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.




21 July 2022
Countries’ access to aid is primarily determined by their income per capita status although donors have been increasingly incorporating vulnerability metrics. The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore the need to better account for the multidimensional vulnerabilities of countries in the allocation of aid.
12 July 2022
SDG progress has been set back, and the outlook faces uncertainty given the cumulative and amplified impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change. Achieving the SDGs in such a context requires action that can maximize synergies across policy domains and minimize trade-offs, with targeted initiatives for countries and populations most in need, even as collective resilience is built.
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.




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