey conducted with 460 UNICEF staff working across the globe. The highest risks children experts see in the 15 coming years are climate change and environmental degradation, rising inequalities, and political instability and conflict. The main opportunities they list are science and technology, the elimination of contemporary scourges, and the exponential power of girls. It was interesting to see that some key areas of UNICEF’s work like education and communicable diseases were not ranked high on the lists of risks and opportunities; and that, overall, respondents were very technology-optimistic. All background data including some regional perspectives, are available here.
There is a growing interest of international organizations (IOs) in foresight work. Foresight units are popping up in IO headquarters and an increasing number of field and regional offices are looking at ways to integrate foresight in their planning exercises. This is really exciting. This year, our unit is teaming up with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to take stock of global trends and their impacts on children, develop scenarios and hold a couple of foresight workshops with country offices. There is also a push to further integrate foresight work in UNDAF business. The rationale behind this is captured in Tully’s “Applying foresight and alternative futures to the UNDAF”. Some countries, like Montenegro, have already undertaken interesting foresight exercises, see here. There are expectations that some of the 39 countries starting to craft their UNDAF in 2016 will also do so. This is a space to watch.