(to support countries in conducting multi-sectoral, multidimensional policy analyses to understand policy options and promote policy coherence)
UNDESA produces several analytical products and analytical tools such as flagship publications like the World Economic Situation Prospects (WESP), the World Social Report (WSR), and the Global Report on Sustainable Development (GRSD) that are based on multisectoral and multidisciplinary research and analysis to promote sustainable development and strengthen the science-policy interface globally in global.
UNDESA can facilitate RC/RCO access to the latest economic research and analyses, knowledge networks, as well as modelling tools and approaches for integrated policy analysis and encourage the mutual sharing of global, regional and national perspectives as a way to strengthen global and regional analyses and build the capacity of government officials and UNCTs to conduct such integrated assessments. UNDESA can leverage its analytical products and modelling tools to supplement and strengthen RCO/UNCT capacities to conduct sound, multisectoral country level analyses, including Common Country Analysis (CCA), and effectively translate global and regional outlooks, scenario and risk analyses into country specific policy guidance for sustainable development policies.
HOW – Delivery Modalities and Resources
1. Knowledge platforms to share latest research and policy analyses on global macroeconomic trends, emerging policy issues, and economic forecasts for a large range of economies worldwide, including:
- World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-as-of-mid-2020/ – flagship publication on the state of the world economy developed in cooperation with the UN regional commissions and UNCTAD and the WESP Monthly Briefing series bit.ly/wespbrief
- UNDESA Policy Brief series https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/document_gem/undesa-policy-brief/ and Policy Analyses https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/our-work/global-macroeconomic-prospects.html on relevant, macroeconomic issues and challenges worldwide as well as occasional regional and country specific prospects;
- World Social Report (WSR) https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/world-social-report/2020-2.html – the report examines the impact of megatrends such as inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration on social development
- Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/globalsdreport, prepared by an Independent Group of Scientists coordinated by UN DESA and aimed at strengthening the science-policy interface;
- Science and technology roadmaps for the SDGs: Ongoing pilot programme to support science and technology planning and capacity development for the SDGs. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/tfm#roadmaps
- UNFF Flagship Report on the Progress Towards Global Forest Goals and Targets (under development), which will also highlight the interlinkages between SDG-forest related indicators goals and targets
- World Economy Forecasting Model (WEFM) https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/global-modeling-tools/ to make globally consistent short-term predictions about national economies (at a high level of aggregation -for example, GDP, inflation, unemployment or the fiscal deficit – or at a more disaggregated level, for specific sectors of the economy);
- Open source quantitative modelling tools (e.g. CLEWS and Geo-spatial electrification access modelling) https://un-modelling.github.io/about/ to help countries conduct integrated policy analysis across a few sectors to answer specific policy questions
UNDESA Covid-19 policy briefs bit.ly/UNDESACovid
2. Knowledge Networks:
- ProjectLINK https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/project-link.html – An international collaborative research group for econometric modelling, coordinated jointly by UN DESA/Economic and Analysis and Policy Division (EAPD) and the University of Toronto.
- Online Platform https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/tfm#roadmaps: One of the three components of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) is to develop an online platform as a gateway for information on existing STI initiatives, mechanisms and programs.
- UN Economists’ Network (UNEN). The network, coordinated by the Chief Economist, is intended to: 1) facilitate collaboration and joint work among member agencies on issues of shared interest and relevance to the sustainable development agenda; and 2) provide a support network on economic, financial and social policy issues to the UNCTs and the RCOs. All RCO economists will become part of the Network, which would also be open to all UN agencies and staff interested in contributing to its work. Currently, the Network is focusing on producing a major study of key megatrends for the 75th Anniversary of the UN and a series of well-researched thematic briefs that reflect the UN’s position on key issues to offer analyses and policy options for policy makers. The network is also exploring opportunities for joint research and analysis to address country challenges and for the roll out of training programmes for RCO economists – such as the Political Economy Analysis Course developed in collaboration with UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), which is intended to strengthen capacity RCO/UNCT capacities to analyze the nexus between development and peace and security for countries in conflict. [virtual network upcoming]
- Capacity Development: UNDESA has developed, in collaboration with other partners, two quantitative modelling tools to support countries in their efforts to assess policy options across sectors to formulate effective sustainable development policies. These tools use open source software to the extent possible and are being continuously improved by a global community of experts, to spur innovation and overcome challenges, and being implemented in collaboration with UNDP:
- Climate, Land-use, Energy and Water Systems analysis and model (CLEWS) https://un-modelling.github.io/modelling-tools/#clews– enables simultaneous consideration of food, energy and water security. It is designed to assess how production and use of these resources may contribute to climate change, and how climate change may affect resource systems, supporting integrated policymaking for sustainable development. UN DESA and UNDP provide an outreach training course to introduce the CLEWS. They also use these tools to help government officials enhance their capacities to run and interpret modelling scenarios to answer specific national policy questions and to effectively communicate key results to policymakers. To date, CLEW’s training has been delivered to government officials across ministries in 11 countries (Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Paraguay, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Vietnam and Indonesia);
- Geo-spatial electrification access modelling https://un-modelling.github.io/modelling-tools/#geo-electricity– The Open Source Spatial Electrification Tool (OnSSET) uses geospatial data to determine the most cost-effective conventional and renewable energy technologies for bringing electricity to specific localities. It is designed to identify means of providing access to safe, affordable and reliable electricity to households that currently do not have it.
- Additionally, UNDESA offers:
- Technical expertise and advisory services to support the development of national sustainable development strategies and plans for integrated national action plans on climate, energy, land, water, oceans and seas, and forests, building on its ongoing work in the context of the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN).
- Science and Technology roadmaps for the SDGs, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/tfm#roadmaps as part of an ongoing pilot programme to support national science and technology planning and capacity development for the SDGs.
 In September 2015, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which gives the GSDR a role in the follow-up and review of the new Agenda (paragraph 83): The high-level political forum will also be informed by the Global Sustainable Development Report, which shall strengthen the science-policy interface and could provide a strong evidence-based instrument to support policymakers in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable development.