Add Your Signature to Support UNRISD; Join Us for Basic Income Discussion; Coming Soon: Launch of our Flagship Report: Issue 28 May 2016
UNRISD is an autonomous institution within the UN system that carries out multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

We’d like to start by thanking all of you who have expressed support for UNRISD in one way or another over the last couple of weeks in response to our appeals. Your words and actions have been a great boost for everyone working for UNRISD. The responses demonstrate again the breadth, diversity and engagement of the UNRISD network, and your genuine and wide-ranging support is the bedrock on which more stable financial foundations can be built for the Institute. If you haven’t yet put your signature on our support page, please consider joining the 800+ friends of UNRISD who already have, and help us further strengthen the case for why UNRISD matters.

In the meantime, we have not stopped producing a range of exciting outputs from our research. At a public event this week in Geneva, we will revisit the topic of unconditional basic income with a distinguished panel of discussants who will unpack the arguments for and against, in countries in the Global North and the Global South. Join us at the Palais des Nations for this event if you can!

Our projects on women’s claims-making in Asia, and on the politics of domestic resource mobilization, are throwing up some interesting findings which we have published recently in research briefs and papers (more on these below). In addition, we have organized a whole series of outreach events in the last two months on subjects ranging from food trade to partnerships and power. You can catch up on any you missed via the podcasts and videos which are now available.

Finally, preparations for the launch of UNRISD’s next flagship report, Policy Innovations for Transformative Social Change, are in full swing. Following a highly productive peer review workshop in April, the authors are putting the final touches to their contributions and we are preparing to go into editing and production mode. We hope to launch the report at a major high-level event over the summer and make good on our intention to provide governments, civil society and academics with timely analysis to support SDG implementation processes. We’ll be sure to let you know where and when in good time.

NEWS

Appeal for signatures in support of UNRISD!

In the past two weeks, more than 800 academics, policy and decision makers, practitioners and advocates have signed on to a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, asking for his urgent political backing to efforts now under way to mobilize UN and other sources of funding for UNRISD. We are still collecting signatures; please read the letter and show your support by signing on today.

New Gender and SSE Project

Although women play a major role in social and solidarity economy (SSE) activities, current attention to SSE from scholars and public authorities remains for the most part gender blind. UNRISD is partnering with The Graduate Institute (IHEID, Geneva), the Institute of Research for Development (IRD, France) and researchers in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, France and India on a new project, Feminist Analysis of Social and Solidarity Economy Practices: Views from Latin America and India, which aims to address these gaps in SSE research and policies from a feminist perspective.

UNRISD's Continuing Work on Care

The UNRISD Gender and Development team is continuing and expanding its pioneering work on care, and at the same time is responding to a variety of demands from policy makers, practitioners and academia. As part of this, UNRISD was commissioned by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) to carry out a background review on care policies in the Global South.

Youth Empowerment and the SDGs: Raising Voices

UNRISD Director Paul Ladd lent his voice to a debate on youth empowerment through the Sustainable Development Goals, following on from his engagement with February’s ECOSOC Youth Forum 2016 where he spoke at a High-Level Dialogue on the Role of Youth in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda. At a recent event in Geneva, organized by the Interns With A Mission initiative, speakers debated the motion “The current SDG framework provides enough opportunities for youth involvement and empowerment”.

Bringing UNRISD to New York

UNRISD Director Paul Ladd spent two weeks in New York in February on UNRISD business. Social media outreach was part of the trip, amplifying the UNRISD presence and the contacts that Paul was able to make in person. We document the social media view of his trip here via Storify.

UPCOMING EVENT

Informality and Income Security: Is Basic Income a Universal Solution?

13 May, 14.00-16.00, Room XII, Palais des Nations, Geneva Is a universal or unconditional basic income (UBI) an effective way for states to meet the social protection commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? On 5 June, Switzerland will hold the world’s first popular vote on universal basic income. The vote, which was put forward by a group of citizens rather than a political party, has been the subject of recent public debate. This UNRISD Seminar will explore the benefits and disadvantages of a universal income in countries in the Global North and the Global South.

