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Flagship Report | September 2021


From Rhetoric to Action

Delivering Equality & Inclusion

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Inequality and exclusion are not destiny. Change is possible.

The flagship report of the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion is about solutions, based on recent and longer-term experiences, and how they can be implemented. 

It is the culmination of several years of research and mobilization undertaken by a unique partnership of Member States, the United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, Oxfam, and CIVICUS, along with numerous other partners and international experts.

People around the globe demand new forms of social contracts to heal a divided world.

The report draws on the lived experiences and desires of people across countries around the world. To understand citizens' concerns about inequalities, their policy priorities, and their desire for change, we commissioned a public opinion survey in eight countries: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, and Uruguay. These opinion surveys show an immense preoccupation with societal divisions and a consensus that more needs to be done to address them.

Pessimistic outlook on inequality dynamics in the post-pandemic context


Source: NYU CIC and Kantar 2021; countries: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone,  Sweden, Tunisia, Uruguay.

Inequality and exclusion in their own words...

What is working to make progress on equality and inclusion? 

Countries and local communities that have made sustained progress towards more inclusive and equal societies have generally taken a three-pronged approach:

  1. They have delivered visible results that make a material difference in people’s daily lives, in areas such as social protection, housing and wages;

  2. they have built solidarity, through for example truth-telling exercises, police and justice reform and community empowerment;

  3. and they have secured credibility and sought to avert reversals by fighting corruption, broadening political power, and increasing the public financing needed for policy development.


The "how to" of reducing inequality and exclusion: International policies are a critical complement to national action. 

Policies to deliver equality and inclusion
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The three urgent global priorities now are: vaccine equity, access to finance, and tax norms and agreements incentivizing those who have most profited from growth to contribute to COVID-19 recovery and averting the climate crisis.


This flagship report is the culmination of three years of research by and partnerships under the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion. It draws on the findings of numerous commissioned research reports and policy briefs by international experts.


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The Applicability of Transitional Justice in Pre-Conflict Contexts


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Essential Workers


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From Regressive Subsidies to Progressive Redistribution: The Role of Redistribution and Recognition in Energy Subsidy Reform


7 Jul 2021

Inclusive COVID-19 Relief Finance


20 Sept 2021

Learning from COVID-19: How to make care central to economic policy around the world


13 Sept 2021

Social Contracts: Embracing a Just Technological and Energy Transition


10 Aug 2021

Social Contracts: A Pathway
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6 Jul 2021

Social Dialogue as a Tool to Fight Inequality & Recover After a Pandemic


[Cover collage graphic: Thiago Barba, images from Rawpixel and Depositphoto]

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