1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Blogs and Think Pieces

Highlights ...

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.


Implicaciones socioambientales de la creación del espacio turístico en Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Implicaciones socioambientales de la creación del espacio turístico en Guanacaste, Costa Rica (15 Jun 2017) | Ernest Cañada

Históricamente Costa Rica ha sido reconocida en el mundo, y con razón, por sus políticas ambientales, y en especial por su preocupación por un desarrollo turístico sostenible. Sin embargo, el fuerte desarrollo turístico-residencial que se produjo en el país desde principios de los años 2000, y la forma en la que se ha seguido creciendo tras la crisis financiera del 2008, ponen de manifiesto problemas y prácticas insostenibles que no se pueden ignorar.


Also...

Reflexiones sobre la transformación social-ecológica en América Latina

Reflexiones sobre la transformación social-ecológica en América Latina (1 Jun 2017) | Álvaro Cálix

Latinoamérica ha sido un espacio de experimentación de varios modelos de desarrollo. En su mayoría estos modelos han enfatizado en el crecimiento y la estabilidad de la economía, lo que ha llevado a desequilibrios ambientales y a exacerbaciones de diferentes tipos de desigualdad en el continente. Este blog propone tres orientaciones macro que, de ser tenidas en cuenta por gobiernos y hacedores de política, podrían construir un enfoque alternativo y transformador de desarrollo.


"Disaster Citizenship" and Opportunities for Transformation: An Urgent Plea for Eco-Social Policies (18 May 2017) | Ayesha Siddiqi

Avalanches and earthquakes are not simply ‘natural' events but are fundamentally the result of local dynamics of power and privilege that leave people vulnerable in the face of dangerous climatic and geological hazards. Contemporary disaster risk reduction policies therefore need to reimagine the very political system within which such disasters occur, instead of focusing on leaner, meaner technical interventions. This blog posts considers how an eco-social approach to disaster resilience can help deliver transformative outcomes in the long term.


Facing the Future: Institutions and Work in the 21st Century

Facing the Future: Institutions and Work in the 21st Century (8 May 2017) | Kelly Stetter

The rapid advance of digital technologies has left an undeniable mark on modern labour markets and is almost certain to continue to reshape the world of work in the future. How we address the challenges posed by this digital transformation depends on how we come to understand its impacts, and how well we are able to adapt our social policies and institutions to the new reality of work in the 21st century.


From the Concrete Wall to the Glass Ceiling to the Labyrinth: Gendering Leadership for Transformative Change

From the Concrete Wall to the Glass Ceiling to the Labyrinth: Gendering Leadership for Transformative Change (28 Mar 2017) | Luisa Lupo

Figures suggest that the gender gap in education has been reversed in almost all developed countries as well as many developing countries, and it could be globally reduced to parity within the next 10 years on current trends. Yet, women lag behind men when it comes to economic opportunities and political representation, particularly in leadership positions. This blog explores the transformative potential of policies with a gender-based approach to leadership.


International Women’s Day 2017: How Bold is Bold?

International Women’s Day 2017: How Bold is Bold? (8 Mar 2017) | Paul Ladd

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a time to recognize the tremendous progress made in the last century on women’s rights. But in all fields, and in all parts of the world, women and girls still face daily discrimination, stereotypes, verbal abuse and often violence. UNRISD Director Paul Ladd reflects on how to boldly go forward in today's context and political climate.


The Good, the Bad and the Innovative: Understanding the Darker Side of Innovation for Development

The Good, the Bad and the Innovative: Understanding the Darker Side of Innovation for Development (2 Mar 2017) | Roman Twerenbold

New ideas and policies are needed to tackle global challenges, and innovation will be key to implementing the 2030 Agenda. But innovation implies disruption -- and actual or even potential upheaval in the status quo can generate resistance. Innovators need to understand the potential and perceived negative impacts of innovation, and work to overcome the sources of resistance to change.


Africa’s Energy Transformation: Rewriting the Global Rules

Africa’s Energy Transformation: Rewriting the Global Rules (1 Dec 2016) | Caroline Kende-Robb

Africa is undergoing a remarkable energy transformation. But African governments and their international partners have to accelerate that transformation if we are to achieve our collective ambitions. Access to clean modern energy, especially in Africa, where 620 million people have no electricity, is critical to the success of global efforts to tackle poverty and achieve the SDGs.


Transformation for Better or for Worse? The Evidence from South East Europe

Transformation for Better or for Worse? The Evidence from South East Europe (24 Nov 2016) | Marija Stambolieva

The UNRISD Flagship report 2016 sees transformational change as a set of policies and structures that “expand rights, increase equality and reduce power asymmetries, and support sustainable and equitable structural change of the economy”. For scholars of post-socialist transformation, however, the notion of “transformation” is typically associated with structural changes that generated social inequalities and boosted power asymmetries in societies which were previously relatively equal but perceived as inefficient. This blog post discusses the social policy pitfalls of transitions after political and economic crises.