December 7th 2016

Let's Talk about Policy Innovations for Transformative Change

Katja Hujo, Gabriele Koehler50.07 min
Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator and Report Coordinator at UNRISD, and Gabriele Koehler, Senior Research Associate at UNRISD, engage in a lively discussion by delving into UNRISD’s 2016 Flagship Report "Policy Innovations for Transformative Change" that calls for radical change in political priorities to implement the Sustainable Development Agenda. It proposes to achieve this by putting social and ecological justice at the top of the to-do list and making the economy work for people and planet. The strength of the report lies in the evidence it builds for this argument through a wide range of case studies which show that integrated and coherent policy making with an “eco-social” focus can create more inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies.  

Drawing on numerous policy innovations from the South, the report goes beyond buzzwords and brings to the development community a definition of transformation which can be used as a benchmark for policy making towards the 2030 Agenda. Bringing together five years of UNRISD research across six areas— social policy, care policy, social and solidarity economy, eco-social policy, domestic resource mobilization, and politics and governance—the report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals. The full report can be found here. Read the news about the webinar here.
Katja Hujo,  Gabriele Koehler
Katja Hujo, Gabriele Koehler

Katja Hujo

Katja Hujo is Senior Research Coordinator in the Social Policy and Development Programme of UNRISD and member of the Institute’s Senior Management Group, supporting the Director in research management, quality control and external relations. She is coordinator and lead author of the new UNRISD flagship report “Policy Innovations for Transformative Social Change – Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Katja’s academic work focuses on social policy, poverty reduction and socio-economic development. Much of her research is at the interface of economics and politics, for example her research on the political economy of pension reform, on social protection and poverty reduction, on social policy in mineral-rich contexts, migration governance and social rights for migrants, and more recently, on the politics of domestic resource mobilization for social development. In her work, she combines macro analysis with analysis of impacts of policies on specific vulnerable groups such as women, children or migrants. In addition, she advocates for an integration of development and human rights’ perspectives in research, policy and practice.

Katja joined UNRISD in 2006. Before, she worked as a research fellow and lecturer at the Latin American Institute at Free University Berlin (FUB). She studied economics (Diplom-Volkswirtschaft) and political science (MA) at Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, Freie Universität Berlin (FUB) and National University of Córdoba, Argentina, and holds a doctoral degree in economics from FUB.


Gabriele Koehler
Gabriele has been an UNRISD Senior Research Associate since 2014. She is a development economist. After a career with the United Nations spanning more than 25 years in a wide range of positions with UN-ESCAP, UNCTAD, UNDP and UNICEF, she is interested in three areas of research and policy thinking: the emerging development agenda beyond 2015 and the – neglected – role of the state; the discourse around human security and human rights; and the interface of social protection with broader social and economic policies, notably employment and decent work, international trade and investment policies. Her publications, journalistic articles and advisory work focus on political economy and policy issues. Her regional specialization is Asia, notably South Asia and Southeast Asia.

By training, Gabriele is a macroeconomist educated at the universities of Tübingen, Munich and Regensburg in Germany. She has been an ACUNS Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Ottawa (1989/90) and a Visiting Fellow at the IDS Sussex (2010/12).

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