1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Stacked Odds: Exploring Overlapping Inequalities


Welcome to the UNRISD Ideas Incubator! This is a space where we take special care of ideas for new research projects. The idea on this page is still being developed: it is a “pre-project”, not yet fully fledged or funded. To join us in accelerating research on this issue, please get in touch!

In 2025, a child will be born somewhere in the world that will tip global population over 8 billion. Where that child is born, and the patterns of opportunity and inequality they face, will greatly shape their life prospects–their ability to go to school, find decent work, participate in politics, and be free from discrimination and violence.

Governments have committed—in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—to reducing inequality in its various dimensions, because they recognize it as a threat to economic, social and environmental sustainability. They have pledged to leave no one behind.

This project will convene experts to identify the best way of assessing and aggregating multiple types of inequalities, so as to enable cross-country comparisons. It will analyze inequalities in different dimensions: income and wealth; political representation; environmental factors; access to services; gender; and other forms of horizontal inequalities.

Using insightful infographics and with open access to the data used, the project will highlight where in the world people face overlapping and potentially reinforcing inequalities. It will do this through the construction of a simple but powerful index. The index will be used to help identify countries for further study, as well as for communications and outreach.

The project will enable governments to assess progress and strengthen the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Join Stacked Odds in the following ways:

Contact ladd@unrisd.org if you are in a position to provide
the financial support necessary to build an evidence base on these topics.




Contact ladd@unrisd.org if you want to commission investigative work to UNRISD;
you would like to co-design one of these project ideas in collaboration with UNRISD;
or you would like to join UNRISD as a
Visiting Research Fellow to work on one of these ideas.


Contact freedman@unrisd.org if you agree that these are important areas for research
and you want to help us gain support for them by spreading the word.




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UNRISD does not receive funding from the regular budget of the United Nations. As an extrabudgetary UN entity, the Institute depends entirely on voluntary contributions to carry out all our activities. To join us in accelerating research on this issue, please email us.



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