development projects in namibiaNamibia lies on the southwest coast of Africa and is comprised of both mountains and desert. The climate and terrain pose multiple challenges to its citizens. Nonetheless, nearly 2.3 million people still inhabit this country, 54.3 percent of which live in rural areas. Here are four development projects in Namibia, many led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) working to make life easier for these citizens.

Scaling up Community Resilience to Climate Variability

Namibia has consistently faced problems over the years relating to water scarcity. In 2013, the country fought an intense drought that endangered one million of the 2.3 million people living there. As one of the driest countries in Southern Africa, Namibian farmers depend on rainy seasons to make a living. It did not arrive in 2013.

This UNDP project focuses on enhancing protective measures to ensure food and water security despite climate variations. The project focuses specifically on women and children. Close to 80 percent of the 4,000 involved households are led by women. The project also includes children from 75 Namibian schools.

The project will result in the use of sustainable agricultural practices and the restoration of wells and floodwater pools by the end of 2019.

Sustainable Management of Namibia’s Forested Lands (NAFOLA)

Namibia’s forests are vital to its citizens. In such a dry climate, forests promote biodiversity and water conservation, prevent soil erosion and provide food and resources for the Namibian people. Through this five-year project, the goal is to strengthen 11 community forests and promote community use and management of the resources NAFOLA provides.

This is one of the development projects in Namibia that also promotes sustainable agriculture and livestock practices. In turn, it aims to put less pressure on forest resources.

The Global Fund Grant to Combat Tuberculosis

Namibia ranks fourth on the list of countries worst affected by tuberculosis (TB). In 2014, 9,882 people were diagnosed with the disease, a 7 percent decrease from 2013.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has given a $25.6 million grant to the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services to fight Tuberculosis within the country. This project includes enhancing patient quality of care and management of those living with TB and HIV as well as Multi-Drug Resistant TB.

Protected Areas System Strengthening to Sustainably Address New Management Challenges in Namibia (PASS Namibia)

Namibia is home to 21 Protected Areas consisting of forests, deserts and grasslands. These areas are also hosts to a diversity of species which includes mammals, birds and amphibians. Furthermore, 44 percent of this land is under conservation management.

This project was initiated in an effort to make Namibia a more advanced tourist destination. Not only does environmental tourism boost local economies, but it can also provide much-needed revenue to keep up with conservation efforts. The project also hopes to gain support for the implementation of an institutional framework by 2018 that will prolong conservation efforts.

The support of development projects in Namibia can make a significant difference for the citizens who live there. These projects will give Namibians a more sustainable and secure future.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

solar power projectIndia has launched its largest solar power project with an aim to meet the target of 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar electricity by 2022. The project has been initiated with the collaboration of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the World Bank Group (WBG). According to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “the world must turn to the sun to power our future.”

According to the estimate of the International Energy Agency (IEA) conducted in 2015, up to 300 million Indian households don’t have access to regular electricity. People from rural areas are the most affected by this situation. Even those who are connected to the central electrical grid also suffer from intermittent electrical outages.

According to the World Bank, India is the place of the world’s largest “un-electrified population.” This brings problems in public health, education and small-scale industries. With no power, storing drugs and vaccines in refrigerators becomes difficult. Problems in hospitals and emergencies become evident, and everyday health hazards occur as people burn kerosene, coal, wood and diesel to provide light. Education in villages suffers a lot as many children have little to no light after dark.

The solar power project comes with the potential of addressing the deficiency of electricity and providing clean renewable energy for the mass population. Of the 100 GW of solar power capacity, 40 GW will be generated from a rent-a-roof program and the rest from solar parks.

In a rent-a-roof program, the developers will rent the roof on lease from individual households and feed the power to the grid. The maintenance of the whole setup will be done by the developers. The solar industry welcomes this prospect, although a framework for this policy has not yet been defined and there is a concern regarding its implementation by 2021.

The rent-a-roof policy is also facing a challenge in several big cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi where the installation is slow. The rooftop solar panels have mainly been installed on government, institutional and commercial buildings as opposed to individual households.