RECENT EVENTS

Food Trade, Food Security and the SDGs: Aligning Reality with the Vision

22 April, Geneva In addition to SDG2, which aims to end hunger, food security and food trade have implications for other goals related to energy, equity and global partnerships. But there seems to be some disconnect between the vision of the SDGs and the current global food trade architecture. In this seminar, Sophia Murphy looks at some of the issues around this. How can countries create and enforce trade rules that respect other global commitments to sustainable and inclusive human well-being? How should governments reform multilateral trade rules to limit future risks to food security while ensuring everybody’s food needs are met in a sustainable way?

Watch the video.
Listen to the podcast.

Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals

14 March, New York and 6 April 2016, Geneva The open access Oxfam journal Gender & Development has published a special issue devoted to the Sustainable Development Goals, co-edited by UNRISD Research Coordinator Valeria Esquivel and Caroline Sweetman. Contributors, including prominent women's rights activists and advocates, offer a "first cut" analysis on what the SDGs hold for activists working to advance gender equality and women's rights.

The special edition was launched at two events in New York and Geneva: Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals: Are the SDGs Good News for Women?; and Gender and the SDGs: The Outcome, the Processes, and the Prospects. A related event took place at the Overseas Development Institute on International Women's Day. (Scoll down the Storify article for the panel on Gender and Sustainable Development Goals.)

Videos and a podcast are available for the Geneva event.
Watch the video playlist.
Listen to the podcast.

Partnerships, Power and the SDGs

25 February, Geneva Networks are now established with the goal of enacting the ideals of multistakeholder partnership, which will be central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Studies of "partnership" often investigate only the formal rules that bring new development actors to the table and assume that inclusion automatically means that existing power inequalities are mitigated. In this seminar, Moira Faul argued that development "partners" may informally depart from these formal rules and relationships. Behind formal partnership lies a dense network of informal governance relationships and practices that require investigation in order to understand how partnership works, and prescribe effective solutions for policy and practice.

Watch the video.
Listen to the podcast.

Economic Inequality, Financial Crises and Human Rights

9 March, Geneva This event aimed to contribute to current debates on the development and rights implications of inequality by exploring the linkages between wealth and income inequality and human rights, with a particular focus on economic and financial crises. Participants discussed how policies and institutions that were grounded in a human rights framework could contribute to reducing inequalities and strengthening resilience.

Listen to the podcasts of the presentations by clicking on Media Files on the top right of the events page.

PUBLICATIONS

New Briefs

Confronting Violence Against Women: The Power of Women's Movements
With the SDGs, UN member states have reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating violence against women and are seeking ways to achieve this. UNRISD research has examined cases of successful advocacy for policy change in this area and has identified key drivers and conditions, in particular the active engagement of women’s movements. This Brief presents recommendations that can help policy makers, women’s human rights advocates and funders to fully recognize the dimensions of the problem of violence against women and strategize effectively to address it.

At the Crossroads of Class and Gender: Realizing Domestic Workers' Labour Rights
Women domestic workers suffer a double injustice: they are discriminated against as women and their rights as workers are not recognized. With the SDGs, UN member states have committed to tackling both issues (Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 8 on decent work). UNRISD research on previous efforts to bring about policy change and legal reform in this complex area has identified some of the drivers of successful mobilization, as well as a range of constraints. This Brief presents recommendations based on the research that can help policy makers, women’s and labour rights advocates and funders to effectively support domestic workers’ labour rights.

New Paper

Protesta Social y Movilización de Recursos para el Desarrollo Social en Bolivia
Santiago Daroca Oller Este documento estudia el proceso de movilización de recursos domésticos a partir del llamado impuestazo y la guerra del gas en el 2003, y cómo cambió la relación entre el Estado y la ciudadanía con el nuevo gobierno de Evo Morales y su reorientación hacia recursos domésticos originando del sector de los hidrocarburos.

New Research Report

Locating the Processes of Policy Change in the Context of Anti-Rape and Domestic Worker Mobilisations in India
Shraddha Chigateri, Mubashira Zaidi and Anweshaa Ghosh This in-depth country research report traces policy change in India on the issues of violence against women, and the rights of domestic workers. This research sought to address the question of when and why the state in India responds to women’s claims making / mobilizations of women’s groups on two issues: anti-rape laws and domestic work. The project explored the relationship between women’s claims making and laws and policies, especially focusing on the issues around which mobilizations take place, the processes and strategies of claims making by women’s groups, and the processes through which the changes in laws and policies occur. The research addressed these concerns at both a national level, as well as two subnational levels, Gujarat and Karnataka. It compared the differences and similarities in mobilizations, structural configurations, actors and coalitions between the two issue areas, and across the levels (national and subnational).

