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World Employment and Social Outlook 2016: transforming jobs to end poverty

This report shows that decent work is paramount in the fight to reduce poverty. One key finding is that poverty has tended to decline in many emerging and developing countries, whereas it has tended to increase in the majority of advanced economies, including in terms of working poverty. The report also examines the role that policy can play, documenting country initiatives focused on job-centred economic policies, employment programmes, enterprise development, social protection and social dialogue. Finally, the report discusses the role of international labour standards in reducing poverty and inequality.

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World Social Protection Report 2014-15: building economic recovery, inclusive development and social justice

Social protection policies play a critical role in realizing the human right to social security for all, reducing poverty and inequality, and promoting inclusive growth – by boosting human capital and productivity, and by supporting domestic demand and structural transformation of national economies. This ILO flagship report provides a global overview of the organization of social protection systems, their coverage and benefits, as well as public expenditures on social protection. The report follows a life-cycle approach, starting with social protection for children, followed by schemes for women and men in working age, and closing with pensions and other support for older persons. It also assesses progress towards universal coverage in health. The report further analyses trends and recent policies, such as the negative impacts of fiscal consolidation and adjustment measures, and urgently calls to expand social protection for crisis recovery, inclusive development and social justice.

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Labour formalization and declining inequality in Argentina and Brazil in the 2000s

Inequality and labour informality are still distinctive characteristics of Latin America. However, most of the countries have succeeded in reversing the upward trends in both informality and inequality in the 1990s. These positive dynamics have been noteworthy in Argentina and Brazil. This paper analyses the processes of labour formalization in these countries and its interrelation with the evolution of income inequality over the 2000s. It contributes to two current debates. The first one refers to the role of labour market flexibilization in employment formalization. The second one is related to the reduction of income inequality. Most of the literature places emphasis on the evolution of the returns to education. This paper complements this approach by analysing the contribution of formalization to the reduction of inequality in these countries.

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Guidelines for integrated environmental assessment of urban areas

Planning and management for sustainable development require an understanding of the linkages between environmental conditions and human activities and encourage participation by all sectors of society in decision-making. This publication is a useful tool that will help strengthen institutional capacity to prepare environmental assessments and comprehensive reports on cities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

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Eliminating discrimination and inequalities in access to water and sanitation

Patterns of marginalisation and exclusion are present all over the world, with stark and persisting inequalities in access to water and sanitation. Progress made in the water and sanitation sector does not always benefit those who are most in need of these services, in particular the poorest, people living in informal settlements and/or people marginalised on the basis of gender and other grounds. This policy brief aims to provide guidance on non-discrimination and equality in the context of access to drinking water and sanitation, with a particular focus on women and girls. It also informs readers on the duty of States and responsibilities of non-State actors in this regard.

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Water and sanitation interlinkages across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This UN-Water Analytical Brief analyses the central role of water and sanitation to describe the links and interdependencies between the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation and those of other Goals. It aims to stimulate United Nations Member States’ consideration of the water-related linkages within the Goals to facilitate an integrated approach to implementation. The Brief highlights the importance of mainstreaming water and sanitation in the policies and plans of other sectors, and how the management of interlinkages supports the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Who will be accountable? Human rights and the post-2015 development agenda

This publication is intended to help fill some of the more pressing accountability gaps that impede the realization of global and national development goals. We approach this challenge from the perspective of human rights, as a universal normative and legally binding framework embodying the minimum requirements of a dignified life, encapsulating universal values that a post-2015 agreement should strive to prioritize and protect as well as essential features of a road map to take us there.

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The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: a manual for national human rights institutions

This Manual aims to support and strengthen the work of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) – whether they are human rights commissions or ombudsman offices – in the promotion, protection and enjoyment of the rights of indigenous peoples, especially NHRIs that are established in accordance with the Paris Principles. It is designed to assist these institutions learn about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) by providing a broad understanding of the legal nature of the rights it contains, as well as the relevant obligations of States, in order to ensure that indigenous peoples’ rights are fully realized.

