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Innovative policies that will deliver on the 2030 Agenda transformative promise

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On 17 October 2016, the United United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) launched their flagship report titled, “Policy Innovations for Transformative Change”. The report helps unpack the complexities of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in a unique way: by focusing on the innovations and pathways to policy change, and analysing which policies and practices will lead to social, economic and ecological justice.


Download the full report // Download an overview

Download the full report // Download an overview

Research by organizations like UNRISD will continue to play an important role in understanding the underlying processes and drivers of change, and in helping countries to learn from each other”

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

Bringing together five years of UNRISD research across six areas—social policy, care policy, social and solidarity economy, eco-social policy, domestic resource mobilization, and politics and governance—the report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals.

It provides guidance on how to turn the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into concrete actions and includes three underlying key messages for innovative policy change:

  1. breaking the vicious circle that produces poverty, inequality and environmental destruction requires transformative change that directly attacks the root causes of these problems instead of the symptoms;
  2. transformative change can be driven by innovative policies that overcome palliative and “silo” approaches, and promote an “eco-social” turn in development thinking and practice;
  3. innovative policies, which are informed by solid evidence and grounded in normative values such as social justice and sustainability, need to be forged through inclusive political processes, new forms of partnership, multilevel governance reforms and increased state capacity.

Eco-social turn is defined as “Eco-social policies that combine transformative social policies and environmental policies for more sustainable outcomes”. UNRISD research suggests that policies and institutional reforms that promote an eco-social turn need urgently to be expanded and scaled up for implementation of the 2030 agenda.

Visit the Flagship Report hompage at UNRISD.

Visit the UNRISD Flagship Report Blog Series that explores what it takes to design and implement innovative eco-social policies that will lead to transformative change.

Blog excerpt

Up and Down the Political Agenda: Pathways to Transformative Care Policies by Andrea Kaufmann and Valeria Esquivel

As policy makers begin to align the SDGs and national development plans, they can use this evidence and knowledge not only in policy design, but also to facilitate the type of political processes needed to craft transformative care policies: ones with ample participation and intersectoral dialogue.

In terms of care policies, ongoing UNRISD research finds that the greatest strides have been made in Latin America, for example in Costa Rica and Uruguay where care is high on the political agenda. Care policies in the countries of Asia and the Pacific are highly heterogeneous: Viet Nam for example has quite comprehensive gender-egalitarian care policies, whereas Papua New Guinea has very few in place. And in countries across sub-Saharan Africa, when care policies exist, they are often framed as part of the response to high rates of multidimensional poverty.

About the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

UNRISD is an autonomous research institute within the United Nations system that undertakes interdisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through their work, they aim to ensure that social equity, inclusion and justice are central to development thinking, policy and practice.


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