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Creating, strengthening, and sharing knowledge for development


The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all.

The Institute began operations over 30 years ago in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency – providing a range of services from policy advice to governments as well as freely available original research.

Over the period 2019–23 UNU-WIDER research will focus on the interlinked development challenges of transforming economies, states, and societies. These transformations are central to the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three key concerns will be integrated throughout the research programme — fragility and risk, empowerment, knowledge and capacity. Learn more here

Our mission

The Institute is funded through an endowment fund with additional contributions from the European Union, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.