The preparation of the UNRISD flagship report, Combating Poverty and Inequality
, was a major research initiative which aimed to contribute to debates on policy approaches to poverty reduction within the context of a post-MDG framework. The preparation of the report drew heavily on the project on Poverty Reduction and Policy Regimes
, as well as previous UNRISD work on Social Policy in a Development Context.
Many contemporary approaches treat poverty and inequality as residual outcomes of wider growth processes that can be addressed through discrete and targeted policy interventions. They often fail to consider key institutional, policy and political dimensions that may be both causes of poverty and inequality, and obstacles to their reduction. Such approaches run counter to the evidence from countries that have successfully reduced poverty over relatively short time periods. The research showed instead that progress occurred principally through state-directed strategies which combined economic development objectives with active social policies in ways that were complementary and synergistic. It also showed how poverty outcomes are shaped by complex interconnections of ideas, institutions, policies and practices in the social, economic and political spheres.
The preparation of the report drew heavily from the project Poverty Reduction and Policy Regimes, thematic papers, as well as past UNRISD research related to issues of poverty and inequality under several of the Institute’s programmes.
Research was conducted in Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, South Africa and Taiwan Province of China, which have historically involved the state as an active agent of development, have had a certain amount of growth and have attempted structural transformation. The studies analyse initial conditions or historical antecedents of regimes to understand options available to policy makers before adoption of a developmental growth strategy. They trace the processes in which countries are launched on specific development paths; identify trade-offs, reactions and adjustments made in development strategies as regimes are consolidated; and analyse regime adaptability and change in contexts of exogenous shocks and pressures for global policy convergence.
Eight overview papers were commissioned to examine the following countries: China, Finland, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the former USSR and Viet Nam.
These represent four types of cases: late industrializers with high structural transformation; countries with a good record in poverty reduction in recent years that have pursued heterodox economic policies in opening up to the world market; countries that historically have done well in human development with low per capita incomes; and countries with a previously good record in poverty reduction and that have been in transition from communism to capitalism. Some countries may straddle more than one classification.
A number of thematic background papers were commissioned. Most of the thematic papers, in draft or published in the Programme Paper series, can be downloaded using the panel on the right (Publications for the Programme Papers and Unpublished Papers for the drafts).
This research culminated in the publication of the UNRISD flagship report, Combating Poverty and Inequality
in 2010. The report is structured around the following main issues, which, it argues, are the critical elements of a sustainable and inclusive development strategy:
- patterns of growth and structural change (whether in the agricultural, industrial or service sectors) that generate and sustain jobs that are adequately remunerated and accessible to all, regardless of income or class status, gender, ethnicity or location;
- comprehensive social policies that are grounded in universal rights and that are supportive of structural change, social cohesion and democratic politics; and
- protection of civic rights, activism and political arrangements that ensure states are responsive to the needs of citizens and the poor have influence in how policies are made.
Leading up to the end of the MDG process, it is important not only to concentrate on meeting the targets but to begin an inquiry into how to achieve social development in a post-MDG world structured around principles of equity, social rights, resilience and transformation.
- Gervase S. Maipose—Institutional Dynamics of Sustained Rapid Economic Growth with Limited Impact on Poverty Reduction
- Imogen Mogotsi—Wealth and Income Inequalities
- Keitseope Nthomang—Basic Social Services and Poverty Reduction in Botswana
- Dolly Ntseane—Welfare Regime, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Onalenna Doo Selolwane—Organized Interest Groups, Development Strategies and Social Policies: A Review of Poverty Reduction and Policy Regimes in Botswana
- Happy Siphambe—Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction in Botswana
- Marcus André Melo—The “Unsocial” Leviathan Interests, Institutions and Social Policy in Brazil
- Wilnês Henrique—Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction
- Marcio Pochmann—Unequal Distribution of Income and Wealth in Brazil
- Pedro Luiz Barros Silva and Norberto Dachs—Social Protection in Brazil: Access to Health Care, Education and Water and Sanitation (Sewage and Garbage Collection)
- Brasilio Sallum Jr.—The Evolution of Brazilian State Capacity since 1930
- Sônia Miriam Draibe—Brazil: Welfare Regime, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Diego Sánchez-Ancochea—Costa Rica’s Development since 1950: Between Success and Contradictions in a Small Economy
- Alberto Cortes and Andrés León—Costa Rica: Social Conflict and Distribution, 1950–2005
- Juliana Martínez Franzoni—Costa Rican Social Protection: The Accomplishments and Strains of a Showcase
- Isabel Román Vega—The Evolution of Inequality and Poverty over Thirty Years: From Success to Uncertainty, 1950–1980
