UNU-IAS Policy Brief Series

  • UNU-IAS Policy Briefs present analysis and policy recommendations for addressing sustainability challenges, in a short and accessible format. The series aims to inform high-level policymaking and debates, enhancing research uptake and providing actionable recommendations for decision-makers at the global, national and local levels.

    Each policy brief is the result of UNU-IAS research within the institute’s four thematic areas: governance for sustainable development, biodiversity & society, water & resource management, and innovation & education. Launched in 2015, the series is designed to complement more in-depth UNU-IAS academic publications such as journal articles, books and working papers. An external peer review process engages both scholars and policymakers to ensure quality, accuracy and added value.

    This publication series is a key initiative for the policy development role that is at the core of the UNU-IAS mandate. It recognizes that strengthening links between research and policymaking is critical to advancing global sustainability, as emphasised in global agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

    All UNU-IAS Policy Briefs are available to read and download through UNU Collections.

    Latest Policy Briefs

    Recognising and Supporting the Role of Culture in Effective Area-based Conservation

    No. 38, 2022

    This policy brief calls for recognising and supporting local cultures that create biodiversity benefits through sustainable human–nature relationships. Drawing on the experiences of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS), it provides recommendations for sustainable land-use management policies that are inclusive, equitable, and incorporate traditional knowledge. It is authored by William Dunbar, Suneetha M. Subramanian, and Makiko Yanagiya.

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    Managing the Impact of COVID-19 on City Finances

    No. 37, 2022

    This brief provides recommendations for managing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on city finances, detailing how municipalities can improve fiscal policy and financial management systems to accelerate recovery and build resilience. It identifies strategies such as fiscal optimisation, participatory budgeting, and public-private partnerships to avoid financial collapse and deliver sustainable development actions. The brief is authored by Mahesti Okitasari, Richa Kandpal, and Upalat Korwatanasakul.


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    Advancing Follow-up and Review for the SDGs: Lessons from the 2021 Voluntary National Reviews

    No. 36, 2022

    This brief provides recommendations for governments on improving their follow-up and review (FUR) frameworks for the SDGs, advocating a multi-level, integrated approach that extends beyond measuring progress to examine policy and evaluate implementation. It offers advice on developing FUR mechanisms and practices that improve coherence with other frameworks while keeping SDG progress on track. The brief is authored by Richa Kandpal and Mahesti Okitasari.

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    Supporting Vulnerable Populations in the Transition to Net Zero Emissions: Priorities for Developed Countries

    No. 35, 2022

    This brief puts forward recommendations for an inclusive transition to a net zero society through enhancing support for vulnerable people. Focusing on access to clean energy, it provides guidance for policymakers on strengthening incentives and support measures for people at high risk of energy poverty to ensure equal access to decarbonised technologies and practices. The brief is authored by Akio Takemoto, Apolline Cros, Masachika Suzuki, and Upalat Korwatanasakul.

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