1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Blogs and Think Pieces by Keyword - Universalism / targeting

  • Creating Crisis-Resistant Policies and Institutions Post-Covid-19: Learning from UNRISD Research (14 Apr 2020) | Ilcheong Yi
    Covid-19 is revealing the weakest links and blind spots of health, social and economic systems within countries, and shining a spotlight on the differences between them. The news and analysis are touching upon diverse aspects, but in a nutshell, they talk about how systems are functioning/dysfunctioning, and how to re-produce them, or transform them, post-crisis. Regarding the latter question, there seem to be two broad camps: “Go back to normal with a quick fix” (normalization camp) and “We mustn’t go back to normal because normal was the problem” (transformation camp).
  • How Social Development Steps Up To The Plate in Times of Crisis: Learning from the Past, Surviving the Pandemic, Creating Sustainable Futures (7 Apr 2020) | UNRISD
    This moment of reckoning demands of us reflection, and action. Action certainly in our own communities, right now, but also on national and global scales when the immediate threat fades. How can we (re-)build our social, political and economic systems to bring about lasting transformative change, that will not only leave us better prepared for future crisis events, but also bring us closer to a vision of social justice, equality and sustainability, such as that laid out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? As we seek to re-assess and recover, UNRISD’s substantial body of work provides important arguments and lessons: now more than ever, universalism in social policies; no resilience without a just transition; renewed commitments to international solidarity and multilateralism; and the role of research in making sense of the crisis.
  • Revenue Bargains Key to Financing Africa’s Development (16 Jul 2015) | Yusuf Bangura
    Africa has enjoyed a growth momentum since 2000 after the wasted years of the 1980s and much of the 1990s. However, eradicating poverty will require huge resources, which existing funding strategies will be unable to generate. Global commodity prices have fallen sharply; capacity to mobilize domestic revenues is waning; and aid has been insufficient in plugging funding gaps. Revenue bargains in which states extract revenues from citizens in exchange for investments that impact positively on well-being may be key to financing Africa’s development. They can substantially increase revenues, nurture effective state-citizen relations, force companies to pay correct taxes, push fragmented systems of service provision in the direction of universalism, improve policy space and make aid more effective.
  • Protecting the Right of Access to Social Security Benefits (15 Apr 2014) | Stephen Kidd
    The easiest means of ensuring the right to social security is through universal coverage (and adequate transfer values). If countries are unable to provide universal coverage because of limited resources, there is implicitly a trade-off: Reducing coverage means increasing administrative costs. In addition, when priority is given to cost-saving in both coverage and administration, a commitment to human rights is jeopardized. This commentary explores ways for social security schemes to nevertheless respect international human rights obligations.
  • Do Targeting Techniques Tend to be Incompatible with the Human Rights Standards of Transparency and Access to Information? (3 Apr 2014) | Nicholas Freeland
    Common methods for identifying the poor also problematic in terms of human rights standards of transparency and access to information. This think piece looks from this perspective at the two main methods usually used to target the poor: community targeting and proxy means testing. These veer to opposing extremes on the transparency/access to information scale, yet both are incompatible with human rights standards.