Looking Back at 2021: Czech-UNDP Partnership Turns 3 Years Old

2021 was a year that brought new things to all of us. From UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub to all of our partner countries, people around the world continued to face the pandemic of Covid-19 which changed the way we live, work and spend free time. The ongoing pandemic did not stop implementation of CUP-supported projects. On the contrary, the challenges posed by this global health crisis created larger need for various projects and initiatives to take place to support communities and individuals in CUP’s priority countries.

Expertise on Demand

The last year saw 10 Expertise on Demand projects (EoD) implemented, reaching the total number of 33 since CUP’s establishment in 2018. Among last year’s most notable projects was the support of green tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted by a well-known painter Adam Kašpar and adventure traveller Tadeáš Šíma. In Georgia’s industrial city of Rustavi, a team of experts from the Czech company worked with Georgian partners from Rustavi Innovation Hub on improving local decision-making processes and engagement between private and public institutions. Some of 2021’s EoDs, such as Protected landscapes designation and management guidelines in Georgia (conducted by Michal Hošek) build on previous CUP efforts in the area of environmental protection in Georgia. We are looking forward to seeing results of this EoD during 2022.

Challenge Fund

Despite travel limitations and various restrictions across our partner countries and at home, 2021 allowed to implement many truly innovative projects with great results on the ground. Since 2018, a total of 51 Challenge Fund projects were initiated out of which 19 were completed in 2021. Here are few examples of good practices from the last year. In Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang Province, over 1,426 women including 610 high school students received menstrual hygiene training. During the project, 1,503 hygienic kits were distributed and project-trained local women-producers made over 6,000 reusable pads. DIACONIA’s Challenge Fund project was also awarded the Czech SDG Award. In Ethiopia, DOT Glasses trained 141 glasses distributors who were provided with 7,000 glasses kits. Importantly, 72% of participants who successfully undertook DOT’s training were female. Additionally, People in Need monitored debt environment in Georgia and with the help of local partners, developed policy recommendation and a debt advisory guide in Georgian. Ultimately, 2021 Call for Applications to the Czech Challenge Fund attracted 49 project proposals out of which 12 new projects were selected for implementation by September 2022.

Knowledge Management

In 2021 CUP produced 32 articles about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN Days and innovative solutions explored via the Challenge Fund and Expertise on Demand projects. The most popular articles of the last year were:

  1. Challenge Fund: Skateboarders from Czechia teamed up with Zambians to build a state-of-the-art skate park – CUP (
  2. UN World Youth Skills Day and the Challenge Fund – CUP (
  3. Expertise on Demand: What are Czech experts together with UNDP Georgia’s Innovation Specialist up to in Rustavi? – CUP
  5. Disaster Risk Reduction in Moldova: Promoting safety and rural climate change resilience – CUP (

Mid-Term Review

In 2021, the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs (CUP) turned three years old, which also means it reached half of its planned operational period. From CUP’s start in 2018, 95 different projects and innovative solutions have been implemented. To conclude CUP’s first half, a Mid-Term review has been conducted and its results are now being processed to make CUP more effective in the future.

Here at CUP, we all look forward to new challenges and opportunities that 2022 will bring.