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.



25 October 2021
Development strategies that focus solely on urban development and leave rural communities behind are not adequate to overcome the development challenges we face. The in-situ development of rural economies and societies must be a central objective of development if nations are to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.
18 October 2021
Global progress towards SDG 1 had already slowed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the world was not on track to achieve this goal by 2030. The prospect of achieving SDG 1 by 2030 has been further dimmed by the impact of COVID-19. Given this context, achieving SDG 1 by 2030, will require extraordinary efforts by countries, both individually and collectively. A decline in income inequality can be a potent driver of poverty reduction and if combined with robust economic growth, can produce highly positive, if not miraculous, results for the eradication of extreme poverty, by 2030.




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