Members of Finland’s Development Policy Committee visited UNU-WIDER on 15 March 2016. At the event the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was discussed in light of the recent Finnish Government Report on Development Policy.
UNU-WIDER Director Finn Tarp, along with Research Fellows Rachel Gisselquist and Smriti Sharma, presented research and findings from the Institute’s projects particularly relevant to the current international development policy agenda.
One of the topics of discussion was the future of development finance—where do growth, jobs, improved livelihoods, poverty reduction, and reduced inequality, including gender, come from? While private sector development is crucial for self-sufficiency, also the roles of the state and of international assistance remain important. Finn Tarp concluded the presentation by stating that action will require that strategic choices are taken both by national governments and the international development community, and that they are followed up in practice.
Another key point of discussion was the enormous amount of missing data, especially for the poorest countries, relevant to the monitoring framework for Agenda 2030. Supporting the capacity of data collection in developing countries is crucial in order to provide tools for good quality research that is accurate and relevant for informing policy. Data challenges suggest a lack of reliable figures in many areas—both to establish a baseline, and to monitor achievements towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
The researchers shared experience from UNU-WIDER’s work in data collection and in supporting improved statistical capacity in developing countries. These projects include the Structural transformation and inclusive growth in Viet Nam project for developing further firm and rural household panel data in Viet Nam to inform policy formulation in the country, and the SOUTHMOD project for compiling household-level data on incomes and expenditures for tax-benefit microsimulation modelling in selected developing countries in Africa and also elsewhere.
The event was part of the UNU-WIDER drive to share research knowledge with those involved in policy processes. UNU-WIDER’s mandate is to undertake research and policy analysis on the most pressing concerns affecting the living conditions of the world’s poorest people.