At present, the rooftop solar power project needs a boost but it has tremendous potential in the solar energy market. It is considered an important alternative source for fulfilling the current deficiency and will help in lowering the cost of electricity for middle-class and poor citizens.

India has also taken initiative in setting up the solar parks that will generate 60 GW of electricity. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of WBG, is assisting the Indian government in setting up a 750 MW solar power project in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.

Pavagada solar park in southern Karnataka is considered one of the largest solar parks in the world. It is spread over 13,000 acres and will generate almost 2000 MW of electricity by September 2018. The solar park is aiming to reduce 20 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year and save 3.6 million tons of natural gas.

The park has been built on barren farmland leased from farmers thus providing a substantial sum of compensation. Apart from providing income to the farmers, the park has generated 4,000 jobs.

India, being a tropical country, can capitalize on its solar power and provide cheap, clean and renewable energy for millions of its citizens who are deprived of electricity. The solar power project will definitely boost this effort.

– Mahua Mitra

Photo: Flickr

development projects in the gambiaThe Gambia is a relatively small country in Western Africa, surrounded by Senegal. It has maintained political stability since independence in 1965. Despite this, the country still faces a multitude of issues which development projects in The Gambia seek to address.

In 2017, former President Jammeh’s 21-year reign came to an end. The citizens elected President Adama Barrow to office with hopes of ushering in a new era for The Gambia. Below are five development projects in the Gambia that are currently being implemented.

Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project (FASDEP)

With arable land and poor soil quality, food production has been a constant struggle for The Gambia. The Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project focuses on community-based pond fish-farming. It has worked towards assuaging food shortages since 2015.

FASDEP has provided the necessary tools and constructed 45 ponds to date. Each pond is expected to bring a profit of $217. The 200 ponds supported by FASDEP have and will continue to provide income and food security.

The Maternal and Child Nutrition Health Results Project

The Maternal and Child Nutrition Health Results Project, funded by the World Bank and other donors, has the goal of improving overall nutrition and health of women and children living in The Gambia. Many aspects are included in this project such as improving the health system, improving health service delivery, and promoting reproductive and maternal health through proper nutrition.

The project has also identified 12 practices carried out by both families and communities which they believe will enhance child survival rates. Included in these are basic hygiene and sanitation practices. The project continues to promote healthcare and implement these practices in specific regions of the country.

National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (NEMA)

This project specifically works to aid women and young adults in The Gambia and reduce poverty rates. By implementing sustainable land and water management practices, productivity will increase among this group.

The main goals of NEMA include addressing the proper use of farmland and the development of domestic markets. These goals will be met by enhancing the usage of watershed areas, which are key to many ecosystems and usable for crop production, and by making agriculture profit-oriented, which gives an income to these women and young adults.

The Participatory Integrated-Watershed Management Project

This project more deeply focuses on the development of watershed management in The Gambia. The project works specifically in rural areas to not only increase income but also to protect natural resources, of which watersheds are a critical component.

The targets of this project are broader and include anyone who manages or relies on crops for an income. Citizens take the reins in this project and plan and implement the recommended practices independently.

A variety of issues are addressed through the Watershed Management project such as women’s rights, malaria prevention, environmental sustainability and more. In the future, this idea may expand to broader development projects in the Gambia and other potential countries.

The Emergency Development Policy Operation Project

The Emergency Development Policy Operation Project has been implemented in the last six months of 2017. In direct response to an economic crisis in The Gambia following a poor agricultural and tourist season, the project works to not only strengthen the country’s financial position but also provide key services to citizens that otherwise may have gone unfunded.

Specifically, the project hopes to mitigate the consequences to the country’s health centers. The $56 million project will continue to provide financial support and will also implement sustainable measures to ensure the financial security of the country going forward.