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Experience of BRICS countries in the development of nutrition-sensitive social protection programmes

Building on the momentum created by ICN2, the BRICS countries have actively participated in and facilitated global discussions on nutrition-sensitive social protection; in particular, during the Global Forum on Nutrition-Sensitive Social Protection, held in Moscow, Russian Federation, from 10 to 11 September 2015, which brought together policy-makers, researchers and experts in the areas of nutrition and social protection from 27 countries.

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Meeting our goals: FAO’s programme for gender equality in agriculture and rural development

FAO recognizes the potential of rural women and men in achieving food security and nutrition and is committed to overcoming gender inequality, in line with the pledge to “leave no one behind”, which is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. The publication illustrates the consistent and sustained work of FAO towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are at the core of the Organization’s work to eliminate hunger and rural poverty. Each chapter highlights the relevance of gender work to achieving the FAO Strategic Objectives, and describes main results achieved, showcasing activities implemented at country and international levels. Stories from the field demonstrate the impact of FAO’s work for beneficiaries, highlighting successes and significant insights gained.

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Youth and agriculture: key challenges and concrete solutions

Global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, with youth (aged 15–24) accounting for about 14 percent of this total. While the world’s youth cohort is expected to grow, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth – particularly those living in developing countries’ economically stagnant rural areas – remain limited, poorly remunerated and of poor quality. In recognition of the agricultural sector’s potential to serve as a source of livelihood opportunities for rural youth, a joint MIJARC/FAO/IFAD project on Facilitating Access of Rural Youth to Agricultural Activities was carried out in 2011 to assess the challenges and opportunities with respect to increasing rural youth’s participation in the sector. Over the course of the project, six principal challenges were identified. For each challenge, this publication presents a series of relevant case studies that serve as examples of how this challenge may be overcome.

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Fostering inclusive outcomes in sub-Saharan African agriculture

Despite strong per capita income growth, the structure of sub-Saharan Africa’s economies has not changed markedly in recent decades. In spite of a rapidly growing labour force and urbanizing populations, employment growth in rural areas in general and in non-farm sectors in particular has been slow, and poverty levels in those areas remain relatively higher than in urban areas. So, the key question is: how to catalyse economic transformations that foster inclusive and sustainable development? This is where the role of agriculture is key, given that the overwhelming majority of the population across the continent depends on it as a livelihood source. The case for increasing agricultural productivity to accelerate transformation, investment and industrialization is strongly supported by well-established conceptual frameworks and historical empirical evidence. Though recent gains have been encouraging, agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind other regions. The relatively low productivity has led to a loss of competitiveness in agricultural exports and the declining share of the region’s participation in global agricultural trade. Nonetheless, the potential of building on recent gains and developing an agribusiness sector that is responsive to and benefits from the work of smallholder farmers is enormous. This requires the prioritization of two main areas for policy and investment: (i) supporting the emergence of a modern agro-industrial sector; and (ii) developing the potential of smallholders to engage in high-value activities across agricultural value chains.

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Rural-urban linkages and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Given the context of transitions related to rapid urbanization, the roles that rural economies and societies will have to play (particularly smallholder farmers and other rural producers) in creating sustainable and inclusive food systems, in generating employment and incomes and in contributing to more balanced, equitable and mutually reinforcing patterns of rural-urban development in Africa require the attention of analysts, policymakers and development programmes in the years ahead. Addressing challenges related to a bulging population of young people will be particularly important in any work on the rural-urban nexus, in which youth migration plays critical roles. This is borne out by an analysis of evidence from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, which stresses the importance of increasing productivity and incomes among rural people, particularly smallholders, during processes of economic and social transformation. Emerging trends and opportunities – such as the increasing demand for food and the changing nature of that demand as consumer preferences evolve, urbanization, demographic patterns that mean young people are an increasingly important proportion of the overall population, and more integrated food value chains – all point to the importance of ensuring key rural dynamics are taken into account in developing rural-urban linkages. Taking account of these dynamics will mean addressing key rural-urban inequalities and connectivity gaps, developing more integrated and inclusive links within food systems and agricultural value chains, testing spatial and territorial approaches to development that provide valuable tools to integrate the rural dimension into debates surrounding urbanization, the promotion of a more sustainable urbanization, and building decent employment in food value chains. Nonetheless, the review of evidence in this paper suggests that, while urbanization potentially opens up opportunities for inclusive rural and structural transformation, this can only be achieved when suitable policies and investments are put in place to adequately address the particular needs of often-neglected rural people who play critical roles in food systems.

