Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy

The objective of this program is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable, inclusive and equitable human and social development in Africa.

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Our focus

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) focuses on the central tenet of social development as key to accelerating the structural transformation of Africa. It undertakes research and analyses, provides technical assistance, strengthens national capacities and supports member States in the broad areas of employment creation, social protection, urbanization, international migration, fertility, mortality, women’s empowerment to reduce socio-economic and gender imbalances, in line with international and regional commitments. Thus, the ECA generates and promotes a robust body of analytical and policy-oriented research resulting in sound knowledge products on the key facets of Africa’s social development policy issues in the framework of the continent’s structural transformation agenda.

Within ECA, and working with member States, the Social Development Policy Division (SDPD) gives particular attention to: (a) measuring human exclusion and designing policies for inclusive development; (b) monitoring social investments; (c) designing of policy options to improve opportunities available for youth and reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality;(d) development of suitable strategies to benefit from the demographic dividend;(e) supporting the designing of policies and strategies to harness urbanization for structural transformation and;(f) providing support to strengthen capacities for improved urban data and statistics. In addition, the Commission convenes a number of expert group meetings and policy dialogues for peer review and dissemination of its knowledge products to a wide spectrum of stakeholders including member States, UN agencies, non-state actors, the academia, and private sector, among others. 

The ECA through the SDPD monitors and evaluates global social policy frameworks and programmes of action such as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Beijing +20, and the Habitat Agenda, among others.  At the regional level, ECA’s programmatic work is guided by, but not limited to, the African Union Agenda 2063 with a high premium on human, social and spatial development imperatives.