Read the full report.
Download the individual chapters.

THINK PIECES

Inequality and the SDGs: Not Only a Developing Country’s Burden

Kelly Stetter Despite SDG 10’s clear objective of reducing inequality within and among countries everywhere, too much of the focus on inequality centres on developing countries, ignoring serious economic, social and cultural divides in many of the world’s advanced nations, which contribute to rising global inequality levels. Kelly Stetter looks at the tools available to help reduce inequality, and stresses that developed countries must bring the inequlaities in their societies into the light to be able to effectively address them.

Are the Sustainable Development Goals Good News for Women?

Valeria Esquivel and Caroline Sweetman The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals, agreed in September 2015, marked a historic moment for development—and for feminism, according to a range of prominent women's rights activists and advocates involved in the creation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. What needs to be done to ensure that the SDGs deliver on their promise for people living in poverty and for women in particular? Valeria Esquivel and Caroline Sweetman introduce some of the analysis in the latest issue of the Gender & Development journal.

VIDEOS AND PODCASTS

Food Trade, Food Security and the SDGs: Aligning Reality with the Vision

In addition to SDG2, which aims to end hunger, food security and food trade have implications for other goals related to energy, equity and global partnerships. In this seminar, Sophia Murphy looks at some of the issues around the disconnect between the vision of the SDGs and the current global food trade architecture. Susan Mathews explains why and how OHCHR is engaging on trade as a human rights issue, and highlights some lessons learned from past experiences with human rights impact assessments of trade agreements.

Watch the video.
Listen to the podcast.

Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals: Are the SDGs Good News for Women?

The podcast and videos from the Geneva launch of the special issue of the journal Gender & Development devoted to the Sustainable Development Goals. The issue was co-edited by UNRISD Research Coordinator Valeria Esquivel.


Watch the video playlist.
Listen to the podcast.

Economic Inequality, Financial Crises and Human Rights

This event aimed to contribute to current debates on the development and rights implications of inequality by exploring the linkages between wealth and income inequality and human rights, with a particular focus on economic and financial crises. Participants discussed how policies and institutions that were grounded in a human rights framework could contribute to reducing inequalities and strengthening resilience.

Listen to the podcasts of the presentations by clicking on Media Files on the top right of the events page.

Partnerships, Power and the SDGs

In this seminar, Moira Faul looked at partnerships and argued that development "partners" may informally depart from formal rules and relationships. Behind formal partnership lies a dense network of informal governance relationships and practices that require investigation in order to understand how partnership works, and prescribe effective solutions for policy and practice.

Watch the video.
Listen to the podcast.

Activating Equality: How Women's Movements Mobilize for Policy Change

In this video, UNRISD External Coordinator, Nitya Rao, presents an overview of the UNRISD research project "When and Why Do States Respond to Women's Claims? Understanding Gender-Egalitarian Policy Change in Asia". The study compares how women's movements influence policy change in China, India and Indonesia.

Watch the video.

AT A GLANCE

A celebration of the life and work of our former director, Thandika Mkandawire, was held in Lilongwe, Malawi, in April by CODESRIA. Over 150 scholars from around the world attended the Colloquim on Thinking African, Epistemological Issues, which was held back to back with the 26th Anniversary of the Kamapala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility.

Former UNRISD Research Coordinator Yusuf Bangura has been blogging about the challenges of building cohesive states and societies. The post is based on Yusuf's book, Development, Democracy and Cohesion: Critical Essays with Insights on Sierra Leone and Wider Africa Context. The essays—written over two decades when Africa was going through major changes—draw on research insights from Yusuf's work at UNRISD.


Banner image: Colourful Abstracts (CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

CONTACT

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: ++41 (0)22 917 3020
Fax: ++41 (0)22 917 0650
E-mail info@unrisd.org

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