- Juan Diego Trejos—Basic Social Services: Achievements and Bottlenecks since 1950
- Jorge Vargas Cullell—Public Institutional Infrastructure and Social Redistribution in Costa Rica
- Vivek Chibber—Organized Interests, Development Strategies and Social Policies
- Atul Kohli—State and Redistributive Development in India
- P.S. Vijay Shankar and Mihir Shah—Rethinking Reforms: A New Vision for the Social Sector in India
- Rayaprolu Nagaraj—Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction: Indian Experience
- Gita Sen and Durgam Rajasekhar—Social Protection in India: Policies, Experiences, Challenges
- M.H. Suryanarayana—Economic Development and Inequalities
- Rosemary Atieno—Organised Interests, Development Strategies and Social Policies
- Mohamud A. Jama—Poverty Reduction and Policy Regimes: The Case of Kenya
- Winnie V. Mitullah—Poverty and Social Service Provision in Kenya: Balancing Public and Private Provision
- Adams Oloo—Developmental State Capacity and Institutional Reform: The Case of Kenya
- Joseph Onjala—Wealth and Income Inequalities in Kenya: Causes, Dimensions, Dynamics and Poverty
- Chweha Ludeki—Welfare Regime, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Khoo Boo Teik—Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction
- Francis Loh Kok Wah—Organized Groups, Development Strategies and Social Policies
- Abdul Rahman Embong—Developmental State Capacity and Institutional Reform in Malaysia
- Saidatulakmal Mohd—Welfare Regime, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Khoo Khay Jin—Poverty and Inequality
- Halim Salleh—Welfare Regime, Social Services and Poverty Reduction
Taiwan Province of China
- Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass—Why Don’t the Poor Get More? The State and Poverty in Post-Apartheid South Africa (book)
Overview paper authors
- Yeun-wen Ku—Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction
- Yeun-wen Ku and Yu Fan Chang—Wealth and Income Inequalities
- Jen-Der Lue—Welfare Regime, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Ling Ping Chen—Organized Interests, Development Strategies and Social Policies
- Chung-Hsien Huang—Developmental State Capacity and Institutional Reform
- Jun-Rong Chen—Welfare Regime, Social Services and Poverty Reduction
- Armando Barrientos—Social Protection and Poverty
- Anthony Bebbington—Social Movements and Poverty Developing Countries
- Cristina Bloj—The Budgeting Process and the Implications on Social Policies and Poverty Reduction: Alternatives to Traditional Models
- Michael Blowfield—Business, Corporate Responsibility and Poverty
- Robert Boyer—Growth Strategies and Poverty Reduction: The Institutional Complementarity Hypothesis
- Graham Brown and Arnim Langer—Spatial and Ethnic Inequalities and Development: Country Experiences
- Graham Brown and Arnim Langer—Horizontal Inequalities, Conflict and Public Policy
- Michelle J. Budig and Joya Misra—How Care Work Employment Shapes Earnings in a Cross-National Perspective
- Debbie Budlender—Time Use and Poverty
- C.P. Chandrasekhar—Financial Factors in Economic Growth
- Colin Crouch—CSR and Changing Modes of Governance: Towards Corporate Noblesse Oblige?
- Jonathan Di John—Fiscal Reforms, Developmental State Capacity and Poverty Reduction
- Nancy Folbre and Jayoung Yoon—Economic Development and Time Devoted to Direct Unpaid Care Activities: An Analysis of the Harmonized European Time Use Survey (HETUS)
- James Galbraith—Inequality and Economic and Political Change: A Comparative Perspective
- Jayati Ghosh—Growth, Macroeconomic Policies and Structural Change
- Olivier Giovannoni—Functional Distribution of Income, Inequality and the Incidence of Poverty: Stylized Facts and the Role of Macroeconomic Policy
- Terence Gomez—Ethnic and Spatial Inequalities
- Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jäntti—Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Regimes: A Comparative Analysis of Twenty-Four Upper-Income Countries
- Ricardo Gottschalk—The Effectiveness of the Macroeconomic Frameworks of the PRSPs for Growth and Poverty Reduction
- Ian Gough and Miriam Abu Sharkh—Financing Welfare Regimes: A Literature Rview and Cluster Analysis
- James Heintz—Employment, Informality and Poverty: An Empirical Overview of Six Countries with a Focus on Gender and Race
- James Heintz—Employment, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction: Critical Issues and Policy Challenges
- Sara Hsu—The Effect of Political Regimes on Inequality, 1963–2002
- Nicola Hypher— Pro-Poor Provision of Social Services/Universal Provision of Social Services
- Mushtaq H. Khan—Governance, Growth and Development
- Parashar Kulkarni—Impact of the GATS on Basic Social Services Redux
- Hyunsub Kum—Inequality and Structural Change
- Tom Lavers—The Politics of Bilateral Donor Assistance
- Eddie Lee—Income Inequality and Redistributive Policies
- Adrian Leftwich—Developmental States, Effective States and Poverty Reduction: The Primacy of Politics
- Philip McMichael—Global Food Crisis: Causes and Prospects for Policy Alternatives
- Marcus André Melo—Democracy, Social Spending and Poverty
- Nadia Molenaers—Civil Society Participation under the New Aid Approach: Pluralist Prescriptions for Pro-Poor Interests?
- Ann Morissens—Migration, Welfare States and the Incorporation of Migrants in Different Welfare Regimes
- Paresh Kumar Narayan—Social Services in High-Growth Developing Countries
- Andrew Nickson—Managerial Reforms and Developmental State Capacity
- Adam Sheingate—Agrarian Social Pacts and Poverty Reduction
- Rachel Slater—Cash Transfers, Social Protection and Poverty Reduction
- Guy Standing—Labour Market Policies, Poverty and Insecurity
- Rob van Tulder—The Role of Business in Poverty Reduction: Towards a Sustainable Corporate Story?
- Nicola Wermer—Literature Review: Social Protection of the Rural Population
For further information, please refer to the tabs to the right.