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Policy Innovations for Transformative Change: UNRISD Flagship Report 2016

  • Project from: 2015 to 2016

An UNRISD Contribution to the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals are a global commitment to “transforming our world” and eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere. The challenge now is to put this vision into action.

Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, the UNRISD 2016 Flagship 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.

Transformative change

Drawing on numerous policy innovations from the South, the report goes beyond buzzwords and brings to the development community a definition of transformation which can be used as a benchmark for policy making toward the 2030 Agenda, intended to “leave no one behind”. 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 that:
  • go beyond palliative approaches to substantively and sustainably address the root causes of poverty, inequality and environmental destruction;
  • are integrated, innovative and policy-driven, and demonstrate an eco-social turn in discourse and practice;
  • are informed by inclusive, multi-level partnerships; and
  • are grounded in evidence and normative values such as social justice and sustainability.

Access the Report


The report overview is also available in:


Preview, Consultation and Launch

In order to bring our research to bear on the SDG implementation process, the Flagship Report was previewed at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the United Nations’ central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. A side event on 18 July brought together an audience of policy makers from member states and civil society representatives to hear UNRISD Director Paul Ladd preview some of the report's key messages.

The preview also marked the beginning of a 3-week global online pre-publication consultation, a first for an UNRISD Flagship Report. During this period, the draft report was available for review on our website, open for comments and feedback from all our constituencies.

Analytical and substantive feedback received from civil society, academia, national governments, United Nations partners and other International Organizations during the consultation informed the final round of revisions of the report.

The full report was launched on 17 October in Geneva.

For more information and to arrange a presentation of the report, contact Flagship Report Coordinator Katja Hujo
[katja dot hujo at un dot org].

UNRISD Flagship Reports make their mark on development debates. Bringing together in one place the latest cutting-edge research on social development, they provide policy makers, researchers and activists with reliable evidence for decision making.