Sustainable Development Goal 8

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Employed, productive populations fuel investment, sustainable economic growth, and inclusive progress. With more than 2.2 billion people living on less than US$2 per day, however, growth that eradicates poverty depends on providing decent jobs — equal opportunities for fair wages, safe working environments, and social protection. 

UNU research provides guidance for countries to navigate the changing geo-economic landscape, while creating growth that lifts vulnerable populations through capacity building, job creation, and targeted social benefits. Our work in Africa, for example, is helping establish robust information systems to monitor and evaluate economic progress and its social impacts, thereby creating knowledge that gives planners the power to transform skewed development into opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.

International Labour Organization


Kelly Gleason


"Modern slavery, forced labour, human trafficking, and child labour are realities that must be overcome to achieve SDG 8. To do so, policy actors must have access to the highest quality evidence to know what works in tackling these forms of exploitation. I am passionate about building tools to help translate research into smart, evidence-based policy."

Diāna Potjomkina


"Global trade affects all of our lives, every day. My research focuses on how multistakeholderism — inclusion of different voices in policymaking — can contribute to a just, inclusive, and well-governed international trading system."

Francisco Cos-Montiel

Francisco Cos-Montiel


"Technological innovations can improve efficiency and productivity, but they can also increase inequality, disrupt labour markets, and displace workers. Migrant workers and women are heavily represented in jobs that may eventually be lost to automation. My research at UNU aims to ensure that technology innovations are inclusive. The future should leave no one behind."


Female Agency, Mobility and Socio-cultural Change

The female migrant’s story is often filled with tales of victimhood, vulnerability, and exploitation. But there are positive stories too. This research highlights the opportunities that migration can offer for female empowerment.

Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Platform

Through creation of a reliable resource for research, data, and evidence about progress towards SDG target 8.7, this initiative is building a global, online knowledge platform to determine effective measures to eradicate modern slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, and child labour.

Inclusive Growth in Mozambique – Scaling Up Research and Capacity

Carried out with in-country and international partners, this collaborative project aims to support economic growth in Mozambique that substantially improves the living standards of the country’s population over the long term, to ensure no one is left behind.