1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics


This PDF contains the foreword by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the preface by UNRISD Director Sarah Cook, acknowledgements and the table of contents.


From the Foreword

UNRISD is well placed to have undertaken such a comprehensive inquiry. It has drawn on both its extensive network of researchers from around the world and its autonomous status within the United Nations system. This status allows the Institute wide latitude to engage with sensitive issues, question mainstream policies and institutional arrangements, and propose alternatives. Studies of this nature, which can generate new policy options grounded in sound empirical evidence, are essential if we are to accelerate progress towards poverty reduction. On the eve of the 2010 review of the MDGs, I commend the findings to policy makers and a wide global audience.

From the Preface

Combating Poverty and Inequality is published just as global leaders meet to review and recommit themselves to a set of goals for reducing poverty agreed, under vastly different circumstances, a decade ago. The optimism of the new millennium is now overshadowed by the effects of multiple, interrelated crises. Progress in many areas appears threatened and resources are more constrained.

This volume provides a timely reminder of the strengths and limitations of various approaches to addressing poverty in the current context. A key premise of the report is that poverty cannot be reduced when both analysis of the problem, and the people affected, are relegated to the margins of development processes – targeted with safety nets or residual policy interventions while economic growth fails to create jobs, deliver services, or provide other means through which all individuals can realize their capabilities.


This PDF also contains the table of content and the acknowledgments. To open the PDF or receive it by e-mail, select an option on the right.