UNU-WIDER releases major report on peace, decent work, and greater equality

UNU-WIDER’s 2019–2023 work programme has built a strong evidence base to support actions that contribute to more peaceful and effective states and more fair and sustainable societies. A synthesis report on the key findings of our work programme on Transforming economies, states, and societies is published today and available to download.

The report distils several of the most salient research advances made during the work programme and offers opportunities for policy actions to recoup and accelerate progress on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Towards peace, decent work, and greater equality: Research evidence for transforming economies, states, and societies documents the core findings and key messages of 30 UNU-WIDER research projects, organized in the report by their ability to achieve three universal aspirations shared by humans everywhere. These critical outcomes—peace, greater equality, and decent work—can be achieved in our lifetimes and are instrumental to accelerating progress on the SDGs.

"As we cross the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our report provides clear opportunities for action. Our findings can be a springboard for Southern governments and the international community to recoup and accelerate progress towards the SDGs. This is why we are reaching out to UN agencies in the coming months and hopeful that it will be useful to people involved in policy processes." –UNU-WIDER Director Kunal Sen

Encapsulating the key messages from 30 distinct research projects and distilling evidence from several hundred of UNU-WIDER’s recent studies and edited volumes, the report offers readers the latest insights on a broad range of important topics including: building peace in conflict-affected situations, increasing aid effectiveness and the resilience of democracy, strengthening the social contract, advancing social protection policy, increasing fiscal space, addressing inequalities, and tackling the challenges of informality and the impediments to decent work for all.

Several of these findings relate to country-level studies covering Global South countries in every major world region—studies notable for narrowing major gaps in our knowledge on critical issues in understudied contexts. The synthesis report offers readers a curated selection of critical advances in development studies.

Published in the final year of the current 5-year work programme, it attempts to synthesize the 760 studies published since 2019 and represent the work of more than 1800 researchers from more than 85 countries. The report targets people involved in policy processes, in particular. Its key messages and core findings will be discussed and debated with experts at events in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and North America. These discussions are to be held with key UN organizations, whose work is critical to advancing global goals, such as UN DESA, UN ECLAC, UN ECA, and UN ESCAP.

Download the report