Sitemap

Francine Pickup, Resident Representative, UNDP Serbia

Creating Change Through Innovation And Strong Partnerships

I am excited to be in Serbia, because it has the potential to create regional change by addressing critical development concerns that go beyond borders, such as migration, climate change and pollution. It also plays an important role in unblocking political constraints in the region that can unleash development opportunities. I hope that the UNDP, as a trusted and neutral partner, can foster more cooperation at a strategic level, engage the youth in dialogue, and help position Serbia on the regional and international stage as an expert and provider of solutions.

My motivation lies in creating change through innovation and strong partnerships. I am delighted that Serbia is one of the 60 countries worldwide to launch the UNDP Accelerator Lab, applying new techniques to make sense of the world around us, identify solutions and experiment with scaling them up. One of the challenges we will attempt to tackle is depopulation, which is a complex issue that’s faced not only by Serbia but also other countries in the region, including in the EU.

We need new approaches that address the complexity of current development challenges. In my previous postings in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, I became interested in working with the private sector and exploring how innovative finance can leverage private capital for sustainable development. In Indonesia, the UNDP supported the Government in issuing the first sovereign green Islamic bond, while we worked with the Angel Investors Network to support social enterprises that generate profits and social good. In India, we established the SDG Finance Facility, a platform in which government, private sector and development partners work together to design financing instruments and policies.

People from diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives to the table, find better and more inclusive solutions.

I was always interested in the world, curious about other cultures and what they can teach you about your own. Studying Social Anthropology at Cambridge University gave me a new view on the world and shaped my philosophy on life, which can be summarised as: listen to different voices, question your assumptions and bridge divides.

My philosophy on life can be summarised as: listen to different voices, question your assumptions and bridge divides

When I started my PhD in Development Studies at the London School of Economics, I was fascinated by Russia, a country which was then undergoing a massive transition from a centrally planned to a market economy. I spent a year living in Ekaterinburg, a large industrial city in the Ural Mountains, exploring how people’s lives had been turned upside down and how social networks and social capital were critical for getting things done. I came to understand the difference between the theory and reality of transition, who were the winners, with new business opportunities, and the losers left behind by reform.

In my early career, I wanted to challenge power relations, particularly gender ones. My first jobs were with Oxfam and Amnesty International, where I focused on gender-based violence and demonstrated that gender inequality is a humanitarian and development issue, and not just an issue of women’s rights. During that time, I worked with women from the Western Balkan region and CSOs, building a women’s solidarity and peace coalition, fighting against patriarchy and discrimination.

While the work of grassroots organisations is vital, I was drawn to having a high-level, policy impact. My experience has shown that you can influence people in power if you provide solid, evidence-based arguments. Driven by that realisation, I joined the United Nations in 2002, initially as a researcher and analyst, then later as a manager, working for the World Bank, OCHA, UNSCO, FAO, ILO and UNDP. I was fortunate to work with strong teams and it was rewarding to be part of positive change. I am delighted to be leading the capable and committed team we have here in UNDP Serbia.

Related Articles

Call For Innovative Solutions For Decarbonisation That Contributes To Serbia’s Green Transition

With the support of the Government of Japan and in partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Mining and Energy,...

Centre For The Fourth Industrial Revolution Presented

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will unite science, economy and medicine, was presented in Belgrade. It was founded by the Government...

Concept Chosen For Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall

The Serbian Government has announced that, after a one-year international architectural competition conducted by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP, London architectural studio AL_A...

Realisation Of Project “EU For Green Agenda In Serbia” Begins

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret presented today a new initiative worth 8...

Serbian Economy 2021

Solidarity, Cooperation And Growth Go Hand-in-hand

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, cooperation developed between the local community and the companies that operate within that community strongly underlined the importance of synergy...

United States Donates Five More Ambulances To Healthcare Institutions In Serbia

Five fully equipped ambulances are on their way to Serbian healthcare institutions to help them respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as...

Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative In Serbia

Tough Problems Require Fresh Approaches

These are exciting times, when we have new opportunities to change for the better and find innovative ways for responding to key development challenges...

Six New Ambulances For Health Care Institutions In Serbia Delivered

The Ambassador of the United States of America to Serbia, Anthony Godfrey, presented today 6 new ambulances to the Serbian Minister of Health, Zlatibor...

More...

Vladislav Bajac, Writer And Publisher

The Power Of Literature

In parallel with all the professions that I’ve changed, I’ve always carried within me my core profession: writer. And I have been guided in...

Architecture

World’s Most Stunning Train & Metro Stations

Public transport stations often extend far beyond their utility to become treasured landmarks of the cities they serve. With Serbia currently redeveloping its own...

Jelena Bojović, Director Of The Centre For The Fourth Industrial Revolution; NALED Programme Development Strategist

You’re A Lawyer? No, I’m A Molecular Biologist

When I enrolled at the Faculty of Biology in 1995, in the Molecular Biology and Physiology course, my dad, who was very concerned but...

Slavimir Stojanović, aka Futro, Designer, Illustrator, Visual Artist

Shoulders

Am I to die?What horror!Am I to die?What horror!And maybe I’m one that won’t.Horror. These verses by Ana Đurić Konstrakta, from her masterpiece Nobl, transport...

News

Serbian Flag In Times Square

The flag of Serbia with a message about friendship between Serbia and the United States, as well as an...

Vučić At The UN: What Is The Difference Between The Territorial Integrity Of Ukraine And Serbia?

What is the difference between the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the territorial integrity of Serbia, which was violated...

Scientists In China Create World’s First Cloned Wild Arctic Wolf

The successful cloning of the species which is native to the High Arctic tundra of Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands,...

Korea Sees Serbia As One Of The Most Important Investment Destinations

The Republic of Korea recognizes Serbia as one of the most important investment destinations in Europe and is ready...

Putin: Russia Will Help Serbia In The Fight For Legitimate Rights And Interests

Russia will continue to deepen cooperation with Serbia and to support the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,...

Serbian Flag In Times Square

The flag of Serbia with a message about friendship between Serbia and the United States, as well as an...

Vučić At The UN: What Is The Difference Between The Territorial Integrity Of Ukraine And Serbia?

What is the difference between the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the territorial integrity of Serbia, which was violated...

Scientists In China Create World’s First Cloned Wild Arctic Wolf

The successful cloning of the species which is native to the High Arctic tundra of Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands,...

Korea Sees Serbia As One Of The Most Important Investment Destinations

The Republic of Korea recognizes Serbia as one of the most important investment destinations in Europe and is ready...

Putin: Russia Will Help Serbia In The Fight For Legitimate Rights And Interests

Russia will continue to deepen cooperation with Serbia and to support the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,...

Serbian Flag In Times Square

The flag of Serbia with a message about friendship between Serbia and the United States, as well as an...

Vučić At The UN: What Is The Difference Between The Territorial Integrity Of Ukraine And Serbia?

What is the difference between the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the territorial integrity of Serbia, which was violated...

Scientists In China Create World’s First Cloned Wild Arctic Wolf

The successful cloning of the species which is native to the High Arctic tundra of Canada's Queen Elizabeth Islands,...

Korea Sees Serbia As One Of The Most Important Investment Destinations

The Republic of Korea recognizes Serbia as one of the most important investment destinations in Europe and is ready...

Putin: Russia Will Help Serbia In The Fight For Legitimate Rights And Interests

Russia will continue to deepen cooperation with Serbia and to support the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,...