Transforming economies, states, and societies
At its core, development is about the well-being of people. But it is also about creating societies which provide fundamental rights and just social political outcomes. Sustainable and inclusive development requires transformative changes across three fundamental areas: in the structures of economies, in the state, and institutions that govern social and market interactions and broader developmental processes, and in society itself. These transformations are central to the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2019–23 UNU-WIDER work programme focuses on the interlinked development challenges of transforming economies, states, and societies and maps them against SDGs 5, 8, 10, 16, 17. By mobilizing research evidence for action through the ongoing processes in the UN and its member states, the institute continues to work with stakeholders to strengthen capacities for research, technical, and policy analysis, and facilitate exchange of experiences and knowledge towards bold and collaborative development solutions for countries and regions around the world.
Click on the table below to explore our current work or scroll down to search past projects.
158 active and previous projects
TransformationNatural resources, structural change, and industrial development in Africa
This project focuses on three specific areas that impact the pace of structural transformation and job creation in five emerging African natural resources economies: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.Natural resources Africa Extractive industries
2016-17Conference on human capital and growth
Human capital has been identified not only as a key determinant of growth and poverty alleviation, but as critical for human development. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have...
2016-17Conference on responding to crises
The ‘Responding to crises’ conference aimed to improve knowledge about ongoing, unexpected, and future crises, and to discuss the options available for responses by governments, international agencies, NGOs, civil society and private...
Transforming societiesGRD – Government Revenue Dataset
InclusionSOUTHMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development Taxation Social protection Income distribution
InclusionThe political economy of social protection systems Taxation Social protection Income distribution
InclusionThe politics of group-based inequalities - measurement, implications, and possibilities for change Inclusion Inequality Horizontal inequality
InclusionDiscrimination and affirmative action - what have we learnt so far? Discrimination Class Inequality
TransformationInclusive growth in Mozambique – scaling-up research and capacity Mozambique Employment generation Industrial policy
SustainabilityThe political economy of clean energy transitions Sustainable energy Climate change mitigation Political economy
InclusionThe economics and politics of taxation and social protection Tax Social protection Political economy
InclusionDisadvantaged groups and social mobility
This project has three main objectives in line with UNU-WIDER’s tradition in the area of inclusion and horizontal inequality: (1) to shed further light on the extent to which inequalities run along ethnic, gender, and other communal lines; (2...Disadvantaged groups Social mobility Group-based inequality