Billions of people continue to subsist on less than a dollar a day, and poverty remains extensive throughout the world, particularly in south Asia and Africa. The achievement of poverty reduction in part depends on the extent of inequality, and inequality is an important issue in its own right given its impact on social stability, macro-economic stability, and economic growth. Since non-monetary measures of wellbeing are critical, the wider issue of human development is also important. Deep methodological problems remain in measuring poverty, inequality, and human development and in assessing their impact on development and economic growth more broadly.
UNU-WIDER has made important contributions to the global debate on these issues, especially from the perspective of developing countries. By undertaking original research and by assembling a cross-country inequality data base, the institute has improved the quality of poverty and inequality analysis. Its research programme has continuously sought to challenge conventional views and to contribute fresh ideas to the policy debate, thereby helping to identify and promote novel pro-poor policies. Projects within this theme take account of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, improvement of health and development of a global partnership with respect to aid, debt and trade.