Sustainable Development Goal 10

Reduced Inequalities

Overcoming inequality is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. While major progress has been made on poverty reduction, more than 75 per cent of households in developing countries live in societies with greater income inequality than in the 1990s. But balancing income levels must be addressed alongside other inequalities, such as those based on disability, gender, race, and religion. 

Without a clear baseline regarding the current state of global inequality, policy and action become less effective. UNU research is building comprehensive databases to inform policymakers and governments of where, why, and to what extent global income inequality exists. Our work on migration, gender, and health is uncovering the social and political dynamics that drive inequality, so that policy and social support systems can respond to persistent and emerging trends.


Ine Lietaert


“As a gateway to new resources, migration can reduce inequalities. However, access to migration and mobility in itself is highly stratified within groups of mobile people, which can potentially reinforce socio-economic inequalities. My work at UNU examines the trajectories of people who migrate under disadvantaged conditions, the structural constraints and mechanisms that create or enhance their vulnerabilities, and ways to support these particular groups.”

Milla Nyyssölä


“Gender equality is fundamental in achieving equal opportunities and sustainable livelihoods for all. I want to help understand what is necessary to design better and more effective policies. My research looks at how policies can help ensure equal rights and entitlements for all and improve people's resilience to various challenging life events.”

Kees van der Geest


“Losses and damages from climate change are not just a future risk, but a reality for vulnerable people today. Many places around the world are becoming uninhabitable because of environmental problems. My research focuses on the people who live in such places and who may be forced to leave their homes.”


Southern Africa — Towards Inclusive Economic Development

In cooperation with key local partners, UNU is looking at ways to support policymaking for inclusive growth and economic transformation in the Southern Africa region. The project seeks to bridge the gap between research and policymaking to offer solutions to the current bottlenecks in the economy of South Africa.

Inequalities – Measurement, Implications, and Influencing Change

During the last decades, there has been increasing global interest in monitoring, understanding, and addressing inequality, both within and between countries. This project aims to better understand inequality — how and why it varies, and what the implications of this might be — and provide insight into how to address it.


This project is examining the impact of inequality on growth, human development, and governance by reimagining research on inequality, and focusing on learnings from Mozambique and Vietnam.