These five development projects in The Gambia have been vital to the survival of the country and will continue to be as citizens learn to become economically self-sufficient and sustainable. The Gambia has seen many struggles since gaining independence, but with the aid of these projects, the people may truly become independent.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr


development projects in nepalIn April 2016, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement with NGOs to provide five new development projects in Nepal, totaling $121 million in aid. Here is an overview of those projects:

Suaahara II – $63 million

This five-year (2016-2021) program is “dedicated to improving the health and nutrition status of women and children”. It will build on existing improvements in maternal, infant and young child nutrition practices through various mediums such as activities, media programs and mobile technology. This program aims to reduce stunting produced by malnutrition during critical developmental stages (conception to 24 months) and improve maternal and child health services. In addition, the integrated strategies will work with government development projects in Nepal to expand services for adolescents and social attitudes towards delayed marriages and family planning.

Feed the Future Seed and Fertilizer Project- $15 million

This five-year project will bring targeted aid to promote sustainable increases in crop productivity in the agricultural sector and provide food security to common Nepalese families. The program plans to achieve this using improved seeds and “Integrated Soil Fertility Management technologies.” It hopes to equip local farmers and national partners with the technology and information needed to sustain and grow crop productivity.

Sustainable, Just and Productive Water Resources Development in Western Nepal – $2.5 million

This three-year project was created to promote sustainable water resource development in an area particularly vulnerable to climate change. It hopes to provide accurate information and base knowledge for policymakers and companies to use in their decision making regarding water ecosystems. They will focus their efforts in the Karnali and Mahakali river basins of Nepal.

Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project – $15 million

This five-year program aims to “foster a more legitimate, accountable, and resilient Nepali civil society” through effective policy advocacy, media use and government engagement. The program will incorporate gender equality as a common thread throughout all project activities.

Programme for Aquatic Natural Resources Improvement – $25 million

Lastly, this five-year program’s goals include reducing threats to Nepalese biodiversity and increase human and ecological resilience to climate change through improved water management. It will provide critical support to areas strained by overuse, increased populations and climate change. This program hopes to incentivize water conservation engagement at all levels of society, from fisherman to politicians, through political engagements, informational activities, and academic research.

According to Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz, these USAID-funded development projects in Nepal “address both the continuing needs of the Nepali people post-earthquake, and at the same time build sustainable communities that support Nepal’s long-term development goals.”

– Belén Loza

Photo: Flickr

development projects in armenia

With a population of over three million, Armenia relies heavily on Russian support due to its geographic isolation, numerous monopolies in the business sector and a small list of countries to which it can export its goods. The unemployment rate in the country is nearly 19 percent as of 2016. Development projects in Armenia are taking place that seek to address these issues among others.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a Peace Corps project that has been teaching English in Armenian villages and towns since 1992. Peace Corps TEFL volunteers work in both secondary schools and colleges. The project has two goals: improving student academic performance and success in life and improving the effectiveness of teachers by forming communities and relationships with their TEFL colleagues.

Irrigation Systems Enhancement Project (ISEP)

In 2013, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a $30 million loan for the ISEP. The goal of this project is to build efficient and sustainable irrigation while reducing the amount of energy used. In conjunction with The World Bank, the ISEP has successfully managed to decrease water shortages and increase the reliability of water supply and delivery.

Improving the Quality of Neonatal Care Services in Armenia

This development project in Armenia is a USAID initiative, and it seeks to improve upon the performance of health care providers through family-centered neonatal care, creating a system of constant quality improvement in healthcare facilities and strengthening the capacity of selected professional associations in advancing neonatal care standards. By achieving these goals, this program will address the issue of Armenia’s child mortality rate.

2015 Armenia Demographic and Health Survey (ADHS)

The ADHS is a nationwide household survey that is used to gather key demographic information on health-related issues. Information from the survey allows government officials to make decisions on how much funding will be allocated for which health programs.

The Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA)

One of the core development projects in Armenia is the country’s leading authority on investment, export and tourism promotion. The Development Foundation of Armenia aids possible investors by providing information on investment opportunities, the country’s business climate and recent government legislation. The DFA promotes tourism by running campaigns that show Armenia as a popular tourist destination and creating trips that familiarize international media with the country. Recently, the DFA appointed a representative in Chicago.

