Policy Briefs


UN DESA experts are working to help decision makers around the world navigate tough choices and to find ways to recover better from the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for complex and compounded risks in today's interconnected world.

Watch this space for the latest research, analysis and policy advice from UN DESA, an effort to support and complement the United Nations Secretary-General’s initiatives in response to the COVID-19 crisisDecade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and call by the Member States to advance Our Common Agenda.


Future of the World

This series aims to provide UN DESA’s foresight analysis to advance our preparedness for future challenges and crises, and to reduce risks and make our systems more resilient. The series is part of the Future of the World initiative launched in the fall of 2021, which will also feature online policy dialogues with the authors of the policy briefs and related experts in connection with the topics of the briefs.



24 September 2021
By putting stress on national socio-economic systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed new tensions and trade-offs among policy areas, and exacerbated already existing tensions. In many countries heavily affected by the pandemic, this has revealed problems of lack of policy integration and policy coherence, both within and across sectors as well as across levels of government. Integrated policy-making has been critical in responding effectively to the pandemic, and will be paramount in post-COVID recovery to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.
23 September 2021
Follow-up and review systems and processes promote transparency and accountability by providing information on the results of programmes to implement the SDGs. They also contribute to enhancing SDG implementation by informing policymaking and facilitating learning. However, countries have not yet systematically established synergies between SDG follow-up and review and existing accountability institutions. Strengthening such integration can contribute to more holistic SDG monitoring efforts and strengthen accountability for progress on the SDGs.




Recovering better and supporting the Decade of Action (July 2020 – June 2021 Series)


This series features UN DESA’s analysis and policy recommendations with the aim to recover better from the COVID-19 crisis and ensure a better and sustainable recovery to meet the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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SDG progress and implementation



Economic insecurity



Rural development


Data, governance and digital technologies


Sustainable financing and investment


Inclusive, sustainable and green recovery for all





Socioeconomic impact and response to COVID-19 (April – June 2020 Series)


Responding to COVID-19 and Recovering Better is a compilation volume of UN DESA’s policy brief series released during the period of April-June, focusing on the economic and social impact of COVID-19.

It presents detailed analysis and solid evidence needed for effective decision-making on a number of critical social and economic issues. It also presents key policy recommendations to support the Secretary-General's initiatives in response to COVID-19 and help the international community to navigate the policy choices ahead. Individual policy briefs are also available here