1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Social Policy for Inclusive Development


  • New Directions in Social Policy: Alternatives from and for the Global South (2013 - 2016)
    This UNRISD research project examines the emergence, nature and effectiveness of recent developments in social policy in emerging economies and developing countries. The purpose is to understand whether these are fundamentally new approaches to social policy or welfare systems which could offer alternative solutions to the critical development challenges facing low- and middle-income countries in the 21st century.
  • Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Social Development (2011 - 2015)
    The project seeks to contribute to global debates on the political and institutional contexts that enable poor countries to mobilize domestic resources for social development. It will examine the processes and mechanisms that connect the politics of resource mobilization and demands for social provision; changes in state-citizen and donor-recipient relations associated with resource mobilization and allocation; and governance reforms that can lead to improved and sustainable revenue yields and services.
  • Mobilizing Revenues from Extractive Industries: Protecting and Promoting Children’s Rights and Well-Being in Resource-Rich Countries (2013 - 2014)
    In looking at the impact of EI on children, three issues are of primary concern: mitigating the risks of harmful effects of EI development on children’s rights and well-being; revenue generation for investments in children; and effective and equitable allocation of these resources. This research project focuses on the latter part: understanding the issues and processes that constitute revenue generation from EI with a focus on the implications for equitable social policies for children.
  • Towards Universal Social Security in Emerging Economies: Process, Institutions and Actors (2012 - 2013)
    The project analyses the efforts of selected emerging economies to move towards universal provision of social security, with a focus on health care and income support. It provides a comparative analysis of the political, economic and social drivers of, and constraints on, the extension of social security to all, and draws out the implications for poverty reduction, equity, growth and democracy.
  • Social Policy in Mineral-Rich Countries: Harnessing Natural Resource Wealth for Social Development (2012 - 2014)
    Social Policy in Mineral-Rich Countries: Harnessing Natural Resource Wealth for Social Development
  • Linking Social Protection and Human Rights (2013 - 2015)
    This activity aims to improve the understanding and application of a human rights-based approach to social protection. By creating an online platform for knowledge and information at the intersection of transformative social policy and human rights law that can be used by social protection practitioners, human rights advocates and key decision makers, the activity will raise awareness of the human rights-based approach to social protection, and point to practical examples of how it can be applied.
  • Migration and Health in China (2011 - 2013)
    The last three decades have seen a huge population movement in China, which has implications for the health care system and related social welfare policies. This project aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of these challenges, identify knowledge gaps and examine the institutions, policies and politics that work in synergy to promote equitable, accessible, efficient and quality health services. The project also aims to build up the research network and capacity on migration and health in China.
  • South-South Migration and Development: What Role for Social Policy and Regional Governance (2012 - 2014)
    This UNRISD research looks at the role of regions, and multiple actors such as governments, regional and international organizations and civil society, in the governance of migration between developing countries. It builds on previous UNRISD research on Social Policy and Migration in Developing Countries, which took place from 2007-2010.
  • Making International Development Cooperation Effective (2011 - 2012)
    The project aims to look at the experience of the Republic of Korea in order to provide relevant insights and policy lessons for developing countries. Policy briefs in English and Korean, published by KOICA; a summary report of the methodology workshop; and presentations made at a project workshop can be found on this page.
  • Health Systems as Social Institutions: Progress towards Health in All Policies (2012 - 2013)
    UNRISD collaborated with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland as co-editor and contributor to the volume Health in All Policies: Seizing Opportunities, Implementing Policies. Targeted at national policy makers worldwide, this volume was a key Finnish contribution to the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion (10–14 June 2013, Helsinki).
  • Political Economy of Social Pensions in Asia (2010 - 2011)
    This research was commissioned by the Asian Development Bank to look into the politics of social pension reform in Asia, including the origins and drivers of policy choices, the stages and strategies of implementation, and the impact and consolidation of the reforms.
  • Social Policy and Migration in Developing Countries (2007 - 2009)
    The considerable research that exists on international migration has tended to focus on the economic, political and cultural implications of migration, and the situation of migrants in the developed countries. Less is known about the relationship between migration and social welfare, particularly in developing countries.
  • Social Policies in Small States (2007 - 2009)
    Small states, particularly islands, are convenient and manageable ‘laboratories’ where theories could be tested and processes observed within a semi-closed system. This interest in the “Lilliputians” is particularly manifested among geographers, anthropologists, ecologists and biologists. For economists and political scientists, small states can provide insightful examples of how internal dynamics and external pressures interplay in social and economic policy making. This research intends to examine how small states have dealt with development challenges and opportunities within their national, often enisled, context. It would critically evaluate the economic history of these countries within a specific ‘political economy’ framework, by investigating how their social policies contributed to different social, economic and political outcomes.
  • Financing Social Policy (2006 - 2010)
    This project explored mechanisms for financing social policies while balancing the principles of efficiency and equity. As one of the most important interfaces between social and economic policy, institutions for financing social policy must not only generate sufficient revenues, they must also ensure stable and sustainable resources flows. Furthermore, they should be arranged in a way that is conducive to achieving goals of democracy and economic development.
  • Social Policy and Democratization (2002 - 2005)
    This project examines the complex ways democratisation and social policy can be mutually reinforcing.
  • Gender and Social Policy (2002 - 2004)
    This thematic project on Gender and Social Policy explores some of the key aspects of the gender/policy nexus through original research, with a focused concentration on developing countries.
  • Social Policy in Late Industrializers: A Comparative Study of Latin America (2002 - 2004)
    This project, within Social Policy in a Development Context, externally co-ordinated by Manuel Riesco, focuses on the politics of social policy in Latin America.
  • Social Policy in Late Industrializers: Social Policy and Development Outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa (2002 - 2004)
    This project, within Social Policy in a Development Context, externally co-ordinated jointly by Massoud Karshenas and Valentine Moghadam, focuses specifically on the political economy of social policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA).
  • Social Policy in Late Industrializers: The Nordic Experience (2002 - 2004)
    This project, within Social Policy in a Development Context, externally co-ordinated by Joakim Palme and Olli Kangas, examines social policy in the Nordic countries.
  • Social Policy in Late Industrializers: Sub-Saharan Africa and the Challenge of Social Policy (2002 - 2004)
    This project, within Social Policy in a Development Context, externally co-ordinated by Jimi Olalekan Adesina, focuses on the role of social policy in sub-Saharan African (SSA) development.
  • Social Policy in Late Industrializers: Transforming the Developmental Welfare State in East Asia (2002 - 2004)
    This project, within the Social Policy in a Development Context, co-ordinated by Huck-ju Kwon, focuses specifically on institutions of social policy in East Asia.
  • Commercialization of Health Care: Global and Local Dynamics and Policy Responses (2001 - 2004)
    This thematic project on Commercialization of Health Care: Global and Local Dynamics and Policy Responses, explores the scope for inclusive health policy in the context of commercialization and globalization.