UNDP - Asia Pacific Human Development Academic Fellowship

The human development approach puts people at the centre of development. It recognizes economic drivers for change but goes beyond them to raise issues of enlarging human capabilities and expanding people’s choices.
The objective of the Academic Fellowship is to encourage young Ph.D. students from the Asia Pacifific region to analyse critical development issues from a human development perspective, contributing to development theory, applications and policies. Thus, the Fellows are expected to push the frontiers of research on human development while analyzing, through the human development lens, issues directly or indirectly related to human development. The research must focus on a well-defifined aspect of human development under the theme selected for the year and can be theoretical, applied, policy oriented, or a combination.

Theme – Climate Change and Human Development
Human development is about expanding human potential and enlarging human freedom. Climate change is a human development challenge, as it threatens to erode human freedoms and limit choice and plunge large numbers into overty and hardship.

Climate change is hampering efforts to deliver the MDG promise as it undermines international efforts to combat poverty and exacerbates already existing inequalities. Those, in turn, can result in an increase in conflict over sharing natural resources. Climate change is in fact an increasingly powerful driver of wider inequalities between and within countries, also between women and men.

Climate change can result in increased frequency of extreme weather events, flooding, storms, drought, increases in sea temperatures, and melting of glaciers, etc., which effect negatively agriculture and health/nutrition. This has negative implications on the livelihood of poor and vulnerable communities who depend largely on agriculture and natural resource management. In particular, women are affected in their roles of food producers and providers, guardians of health, and care givers. Reduced employment opportunities, for example for women working in agricultural fifields, constitute a net loss in income which leads to a loss in savings, making it even harder for households to cope with disasters.

The magnitude of this long term challenge can be assessed considering that an additional 1.8 billion people are expected to face water stress by 2080, with large areas of Central Asia, northern parts of South Asia and northern China facing a grave ecological crisis as a result of glacial retreat and changed rainfall patterns. Up to 330 million people in coastal and low-lying areas are expected to be displaced through flflooding and tropical storm activity. In the Asia Pacific region, in particular, over 70 million people in Bangladesh and 22 million people in Viet Nam could be affected by global warming-related flflooding.

What are the mechanisms through which the ecological impacts of climate change affect the poor? Are there examples of good practices to ensure climate and human security?

Have climate change and other environmental concerns been integrated in development planning in the context of environment protection elopment planning in the context of environm tion and sustainable development? What has been the effectiveness of policies introduced? What is a possible agenda to promote human development and climate security? These are some of the questions that could be addressed.

The FellowshipThe UNDP Human Development Academic Fellowship for Asia Pacific carries an award of US$ 10,000. The students will be required to submit to UNDP a copy of their fifinal approved dissertation. In addition, Fellows may be expected to present their work in workshops/seminars and other events arranged by UNDP (travelrelated costs will be covered separately).
The thesis will acknowledge UNDP’s support by saying: “The author acknowledges the financial support received from the UNDP Asia Pacific Human Development Academic Fellowship for the research.”

Application Process
All candidates must complete a formal application in English or with an English translation, including:
  • Summary statement of the objectives of the proposal
  • Project proposal not exceeding 2,500 words
  • Curriculum vitae
Incomplete applications or those received after the due date will not be processed.

  • Be a citizen of a developing country in the Asia Pacific region (1. Afghanistan,2. Bangladesh,3. Bhutan,4. Cambodia,5. China,6. Cook Islands,7. Democratic People’s,Republic of Korea,8. Federated States of Micronesia,9. Fiji,10. India,11. Indonesia,12. Iran, Islamic Republic of 13. Kiribati,14. Lao People’s Democratic Republic,15. Malaysia,16. Maldives,17. Marshall Islands,18. Mongolia,19. Myanmar,20. Nauru,21. Nepal,22. Niue,23. Pakistan,24. Palau,25. Papua New Guinea,26. The Philippines,27. Republic of Korea,28. Samoa,29. Solomon Islands,30. Sri Lanka,31. Thailand,32. Timor-Leste,33. Tokelau,34. Tonga,35. Tuvalu,36. Vanuatu,37. Viet Nam)
  • Submit a proposal approved by her/his direct supervisor at the University in hich Ph.D. is being pursued
  • Have a Masters degree in a relevant discipline such as a social science, liberal arts, or management and be currently enrolled as a full time Ph.D. student
  • Have identified a human development-related topic (further reading on Human Development topics is encouraged prior to submission of application.
  • For a list of readings on human development)
  • Not be a UN Staff member
  • Be younger than age 30. In exceptional cases the age requirement may be relaxed to 35 years to accommodate candidates who have returned to fulltime study after a period of work and/or family responsibilities
Selection Criteria
  • Exceptional degree of creativity in choice of idea or topic
  • Stage of development of the proposal
  • Value-addition or new direction to the human development concept, methodology, analysis, application or policy relevance
  • Track record of past accomplishments
  • Time needed for completing the work undertaken

Selection will be based on an assessment of written proposals up to 2,500 words. A review of eligibility and assessment of the proposals submitted will be the basis for short listing. Short listed candidates will be required to participate in an interview. An independent selection committee will review the proposals and interact with the short listed candidates for the fifinal selection.

DeadlineApplications should be submitted by 1st September.
Contact Information
Applications or any queries should be sent, preferably by email, to hdfellowships.rcc@undp.org
Alternatively, you could send them to:
UNDP Asia Pacific Human Development Academic Fellowship
Human Development Report Unit
UNDP Regional Centre for Asia Pacific, Colombo Office
23 Independence Avenue
Colombo 7
Sri Lanka
Annex I
A selected list of reading on human development is the following:
  • What is human development (http://hdr.undp.org/hd/)
  • Human Development Reports (http://hdr.undp.org/; especially chapter 1 of HDR 1990)
  • Asia Pacific Human Development Reports (http://www.undprcc.lk/Publications/
  • Publications.asp and select Human Development Reports Unit)
  • Human development training (http://www.undp.org.in/index.php?option=
  • Background papers for global HDRs (http://hdr.undp.org/publications/papers.
  • The Millennium Development Goals (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/
  • Risk, vulnerability and human development (http://hdr.undp.org/docs/
  • For more on Human Development, please visit the website of the UNDP Regional Centre
    in Colombo at http://www.undprcc.lk/ under “Publications”
Moreinfo: http://www2.undprcc.lk/about_us/fellowship.php



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