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Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation

The 2016 Rural Development Report focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all. It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them. The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

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Pushed aside: displaced for 'development' in India

By providing a first-hand account of development projects and business activities that have caused displacement across India, this report documents and analyses the scale, process and impacts of the phenomenon. Rather than being priority beneficiaries of the projects that displace them on account of their losses, IDPs tend to find themselves trapped in permanent poverty. Given the limited availability of project documents and the lack of systematic monitoring, the true scale of displacement in India is unknown, as are the location and needs of many of those affected. As the world embarks on implementing the post-2015 global development agendas, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) calls for the displaced to be priority beneficiaries of development work. Leaving IDPs behind risks undermining the achievement of these agendas.

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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016. Education for people and planet: creating sustainable futures for all

The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 has been instrumental to shape the Sustainable Development Goal on Education to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It entrusts UNESCO with the leadership, coordination and monitoring of the Education 2030 agenda. It also calls upon the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report to provide independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4), and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years. The ultimate goal of this agenda is to leave no one behind. This calls for robust data and sound monitoring. The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets we have, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

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UNAIDS 2016–2021 strategy: on the fast-track to end AIDS

The 2016–2021 Strategic Leadership Agenda is deliberately organized within the SDG framework around five SDGs most relevant to the AIDS response. Fast-Tracking the response will require development efforts to ensure good health, reduce inequalities, achieve gender equality, promote just and inclusive societies and revitalize global partnerships. Other SDGs are, however, pertinent to the AIDS response. Ten critical targets have been set—measurable targets that have been modelled as those most critical to ensure that the ambitious Fast-Track goals will be met. The targets, however, do not represent the totality of concerted effort needed across the result areas. The result areas constitute core dynamic and cross-cutting programmes of work, which will contribute to the achievement of all the targets. Achieving a set of prioritized targets and results will translate into better social, educational and economic outcomes and into health, human rights and dignity for millions of people—a continuation of the role of the AIDS response as a pathfinder for social justice and sustainable development

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The changing nature of poverty and inequality in the Caribbean: new issues, new solutions

This publication is intended to: (a) provide fresh thinking on the transformative shifts in policies, approaches, strategies and institutions that are required to speed up poverty reduction in the Caribbean and also to expand opportunities for the most vulnerable groups in the society; (b) propose a new framework for assessing the effectiveness of existing approaches to poverty reduction in the Caribbean; and (c) offer new and innovative solutions to address poverty and promote shared prosperity.

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What is the role of urban growth on inequality, and segregation? The case of urban Argentina's urban agglomerations

We analyse the relationship between urban sprawl and changing patterns of inequality and segregation in metropolitan areas of Argentina. The existing literature has endeavoured to study the determinants of the expansion of cities, but less attention has been placed in understanding the effects of this sprawl on the livelihood of the people that live in them. Understanding whether different patterns of urban extension determine both segregation and inequality is extremely relevant in the context of fast growing urban agglomerates of Latin American countries. Among other findings, we provide evidence that there is segregation of the poor and not of the rich in all urban agglomerates but in Greater Buenos Aires, where segregation of the affluent, not the poor, prevails in the areas of greater informal urban expansion, measured by the extension of informal settlements. Yet, not all the patterns of urban development and built-up growth have the same effect. More leapfrog appears to explain greater segregation -particularly of the poor - while both infill and extension are positively related to more homogeneous urban agglomerations. This means that the most disadvantaged are more evenly distributed in agglomerations that have not seen much of their sprawl due to discontinue urban expansion of their borders. Finally, we also find a positive association between more unequal municipalities and greater slum expansions. The causality of this relationship is unclear and further analysis could be promising. It might be the case that more unequal municipalities allow for institutional environments in which slums can grow faster. Or it might well be that places which have experienced more accelerated slum growth have become more unequal because of the arrival of new families that accentuates such disparities.

