In our interconnected world, global discussions rely on a shared understanding of key concepts. To this end, the United Nations University (UNU) has developed a glossary app — the UNU Jargon Buster — that clarifies hundreds of social, political and economic terms. This fulfils one of the missions of UNU: to act as a bridge between the UN, academia and the general public.
The app is being launched today, World Science Day for Peace and Development, at the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels. With development led by a team at the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT), the app gathers knowledge and recommended resources from five UNU institutes and programmes: the UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), the UNU Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST), the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), and UNU-MERIT.
Adding further value, all terms are cross-referenced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, International Health terms are grouped under SDG#3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages); and Gender Equality terms are with SDG#5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). In fact most terms fall under more than one goal, demonstrating the cross-cutting nature of UNU’s work. Additionally, some terms are defined by different institutes from different angles to reflect their expertise while giving the fullest picture possible.
Version 1.0 of the app presents around 450 entries, including almost 200 terms (with definitions, references and further reading), plus over 250 acronyms from across the UN (most with hyperlinks). The app will be expanded in 2016 to include more UN acronyms and more UNU terms, covering peace and governance, global development and environmental sustainability. The aim is to scale up the entries by a factor of 10 within a year to become a comprehensive ‘metaglossary’.
For more information visit the UNU-MERIT website.