Inequality and Social Justice Roundtable Consultation

Published on 27 September 2011

This report synthesizes a high-level Consultation convened by IDS and the UN Millennium Achievement Fund, which brought together leaders in the UN, NGOs, research institutions and governments to discuss the problem of global inequalities and the agenda to address them.

The Consultation concluded that the reduction of inequalities needs to be an integral and central part of development agendas. The analysis of inequalities needs to look at both horizontal and vertical inequalities. It needs to go beyond income measures and to encompass political and cultural inequalities. The Consultation also indicated that reducing inequalities can be a component of balanced strategies for recovering from the current economic crisis.

The report synthesises debates on social justice and the underlying causes of inequalities and exclusion. It highlights the impacts of inequalities on health, nutrition and education outcomes. It further examines experiences of successfully tackling inequalities, including those of several countries, of UN agencies, and of international NGOs.

Finally, the report recommends thirteen policy actions that demonstrably enhance equity. Bringing inequities more clearly into development agendas will require broad-based support. The Consultation identified a distinct need for a broad coalition of partners to advocate for equity and reduction of inequalities to be placed at the heart of development agendas. This coalition should include NGOs, social movements, academics, UN agencies, national governments and others.


Dolf J.H. te Lintelo

Research Fellow and Cities Cluster Leader

Publication details

published by
te Lintelo, D.


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