Sustainable Development Goal 1 — No Poverty

Despite significant progress in reducing extreme poverty since 2000, more than 700 million people continue to live on less than US$1.90 a day. But ending global poverty by 2030 will require much more than closing an income gap — it will rely on institutions and opportunities that promote equality in all its forms, including access to resources, gender, employment, housing, and health.

Our work on poverty

Poverty is a persistent challenge that requires innovative solutions. By using fresh research perspectives, UNU helps to overcome obstacles to sustained poverty reduction. Our work on migration, for example, examines the socio-economic drivers and consequences for households on the move to find solutions to poverty, at both ends of the migration path. Our economic toolbox uses sustainable benefit models to guide developing countries as they create social protection systems that are increasingly based on domestic tax revenues. These unique tributaries of UNU research ensure a comprehensive mainstream approach to ending poverty.




Pia Rattenhuber

“Understanding how taxes and social benefits affect people is vital for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Developing simulation models together with partners in the developing world helps us understand which policies perform better in reducing poverty and inequality.”



Franziska Gassmann

“Poverty is a massive issue across the globe, and yet many countries do not allocate enough resources to social protection of the poor. My work at UNU shows that investments in social protection make sense both socially and economically, providing a positive return on investment.”





The Economic Impacts of Congolese Refugees in Rwanda

For two decades, Congolese refugees have escaped insecurity in their country by settling in Rwanda. This project studies the lives of these refugees, examining how their protracted presence affects the economic lives of Rwandan citizens. In doing so, it hopes to discover how policies can mitigate any negative effects of refugee presence on the host country and its people.



SOUTHMOD – Simulating Tax and Benefit Policies for Development

Understanding the relationship between taxation, household incomes, and inequality is key to addressing poverty and promoting economic growth. The SOUTHMOD project builds simulation models that allow policymakers in developing countries to test the effects of changing tax or benefit policies on their citizens’ livelihoods.



Initiative on Livelihoods and Food Security in African Coastal States

Small-scale fisheries are critical to the livelihoods and food security of millions in Africa. In vulnerable communities, there is often vast potential to improve the economic value, nutritional quality, and food safety derived from small-scale fisheries. This initiative addresses this potential by establishing a comprehensive portfolio of research and capacity-development activities in Africa’s low-income states.