Inequality is the lens through which human experience is refracted: poverty and wealth, privilege and discrimination, development and underdevelopment.

According to Oxfam international in 2018, just 26 of the world’s richest owned the same as the 3.8 billion people who make up the world’s poorest. Meanwhile, every day 10,000 people die globally as a result of lack of access to affordable healthcare (ibid.) and it has marginalized people of all forms who are made to carry the brunt of these inequities. As Kimberle Crenshaw demonstrated in 1989 with the concept of ‘intersectionality,’ people have multidimensional identities and, as such, they experience inequalities in ways which are overlapping, mutually-exacerbating, and which require policy solutions that reflect this complexity.

As reflected in Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals, reducing inequality, both within and among countries, is a pivotal objective of international development. It is the moral imperative that gives meaning to the development project beyond progress for the sake of profit. Despite the incredible strides that the world has made to reducing inequality, it remains a crucial challenge for policymakers the world over. This year’s inequality team will address this challenge.

We aim to further the current literature on inequality and human development through multidisciplinary research, to understand the varied and unequal ways in which people experience underdevelopment, development processes, and orthodox development systems. We also aim to provide policy recommendations which centre intersectionality and go beyond economic theory to account for social realities. In so doing we hope to contribute to the ever-growing body of literature on inequality and human development.”

Jordan Wright is our Global Inequality Research Coordinator for 2019-20.