1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Blogs and Think Pieces

Highlights ...

SDG 17: Transformative Partnerships?

SDG 17: Transformative Partnerships? (21 Sep 2017) | Annekathrin Ellersiek

Partnerships are a central Means of Implementation (MOI) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to Targets 16 and 17 of SDG17. This points to the need to effectively harness additional resources, while at the same emphasizing the aim of ‘leaving no one behind’. But are they always both effective and inclusive, and hence transformative? This blog argues that stronger alignment of different approaches is needed for partnerships to bring about the progressive change that the 2030 Agenda requires.


Policy Making in a Globalized World: Is Economic Growth the Appropriate Driver? An Example from Mesoamerica

Policy Making in a Globalized World: Is Economic Growth the Appropriate Driver? An Example from Mesoamerica (22 Aug 2017) | Andrea F. Schuman

This think piece traces transnational influences in national-level economic policies and their impacts on one municipality in Mesoamerica. Policy influences that emphasize economic growth, and propose “modernization” and market-based solutions led by the private sector, are found to undermine resilience at both household and community levels, and pose threats to the sustainable livelihoods generated by the activities and practices historically engaged in by the population. The policy implications are relevant across the region in question, and far beyond.


Also...

Organizing for Urban Resilience … and, Possibly, for Transformation: TDCs in Bharatpur, Nepal

Organizing for Urban Resilience … and, Possibly, for Transformation: TDCs in Bharatpur, Nepal (21 Aug 2017) | Hanna A. Ruszczyk

This think piece explores the role of Tole Development Committees in Bharatpur, Nepal, and argues that they make important contributions to urban resilience. In the context of Nepal they are sources of innovative local-level partnerships and ways of approaching governance of eco-social issues. As such, they are taking steps towards greater social inclusion and, possibly, transformation.


Linking Resilience Thinking and Transformative Change: Taking Development Debates to a New Level

Linking Resilience Thinking and Transformative Change: Taking Development Debates to a New Level (16 Aug 2017) | Dunja Krause

The concept of resilience, and “resilience thinking”, goes beyond understanding resilience as ability to withstand shocks. It has the potential to inspire much more than the palliative interventions to which it seems to be relegated by its latest use in global policy documents, from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to the New Urban Agenda. This think piece introduces the concepts of resilience and transformative change, highlights useful links between them, and outlines some of the policy implications of resilience thinking for transformative change.


“Education for All”: A Hollow Pledge for International Migrant Children and Youth in the Global South?

“Education for All”: A Hollow Pledge for International Migrant Children and Youth in the Global South? (15 Aug 2017) | Aida Lizbeth Becerra Garza

This think piece argues that the commitment and right to quality education for all will ring hollow without serious measures to overcome the access and inclusion barriers that face millions of school-age migrant children and youth. These access and inclusion challenges are particularly pressing in countries of the Global South, which are also striving to expand and improve their education systems.


Building Momentum: Reflections on the 2017 High Level Political Forum

Building Momentum: Reflections on the 2017 High Level Political Forum (24 Jul 2017) | Paul Ladd

Just returned from the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, the annual UN platform to review SDG implementation, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd reflects on talk and action, and the commitment needed from rich as well as from poor countries to keep the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Agricultural Transformation to Reduce Poverty and Hunger: An Innovative Approach

Agricultural Transformation to Reduce Poverty and Hunger: An Innovative Approach (19 Jul 2017) | Massimiliano Terzini and Marco Knowles

Combining agricultural and social protection interventions to support small family farmers is an innovative approach to combating poverty and hunger that is gaining credibility in sub-Saharan Africa and making its way into international development discourse. This blog post explores evidence of how social protection is contributing to improving both social and economic outcomes for poor farmers.


The Right Tool for the Job? Labour Activation Policies and Poverty Reduction in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The Right Tool for the Job? Labour Activation Policies and Poverty Reduction in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (5 Jul 2017) | Esuna Dugarova

Despite progress made by countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in reducing poverty and unemployment during the 2000s thanks to economic growth and investments in social programmes, a recent economic downturn has reversed this trend. Innovations in policy and institutional arrangements have since been introduced in an attempt to keep poverty and unemployment down. This blog post looks at the nature of these recent innovations and examines their transformative potential for improving people’s livelihoods.


The Uberization of Retirement: What does the Gig Economy Tell Us About Failing Pension Systems?

The Uberization of Retirement: What does the Gig Economy Tell Us About Failing Pension Systems? (30 Jun 2017) | Saskia Sickinger

The gig economy and its innovative approach to employment is attracting increased attention in policy debates. Often assumed to be the purview of younger, tech-savvy generations, these new forms of work are however increasingly being adopted by seniors. This piece explores why more and more older people are moving into the gig economy and what this tells us about the state of traditional pension systems in a changing world.


Development Financing On The Ropes? How the Current Pace of Financing is Putting the SDGs at Risk

Development Financing On The Ropes? How the Current Pace of Financing is Putting the SDGs at Risk (21 Jun 2017) | Bodo Ellmers

The United Nations’ Financing for Development Forum held at the end of May in New York was notable for the first major admission in a formal outcome document that at the current pace, the Sustainable Development Goals will not be reached. The Forum—which deals with all aspects of finance and the financial architecture that regulates finance—intended to work towards reforms that would make finance work for development. This blog post looks at what progress was made, and where political blockages are still holding things up.