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United Nations Research Institute for Social Development


The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) was created in 1963. It is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the United Nations system. Over the years, UNRISD research has been guided by two core values:

· that every human being has a right to a decent livelihood and

· that all people should be allowed to participate on equal terms in decisions that affect their lives.

UNRISD is an open space for research and dialogue. This provides both an opportunity and an obligation to question prevailing mindsets within the development community and to encourage new thinking. The Institute conducts rigorous comparative research in collaboration with scholars and activists, primarily in the developing world, whose ideas are not sufficiently reflected in current debates. Strong ties to the global research community combined with proximity to the UN system are the comparative advantages of the Institute and help it to carry out policy-relevant research on issues of social development.

UNRISD pursues an active and varied publications programme, which includes in-house and commercially published books, special reports, programme and occasional papers, as well as newsletters on specific events and the Institute's work in general. A catalogue of its publications, with free access to many of them, is available online.

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