1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Current Research


UNRISD carries out research that helps national governments and others achieve their sustainable development objectives. The research explores and analyses innovations and pathways that can lead towards more inclusive development outcomes, while also considering how critical obstacles can be overcome. An overarching goal for the Institute is to ensure that social development concerns and objectives remain prominent in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNRISD will be launching a new Institutional Strategy for 2021-2025 and you’ll see that reflected in changes to our website in early 2021. In the meantime, for a preview of what's coming up under the new Gender Justice and Development programme, read the blog and meet the new programme lead.

Research for Social Change–Transformations to Equity and Sustainability: UNRISD Strategy 2016–2020 sets out the main priorities and themes of UNRISD research within an overarching institutional framework that links research, communications, policy engagement, results and impact.

See also Social Development in an Uncertain World: UNRISD Research Agenda, 2010–2014

"UNRISD research provides important insights for those who believe that it is necessary to push the boundaries of political discourse beyond its focus on economic growth and poverty reduction towards a broader understanding of development that includes human well-being, equity, sustainability, democratic governance and social justice.”" — DFID Evaluation of UNRISD (2008–2013)

The Institute's current research is organized in three programme areas: Social Policy and Development, Gender and Development, and Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development.


Ideas Incubator

This is a space where we take special care of ideas for new research projects. Some of these "pre-project" ideas follow comfortable in the tradition of the Institute's past work. Others stretch the bounderies in new directions. Take a look.

Programme Areas