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. Achieving sustainable development will require an equal voice among developed and developing countries, and equal opportunities for all to reach their full human potential.
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.
“International migration is a central concern in many countries, which is often connected to security issues. I am passionate about providing a new framework to understand how human mobility shapes our world. My research shows how the inclusion of migrants can successfully contribute to their new societies, and how it is possible to further enhance their positive role and make the world a better place, in particular by counteracting prejudice as a global security threat.”
“Inequality matters. It’s not only a question of justice and fairness, but also of links to other global goals such as poverty and peace. In my work on ethnic inequality, I consider how inequality and diversity intersect around the world, the implications for governance and development, and how greater equality can be achieved.”
The world is experiencing an unprecedented mass displacement of people. This project examines the crises caused by migration, border, and integration policies that fall short of adequately protecting the human rights and the dignity of those on the move.
Racial polarisation and horizontal inequalities are on the rise. These inequalities put developing countries at risk of economic and political instability. This project strives to understand the determinants of group-based inequalities, including the potential for change.
The richest one per cent of world adults account for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s wealth. Meanwhile, inequality and wealth disparities both within and between countries are on the rise. To understand the development of inequality across the globe, this project is developing the World Income Database — currently the most comprehensive and complete database on inequality indicators.