1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Through the Social Lens - UNRISD Director's Blog

In this blog Series, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd shares his reflections on current issues in development and how UNRISD's work on social development ties in to these concerns.

  • Labs Versus Lies? Evidence for Policy Making in Our Post-Truth World (19 Feb 2020)
    Over the past two months, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd has spoken at two events exploring the linkages between evidence, experts, research, policy decision making and social change. In a world that could be characterized as “labs versus lies”, he argues, we must persist in our commitment to science, recognize that the pathways by which evidence leads to better policy and action are under threat—and adjust our actions accordingly.
  • Winning Across the Agenda: Tackling Policy Incoherence to Localize the SDGs (8 Aug 2018)
    Trying to get global initiatives to gel with local needs and priorities, and make sure we leave no one behind across all dimensions of sustainable development, has always been a challenge. In this blog, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd thinks aloud about how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is faring.
  • Building Momentum: Reflections on the 2017 High Level Political Forum (24 Jul 2017)
    Just returned from the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, the annual UN platform to review SDG implementation, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd reflects on talk and action, and the commitment needed from rich as well as from poor countries to keep the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • International Women’s Day 2017: How Bold is Bold? (8 Mar 2017)
    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.
  • Marking International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 Oct 2016)
    The launch today of UNRISD’s new Flagship report, Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, coincides with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. In this post Paul Ladd asks whether, in moving to the expansive 2030 Agenda that has added climate change, environmental degradation, inequalities, decent work, urbanization and better governance to the development ‘to-do’ list, we have lost the focus on poverty.
  • Decisions for Davos (19 Jan 2016)
    From today, over 2,500 people will descend on Davos for the World Economic Forum. Most will be leaders from business, joined also by representatives from governments, international organizations and civil society. In this blog, read three simple suggestions for how business leaders can commit to the SDGs and not only help to make the world better for people now, but also more resilient to respond to future shocks—whether these are driven by technology or not.
  • Making the SDGs Transformational: UNRISD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (17 Nov 2015)
    I started as the Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in mid-October. I’ve spent most of my first four weeks in meetings—with government representatives in Geneva, with UN colleagues, and with the UNRISD team. I’ve been grateful for the warmth with which I’ve been welcomed, and the professionalism and commitment of every single member of staff. In all of these discussions the main questions at the back of my mind have been: What does it mean to work on ‘social development’ at this particular point in history; and what is the best contribution that UNRISD can make?