United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is a global research and postgraduate teaching organisation headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UNU is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States, working with leading universities and research institutes and functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.

The University encompasses 14 institutes located in 12 countries around the world. Through postgraduate teaching activities, UNU contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries. As part of the UN family of organisations, the University maintains close working relationships with other UN agencies, programmes, commissions, funds and convention secretariats.

The UN University undertakes cross-cultural, interdisciplinary research (utilising innovative, science-based techniques and methodologies to study important global processes and elaborate forward-looking solutions) and targeted foresight and policy studies (aimed at developing policy-relevant prescriptions and evaluating the feasibility and comparative advantages of each option). It provides postgraduate-level education (degree-oriented programmes and specialised training focused on problems and solutions rather than academic disciplines) and capacity development activities (aimed at helping developing and transitional countries to enhance local potential to address current problems/confront emergent challenges). It also promotes knowledge sharing and transfer (to deliver relevant information about UN University research, current scientific advances and best practices, in a timely manner and in a usable form, to those who most need it and can best use it).

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Little is known about what’s happening in Mozambique’s labour market, except that jobs are scarce for young people. Shutterstock

Nobel prize in economics: experiments are no substitute for diagnosis

The 2019 Nobel Prize in economics recognises the contribution of practical experimental work to development, but the value of putting diagnosis before treatment shouldn't be lost.
The use of Big Data (large, aggregated datasets) to inform the provision of health care leaves out context and details. Shutterstock

Small Data approaches provide nuance and context to health datasets

Health-care providers are increasingly relying on large data sets to deliver services. However, Small Data approaches provide nuance and context, and in some instances can be more beneficial.
Mozambique uses income as a measure of poverty. On this basis, poverty has declined over the past two decades. ANTONIO SILVA/epa

Mozambique case study shows that poverty is about much more than income

Income is a useful measure for tracking economic progress over time. But a broader lens is needed to understand the relational and often political ways in which poverty emerges and is reproduced.
UN peacekeepers from South Africa in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012. EPA/Dai Kurokawa

Realism should guide the next generation of UN peacekeeping

The UN's mandate must evolve to navigate new realities that include intra-state wars, non-state actors, and transnational crime.

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