There is currently a North-South gap in discussions on peacebuilding financing, despite the fact that emerging powers are playing an increasingly important role in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Now is the moment to create opportunities for mutual engagement, coordination, and learning.

Apr 20, 2022
Priyal Singh, Gustavo de Carvalho

What can we do to truly tackle group-based inequalities in society, and what can we do about this divisive narrative that is beating back progressives in large parts of the world? We asked three thinkers and activists in different parts of the world—South Africa, Colombia, and Europe—to draw on their local experiences to tell us how we can see progress on this issue. Despite geographic location, there was significant overlap in conclusions about the need for both policies to redistribute resources as well as recognize historic injustices.

Mar 21, 2022
Europe, Latin America, South Africa

About 200 million people in Africa live in informal settlements. As the continent’s cities face rapid growth, governments are facing the challenge of how to ensure adequate housing. Astrid R.N. Haas, who recently published a paper for the Pathfinders Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion on how to make informal housing better talked with Voice of America about how to make informal housing better.

Jan 12, 2022
Astrid R.N. Haas
2030 Agenda

State capture is a type of systematic corruption whereby narrow interest groups take control of the institutions and processes that make public policy, excluding other parts of the public whose interests those institutions are supposed to serve. State capture is often associated with the first decade of transition in the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern Europe. State capture has also spread to many countries that had once seemed to be resilient democracies or, in the case of transition countries, on a secure path toward democratization. This research paper goes in-depth on the mechanisms and impacts of state capture, impact on inequalities, and lessons learned from two case studies (Brazil and South Africa).

Dec 17, 2021
Elizabeth David-Barrett
Brazil, South Africa

Across the globe, particularly in urban areas, the gap between the demand and supply of affordable and adequate housing is growing rapidly. This is particularly the case on the African continent, which is currently undergoing the most rapid urban transition recorded in our history. Housing, particularly when it constitutes a home, is the cornerstone of our social, economic, and emotional lives. Having a roof over one’s head epitomizes stability and security for an individual as well as their family. The current COVID-19 pandemic gave housing a new level of importance and also exacerbated inequalities between those with and without adequate housing. In this context, access to affordable and adequate housing is increasingly being recognized not only as a necessity, but rather as a fundamental human right.

Dec 07, 2021
Astrid R.N. Haas

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to re-evaluate the principles or ideas that are at the heart of theories of government, and that is the fundamentals of governance and public theory. What is government for, but also what should government do and how. Engaging with the crucial philosophical questions of governance is integral to building back better: going back to basics is a major step in figuring out how to prevent mistakes from happening again.

Sep 15, 2021
Nanjala Nyabola

States and societies are in crisis around the world, as questions arise around the nature and quality of existing social contracts. COVID-19 has laid bare profound vulnerabilities within and across societies. The global pandemic is revealing deep failures in policy visions, institutional fragility, and incapacities of states to harness societal compliance where trust and a sense of national belonging is weak. At the same time, our interdependencies have never been so clear, as all countries, developed and underdeveloped alike, confront similar challenges. Crisis, however, offers opportunity to do things better, to build forward better – strengthening social contracts at all levels. How then, can social contracts, and compacting in times of crisis, offer pathways to address inequality and exclusion?

Aug 10, 2021
Erin McCandless

Pathfinders director Liv Tørres spoke to Business Insider about the volatile social and economic scenarios in South Africa over the past decade, which culminated in the arrest of former president Zuma.

Jul 14, 2021
Liv Tørres
South Africa

Si vis pacem, cole justitiam” – “If you desire peace, cultivate justice,” is the motto enshrined in the foundations of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) building in Geneva, established in 1919. World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the fear of communism that followed, had convinced world leaders that, “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice,” as they stated in the 1919 Versailles Treaty. Widespread injustice, inequalities, and exclusion were the enemies of peace. Many would argue they are no less relevant today.

Jul 06, 2021
Liv Tørres
South Africa

There is nothing equal about COVID-19. It is now well established that poor and underprivileged social groups have absorbed most of the pandemic’s negative impact. However, the connection between COVID-19 and inequality might run even deeper. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, one additional point of the Gini coefficient correlated with a 1.34 percentage point higher rate of weekly new infections across countries. This difference in infection rates compounds like interest every week.

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