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Back | Programme Area: Research-Related Activities

Political Drivers of Transformative and Inclusive Development: Examples from Social Policy and Gender-Egalitarian Reforms

Date: 12 Dec 2017

  • Time: 09.15-16.00
  • Location: Room S1, Palais des Nations, Geneva
  • Counterpart(s): Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre, University of Manchester

Political Drivers of Transformative and Inclusive Development: Examples from Social Policy and Gender-Egalitarian Reforms
The SDGs represent a step-change in ambition from the MDGs, integrating new priorities such as sustainable production and consumption and climate change, while raising expectations regarding the eradication of poverty and promotion of gender equality, for example. The SDG process already prompted much debate about the suitable policy interventions to achieve these transformative changes. However, the success, or failure, of the SDGs will ultimately depend on securing the political will to achieve transformative change at global, regional and national levels.

This one-day workshop will bring together recent research findings from the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) Research Centre, based at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute (GDI), and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) to shed light on the political drivers of transformative change and inclusive development. The emphasis throughout will be on policy implications: how advocates and policy makers keen to promote transformative change can make use of political analysis and work in politically attuned ways to achieve the SDGs.

If you would like to attend the workshop in person, please contact Katja Hujo: katja.hujo@un.org

Sessions I and II will be livestreamed from UNRISD Facebook page. We welcome your questions via Facebook comments, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to workshop participants.


Arrival and coffee
Paul Ladd, Katja Hujo (UNRISD), David Hulme (ESID)

Session I: Gender
The SDGs represent a significant advance over the MDGs in terms of ambitions regarding gender equality. Gender equality has been integrated across the SDGs, alongside SDG 5 as a standalone goal incorporating new emphases on unpaid care work, violence against women and girls, and women’s political participation that were absent from the MDGs. However, agreeing global targets is only the first step towards gender equality. This session will present the findings of recent ESID and UNRISD research on the politics of the adoption and enforcement of domestic violence legislation and the political economy of care.

09:45 – 10:05
The Politics of Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South
Sohela Nazneen
(Institute of Development Studies, UK)
10:05 – 10:25
Care Policies: Realizing their Transformative Potential
Valeria Esquivel
(International Labour Office, Geneva)
10:25 – 10:45
When and Why Do States Respond to Women’s Claims? Understanding Gender-Egalitarian Policy Change in Asia
Nitya Rao
(University of East Anglia, UK)
10:45 – 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:45
Plenary Discussion
11:45 – 13:15

Session II: Social Policy
The SDGs propose ambitious targets on social protection, notably under SDG 1, where social protection is identified as one of the main tools for ending poverty. These targets are likely to be particularly challenging for low income countries and emerging economies, where, despite significant expansion in recent years, social protection often remains limited. This session will bring together recent research conducted by ESID and UNRISD on the drivers of social protection expansion in low income and emerging economies, particularly focusing on the political dynamics that underpin these policy changes.

13:15 – 13:35
New Trends and Innovations in Social Policy
Ilcheong Yi
(UNRISD, Geneva)
13:35 – 13:55
Reframing Social Protection within Strategies for Political Survival
Tom Lavers
13:55 – 14:15
Who Should Get What, How and Why?
The Transnational Politics of Social Cash Transfers
Sam Hickey
14:15 – 14:45
Coffee Break
14:45 – 15:45
Plenary Discussion
15:45 – 16:00
Closing Remarks
Tom Lavers (ESID), Katja Hujo (UNRISD)

Following the workshop, there will be a UNRISD-UNOG Library Seminar: Securing Political Commitment to Transform Our World featuring ESID and UNRISD researchers. At the reception afterwards, copies of ESID publications like The Politics of Inclusive Development: Interrogating the Evidence and UNRISD publications such as the Overview of Policy Innovations for Transformative Change will be available.