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30 Years of economics for development

Research Programme

The triple challenge of ‘Transformation, Inclusion, and Sustainability’ 

The triple challenge facing societies today of structural transformation, inclusion and sustainability is the focus of UNU-WIDER's work programme 2014-2018. These are seen as key challenges to human development that will shape policy and research needs over the foreseeable future. 

Naturally, these three development challenges overlap and interact. Inclusion cannot be delivered by social protection alone; it requires the transformation of the productive side of economies together with the associated livelihoods. Transformation that fails to achieve inclusion may yield growth but not human development in its widest sense. Ultimately, both rest on the achievement of sustainability.

National decision makers need effective solutions to address these daunting development challenges in the 21st century. Countries must transform the structure and growth of their economies in ways that achieve more inclusive and sustainable societies. Inclusion and sustainability depend upon, and interact, with economic progress, but not in ways that constitute ‘business as usual’.

Cross-cutting concerns

Cutting across the entire research programme are three high-priority concerns: Africa's inclusive growth, gender equity, and aid effectiveness.

The ‘triple challenge’ work programme builds on UNU-WIDER's previous work on poverty, inequality and human development that extends back to the Institute's inception, and extends UNU-WIDER's recent research within its 'triple crisis' work programme on climate change, food security, and development finance.

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