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 more than closing an income gap — it will rely on institutions and opportunities that promote equality, including access to resources, gender, employment, housing, and health.

UNU research helps to overcome obstacles to sustained poverty reduction. Our work on migration 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 based on domestic tax revenues. These unique tributaries of UNU research ensure a comprehensive mainstream approach to ending poverty.

A Climate Migrant's Story, from an Urban Slum in Dhaka
UN Photo / Kibae Park


Pia Rattenhuber

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 povety and inequality."

Tamara Avellán


"Clean water is an essential ingredient for life. I want all people, and all ecosystems, to have enough water to thrive. My research at UNU helps develop tools and systems that improve the quality and quantity of freshwater resources."

Iván Galindo Castro

Iván Galindo Castro


"I believe that education is of paramount importance for breaking the cycle of poverty. My work is providing access to equal education opportunities in biotechnology for researchers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This is fostering new potential for innovative technological breakthroughs to support sustainable development."


Social Protection for Forest-dependent Communities

In close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this project is developing operational guidance to provide evidence and knowledge on vulnerabilities of forest-dependent communities. The project is establishing rationale, tools, and approaches to expand communities’ social protection coverage in coherence with forestry policy.

Simulating Tax and Benefit Policies for Development (SOUTHMOD)

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.

Cash Modality Scale-up for Refugees and Host Communities in Kenya

In cooperation with The World Food Programme, this project is assessing the effects of a “mixed” food assistance package consisting of both “in kind” and “cash transfers” for the general refugee population. By focusing on food and nutrition security, income, and local socio-economic aspects, the project is helping to develop a model to guide the most effective and efficient mix of food and cash, based on available resources.