With these development projects in Armenia, along with others currently taking place, Armenia will be able to make strides in its economy and healthcare. With help from organizations like USAID, the World Bank and the Peace Corps, continued improvement seems to be a likely possibility.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Flickr

infrastructure in the philippinesThe Philippines has become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The poverty level has decreased from 25.2 percent in 2012 to 21.1 percent in 2015, although the rate of extreme poverty remains high at 12.1 percent. The nation’s future is looking bright, as plans are developed to upgrade aging infrastructure in the Philippines. Working toward creating more jobs, boosting competitiveness and attracting more foreign firms to influx its economy, this Southeast Asian country has received a lot of help and support to make these goals a reality.  

The 2015-2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report ranks the Philippines at 106 out of 140 countries in terms of infrastructure development. As part of the Infrastructure Initiative, with the Department of Commerce, this project is designed to help attract U.S. companies to participate in various infrastructure endeavors within the Philippines.

Between the countries high economic growth and rising population, its infrastructure has been strained and is in need of serious development.

In 2017, an interagency panel chaired by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved four major infrastructure projects worth $7.5 billion, that included bridges, roads and the country’s first subway.

The Metro Manila Subway Project was the largest plan approved, funded by overseas aid from Japan. This major upgrade in infrastructure in the Philippines of its subway was urgently needed in order to solve the capitals notorious gridlock. Road expansions are also underway in the southern Philippines as well as the construction of bridges in Manila.

These major and important changes are all part of Duterte’s “golden age of infrastructure” six-year plan which will cost about $180 billion in modernizations of airports, roads, railways and ports.

Above all, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have played a critical role in financing infrastructure in the Philippines, aiding in road improvement, water and sanitation, transportation, solid waste management, flood management projects and even energy-related projects.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States of America also offered a “financing package for up to $1 billion in guaranteed loans and direct-dollar loans to finance U.S. exporters in renewable energy and liquefied natural gas facilities in the Philippines.” In 2017, TRIP, the three-year rolling infrastructure program, was reinstated which assures continuous government funding for three years.

With these major banks and organizations at work, the Philippines is well on its way to becoming the fastest growing economy, and the hope is strong that this economic growth will eliminate poverty altogether.

– Kailey Brennan

Photo: Flickr

Hope for Improvement of Infrastructure in BelizeBelize is a Central American nation home to about 360,000 people. Over the years, more and more people have sought to the nation for vacation and leisure, a trend that’s caused the tourist industry to spike since 2015.


In 1988, renovation began on the Southern Highway, which runs from Dangria to Punta Gorda, and cost $14.7 million. Although this highway is in better shape opposed to other infrastructure, the rest of the nation still seeks assistance.

Of the 1,594 roads in Belize, only 303 are paved, a fact that indicates how infrastructure in Belize could receive some attention. Other highways not apart of the Southern Highway are in dire need; with vulnerability to damage or closure during rainy seasons, the country has not been fully prepared to support the substantial incline of tourist or travel that’s occurred since the late 1990s. Thankfully, though, the early 2000s look much more optimistic.

USAID assisted with funding for improvement to access rural roads despite closing their physical office in Belize after 13 years in 1996. Through assistance like this, Belize has become more accessible to not only locals, but visitors as well. In March 2007, research showed more roads became paved, “and even the gravel or limestone byways seem[ed] to be scraped more frequently.”

Flash forward to 2013 when The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project was launched — not only did the project cover resealing until June 2015, but it also saw the installation of safety barriers, pedestrian crossing and road markings.

There are 10 ports of entry to Belize, including the airport that houses three international carriers: United, American and Avianca. With the steady increase of tourists being easily able to visit Belize over the years, one can physically see how infrastructure in Belize is on the rise.


Belize’s telecommunication network is also growing — Belize Telemedia Limited is the largest nationalized telecommunications company in Belize. Their efficiency, quality and advanced technology make their products and services of distinguished quality. They currently provide telecommunications for government officials, businesses and residents.

