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.




30 June 2022
Public administration can both serve as a vehicle for discrimination and provide channels to address it. Research is needed, in particular from developing countries, on the nature and extent of discrimination by public administration and how it occurs in order to inform consideration of entry points to prevent and end it.
13 June 2022
Cryptoassets and so-called “stablecoins” have been touted for their potential to increase the efficiency of financial transactions and to support financial inclusion. But their high volatility and largely unregulated and quasi-anonymous nature have raised concerns over investor protection and financial integrity, and increasingly also financial stability and international spillovers.
13 June 2022
Fiscal constraints in developing countries are driving a widening “pandemic recovery gap” that threatens achievement of the SDGs. Countries will need reliable access to affordable financing, and also need to manage and use these resources well to translate financing into SDG progress, enhanced productivity and fiscal capacity to service debt.




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