UNU-WIDER is the first research and training centre established in 1984 in Helsinki by the United Nations University (UNU). UNU is an international academic organization that promotes the UN's aims of peace and progress by providing a framework to bring together leading scholars from around the world to tackle pressing global problems.
The Council of the UNU determines the overall principles and policies guiding the whole university.
The Board of UNU-WIDER, comprising well-known economists, policy-makers, and social scientists from different regions of the world, is entrusted by the UNU Council to advise on the research and other activities of UNU-WIDER.
The Director of UNU-WIDER has overall responsibility for the research and management of the Institute, and implements the research programme within the policies and guidelines set out by the Board and the Council.
UNU functions as a decentralized 'network of networks' with a truly interdisciplinary and global perspective. The UNU system comprises the UNU Centre in Tokyo and a world-wide network of Research and Training Centres and Programmes (RTC-Ps) assisted by numerous associated and cooperating institutions.