Internet access is also available but very expensive for locals to acquire. Satellite internet costs $120 a month but grants unlimited internet use. DSL is also offered, but the price is excessive:  “The maximum speed available is 1 Megabytes up by 16 Megabytes down and this costs a whopping $350 a month.” In terms of broadcasting, Belize has over 10 radio stations in the nation, with 5 operating in all districts. Television is quite popular in Belize as well, with standard programming stemming from North America (CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS).

Although infrastructure in Belize is not at its peak, it’s indisputable that progress has been made overall. Over time, the island will continue to get closer to being a modernized structure as a whole, but until then, every inch of progress is a mile of development.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

development projects in zimbabwe
Droughts, land reform and a decrease in production have plagued Zimbabwe since the turn of the century in 2000. But despite these economic challenges, there are five development projects in Zimbabwe that hope to alleviate some of the current struggles that common residents of the country face.

Zimbabwe Rural School Development Programme

Beginning in 2001, the charity Zimbabwe Rural School Development Programme (ZRSDP) was created as a means to counteract the lack of education that affects many children in the country. In 2016, the most recent accomplishment of the ZRSDP included the Peace and Good Hope Primary School in Bulawayo.

This school had grown to a student population of 200 since its foundation in 2002; however, it functioned with six desks, five benches and four toilets that served for not only the students but also two teachers. Devoting over 40,000 GBP ZRSDP helped create proper classrooms, toilets and teacher accommodations at Peace and Good Hope Primary School. Due to this increase in facilities, the school now holds 240 students and a full teaching staff.

Youth and Women Empowerment Project

The African Development Fund plans to create targeted employment opportunities and increase the value of sales in horticulture products for targeted youth and women. Running from 2017 to 2019, this project will cost UA 3.79 million. Through this project, the Fund aims to address fragility risk that threatens Zimbabwe’s development, which includes gender inequality, regional development imbalances, poor governance and technician skills shortages. Development projects in Zimbabwe via these efforts will really lay the foundation for future gain.

Integrated Urban Water Management

The government of Zimbabwe expressed interest in the African Water Facility’s program, “Cities of the Future,” in November of 2013. The project will handle the important water and sanitation infrastructure needs, and “the Municipality of Marondera with a population of 65,000 inhabitants was selected by the Government of Zimbabwe to receive support to develop an integrated water and wastewater Master Plan that will in part present detailed prioritized investments.”

Transport Sector Plan

A plan for sustainable development of the transport infrastructure could get implemented into development through this proposed study, “The target area is the entire population of Zimbabwe and transit transport that will benefit from reduced cost of movement of goods, persons and services as a result of improved transport infrastructure in the country upon implementation of the recommendations of the Transport Sector Master Plan.”

Lake Harvest Aquaculture Expansion

Lake Harvest Aquaculture is the largest integrated tilapia fish farm in sub-Saharan Africa. Expansion of the farm would offer more job opportunities, improved food security through low-cost protein access and increase government revenue.

Change is slowly but surely coming to Zimbabwe through each of these endeavors. These development projects in Zimbabwe are just the beginning of empowerment to the people, but in time they will serve as the catalyst for larger, more sustained change.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

development projects in panama

There are a number of global organizations that have worked on development projects in Panama, and many continue to this day. Partly due to the positive impact of these projects, the poverty level in Panama dropped from 39.9 percent in 2007 to 26.2 percent in 2012.

Here are five development projects in Panama that are making a positive impact.

  1. The Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAS) project is working to improve food security among indigenous groups and other marginalized communities in rural Panama. The project exchanges knowledge and skills with farmers in the area to help them succeed in agriculture. SAS provides training in many areas including soil quality improvement, pest control and post-harvest storage techniques.
  2. The Teaching English, Leadership and Lifeskills (TELLS) program teaches Panamanians the language and leadership skills they need to thrive in their professional careers and become community leaders. Volunteers with the TELLS program work in primary and secondary schools to train teachers, teach workshops and organize after-school activities. They also coach students in important skills like writing resumes or cover letters and preparing for job interviews.
  3. The Community Environmental Conservation (CEC) Project works in Panama’s watersheds and protected areas. CEC empowers local communities to address their most pressing environmental concerns. Those involved with the project work with schools and local groups to train community members in areas such as resource conservation, waste management and reforestation.
  4. Another development project in Panama focused on environmental conservation is the Burunga Wastewater Management Project for Panama. The project’s objectives are to improve access to sewage services and strengthen wastewater pollution management. The World Bank has committed $65 million to this project through 2021.
  5. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been working in Panama since 1982. Their most recent project was the Participative Development and Rural Modernization Project. The project has improved access to financial services among poorer communities in Panama, an important step in reducing inequality and lifting people out of poverty.