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Sustainable health care financing in the Republic of Palau

Financing health care is challenging and costly in the Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Financing sources are limited, and are dominated by general tax revenues. In the face of fiscal constraints, national health systems have been perennially underfunded, limiting the quality and equitability of health care. These problems, common to all developing countries, are compounded in most Pacific DMCs by their small, dispersed populations and by health care needs that are growing faster than in other regions. The Republic of Palau has for some time been among the Pacific DMCs looking to reform its health-care financing arrangements, with reform proposals dating back to 1995. Health-care delivery in Palau was satisfactory in many respects, but the cost was high and unsustainable. This policy brief describes the successful development in 2008-2009 of draft legislation aimed at reforming health-care financing in Palau, and its enactment by the legislature and signature by the President of the country in 2010. The brief was prepared by ADB to disseminate experience and lessons learned in Palau that may be found applicable elsewhere in the Pacific, in keeping with ADB's Pacific Approach 2010-2014.

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Maldives: overcoming the challenges of a small island state

The Maldives’ relatively strong economic growth has brought about a dramatic reduction in poverty and improvement in the welfare of the Maldivian people. However, the growth, which is primarily driven by the tourism sector, has been highly cyclical and vulnerable to external shocks, and unable to create adequate jobs for the growing young population. Moving forward, the Maldives needs to shift to a more broad-based, sustainable, and inclusive growth strategy given its resource endowments and small population. Transport infrastructure is critical, and improved transport will help address the country’s connectivity issue and reduce the cost of doing business. An educated and skilled workforce can improve productivity and help find additional economic niche markets for the country. As with all countries, the government must remain aware of the importance of maintaining fiscal stability and an adequately functioning system of financial intermediation to enable and support both public and private investments needed in the growth process. This report provides support to the Maldivian government in formulating its high-priority policies by identifying the critical constraints to achieving inclusive growth. The report also provides policy recommendations aimed at helping the government to overcome the constraints to achieving a process of growth that is both sustained and inclusive.

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Fiji: building inclusive institutions for sustained growth

Fiji’s economy has made a turnaround since 2010 under a government strongly committed to reform. That period saw Fiji experiencing one of the few episodes of sustained growth in its post-independence economic history, averaging 3.3% annually or nearly four times the average growth during 2000–2009. Its successful national elections and return to democracy in 2014 boosted investor sentiment. A key challenge for Fiji now is to create an environment conducive to greater private sector activity so it can sustain its growth momentum and make its growth more inclusive. This study, using an inclusive growth framework, has identified the critical constraints that Fiji needs to address to strengthen investor sentiment even further and achieve inclusive growth.

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Tajikistan: promoting export diversification and growth

Building on robust economic growth since the end of a civil war in 1997, Tajikistan has transformed itself into a service economy driven by consumer spending fueled by strong remittance inflow. Yet the transfer of resources to high value-added sectors has been restrained, and structural change has generated few new jobs. Without sufficient employment opportunities in the services and industrial sectors, agriculture became the fallback for most of the labor force. To continue its economic growth, Tajikistan requires new drivers from a diversified industry sector and a modernized economy through structural transformation and export diversification.

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Bangladesh: looking beyond garments - employment diagnostic study

Economic growth in Bangladesh, above 6% in most years since the 2000s, has been on the fast track since the 1990s. Not many developing countries, especially the least developed, have been able to achieve this consistently for such a long period. Yet despite the jobs generated in the export-oriented ready-made garment industry, the fruits of growth have not been widely shared. This joint study by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labour Organization examines the nature and magnitude of the employment challenge Bangladesh faces, looking at the nature of productive employment and its role in transmitting the benefits of growth into incomes for the poor. It indicates that the positive economic turnaround in Bangladesh is largely due to the rising presence of women in the workplace.

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The housing challenge in emerging Asia: options and solutions

This publication provides new insights and ideas to best design and implement housing policies aimed at improving access to affordable and adequate housing. The book offers an innovative theoretical framework to conceptualize and analyze various housing policies. It also critically reviews housing policies of various countries and draws lessons for others. The countries studied include advanced economies within and outside Asia, such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as emerging countries within Asia, such as the People’s Republic of China and India.

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