These development projects as well as others have played a part in Panama becoming the fastest growing economy in Latin America. The country averaged 7.2 percent growth from 2001-2013. Overall poverty levels have declined significantly, but some marginalized communities have been left behind in the process.

Indigenous groups, in particular, suffer from higher poverty levels than the country as a whole. As development projects in Panama continue, the organizations involved should continue these successful programs while looking for new ways to address the needs of the country’s most vulnerable populations.

– Aaron Childree

Photo: Flickr

development projects in tanzaniaTanzania is a stable democracy in East Africa, home to 54 million people and a rapidly growing economy. Despite concerns over the creeping authoritarianism of President John Mafuguli, Tanzania is experiencing an economic boom with 7 percent GDP growth registered in 2016. Through investments in infrastructure and energy projects, Tanzania’s government hopes to pull millions out of poverty. Here are five development projects in Tanzania:

Kikonge Dam and Hydropower Project

The African Development Bank’s African Water Facility (AWF) is providing Tanzania with a 2 million euro grant for a feasibility study for a multipurpose energy project in Kikonge, in the southwest of the country. The Kikonge dam, irrigation, and hydropower project would contribute to agricultural development in the region and improve water supply to local communities. Kikonge would boost Tanzania’s hydropower supply by 53 percent, allowing the government to invest in further development projects in Tanzania.

World Bank’s Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Program

The World Bank is financing a project that will connect 2.5 million poor Tanzanian households to the national electricity grid by 2021. The Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Program will also build the country’s renewable energy capacity and contribute to the government’s energy development projects in Tanzania. “Access to electricity is critical to extend economic opportunities and reduce poverty,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania.

Nordic Development Fund’s Sustainable Charcoal Business Development Fund

The Sustainable Charcoal Business Development Fund seeks to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in Tanzania, providing sustainable charcoal for businesses as an alternative to unsustainable wood. The Nordic Development Fund’s project has succeeded in reducing deforestation and mitigating emissions, as well as contributing to local and small business development projects in Tanzania.

Dar-es-Salaam Maritime Gateway Project

The International Development Association is backing the $345 million Dar-Es-Salaam Maritime Gateway Project that will refurbish and upgrade the port of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania’s coastal former capital and largest city. The port is a hub for regional trade, with about 35 percent of its cargo going to and from landlocked neighbors in south and east Africa. As the volume of trade is set to double by 2030, the project will expand and deepen the port’s berths as well as improving its rail and transport links to support other development projects in Tanzania. “Improvement of the port’s infrastructure is long overdue,” said Deusdedit Kakoko, Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority.

USAID’s Tusome Pamoja (Let’s Read Together) Project

USAID partners with the Tanzanian government in its flagship education project, Tusome Pamoja, or Let’s Read Together in Kiswahili, Tanzania’s most-spoken language. Launched in 2016, the project aims for improved student outcomes in Kiswahili for grades one through four in primary school, working with teachers and providing materials for students, teachers, and all stakeholders. Over five years, Tusome Pamoja seeks to reach around 1.4 million children from 3,000 elementary schools across Tanzania.

As Tanzania seeks outside investment to build newer infrastructure in its ports and cities, the government is also investing in other development projects in Tanzania targeting education, energy, and deforestation. Investments in renewable energy and electrification will connect more Tanzanians to the grid and could help the country reduce poverty and boost development beyond its impressive economic growth rate.

– Giacomo Tognini

Photo: Flickr