News

15 policy recommendations for the climate-health nexus

The topic of health, both mental and physical, is taking an increasing amount of space in climate change discussions and negotiations. According to the World Health Organization, climate-related health damages are estimated to cost up to USD 4 billion by 2030, with outsize impacts on developing nati...
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Climate change: its impacts on mental health

Our resident mental health expert, Sanae Okamoto, was recently interviewed by the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in Brussels about her research – below follows an except of the Q&A that was published on the UNRIC website on 5 December 2023. Can you elaborate on some specific exampl...
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UNU-MERIT researchers featured in Diplomatic Courier’s COP28 bookazine

  Four UNU-MERIT researchers (Sanae Okamoto, Shyama Ramani, Rasmus Lema and Alejandro Álvarez-Vanegas) have co-authored articles for a COP 28 bookazine from the global affairs media network Diplomatic Courier, entitled COP 28: Saving Gaia to Save Ourselves.   This special edition, which wa...
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The art and science of questioning others

New book distills three decades of learnings on survey design  Despite all the digital and virtual means by which the world is connected, when it comes to a researcher in, say, Brussels trying to get to know a community in, say, Almaty on a level that’s technical, substantial and deep enough to incl...
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A look at ASEAN’s new Vision 2045

On 15 November, UNU-MERIT played host to the panel discussion ASEAN 2045: The Future of the Region as an Epicentrum of Growth, co-organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. Five ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) discussed h...
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UNU-MERIT at COP28

From 30 Nov to 12 Dec, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Expectations are high for the year’s climate negotiations, which will focus on combatting temperature rise and the conclusion of the first global stocktake, which cr...
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Using machine learning to solve public policy problems: our researchers launch online course

Machine learning (a subfield of artificial intelligence) is now routinely used by policymakers in the design, calibration and evaluation of public policies. Solving these prediction policy problems requires tools that are tuned to minimise prediction errors, but also frameworks to ensure that models...
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How can policymakers support the elimination of gender-based violence?

3 questions with our expert Julieta Marotta for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women According to UN Women, almost one in three women and girls have been “subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once...
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Talking politics: An update on Egypt-Netherlands migration management discussions

By Soha Youssef, Learning and Development Coordinator at UNU-MERIT and alumna of the 2018/19 MPP cohort (specialised in Migration Studies) In October 2023, the Dutch Migration Minister Eric van der Burg met with several Egyptian government officials (including the Development Minister and the Minist...
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Can public policy design help close the gender gap?

Highlights from UNU-MERIT’s Public Policy MPP Conference 2023 By Victor Osei Kwadwo, researcher and lecturer at UNU-MERIT On 8 November 2023, UNU-MERIT played host to thought-provoking discussions at our annual Public Policy MPP Conference, a key fixture on our MSc in Public Policy and Human Develop...
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Insights from UNU Rector Tshilidzi Marwala on the governance of AI

The Rector and AI expert delivers flagship lecture on the accelerating technology   On 26 October 2023, UNU-MERIT hosted the seventh instalment of its flagship Charles Cooper Memorial Lecture Series, named for the institute’s first director. United Nations University (UNU) Rector and artificial...
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HIV-positive parents in Zimbabwe struggle to manage their children’s education – study shows how

By Tatenda Zinyemba (postdoctoral researcher, UNU-MERIT) Over the past three decades researchers have explored various aspects of the impact of the HIV pandemic. One focus area has been children who have lost their parents to AIDS. Less attention has been given to children who are raised by parents ...
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UNU Climate Resilience researchers pen op-ed in Context by Thomson Reuters

Below is an excerpt from the article ‘Libya flood reveals disaster prevention deficit in fragile states’, published on 13 October 2023 in Context [a media platform of the Thomson Reuters Foundation] and written by United Nations University (UNU) researchers Michael Hagenlocher, Sanae Oka...
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UNU-MERIT’s Charles Cooper Memorial Lecture Series is back, with UNU Rector as our next speaker

After a hiatus of nearly five years, we are pleased to announce that we are relaunching our Charles Cooper Memorial Lecture Series – which has been running since 2007 – with a public lecture from United Nations University Rector Professor Tshilidzi Marwala on Thursday 26 October 2023. Pr...
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Helping refugees integrate into the labour market: Evidence from Uganda

Article co-authored by Mariajose Silva Vargas, full-time PhD fellow at UNU-MERIT [Reprinted by permission from VoxDev; Francesco Loiacono] Working together with one refugee worker for one week increases firms’ likelihood to hire more refugees by adjusting business owners’ beliefs about refugees’ ski...
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In our flagship capacity development programme, more focus on peer learning

Here’s what participants have to say about our EPRM revamp Last semester, the Capacity Development Office at UNU-MERIT made changes to its flagship Evidence-Based Policy Research Methods (EPRM) programme based on feedback from its participants, who are working professionals from across the globe loo...
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How to start a career at a multilateral development bank

Tips and tricks from our dual career PhD fellows To kick off the 2023–2024 academic year, three of our dual career PhD fellows – Ari Perdana, Ilsa Meidina and Laisa Daza Obando – held a panel discussion about careers in multilateral development banks, describing their personal experiences of working...
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Inspiration, connection and collaboration: UNU-MERIT’s Internal Conference 2023

On 28-29 September, UNU-MERIT held its annual Internal Conference — an intensive two-day gathering that convened all of our PhD fellows (both full-time and dual career), researchers and professors for an in-person research exchange. During this much-anticipated event, our academic community members ...
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Suella Braverman is wrong about the UN refugee convention being ‘not fit for purpose’ – here’s why

By Robert Oakes (Senior Researcher, UNU-EHS) and Talitha Dubow (postdoctoral researcher, UNU-MERIT) The UK’s home secretary, Suella Braverman – the minister responsible for setting immigration policy – has said the United Nations refugee convention is not “fit for our modern age” and should be reneg...
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In the media: Sanae Okamoto featured in Scientific American article about ‘AI anxiety’

This week, Scientific American published a news piece on the increasingly common worldwide concerns about rapid advances in generative artificial intelligence, and how this ‘AI anxiety’ can be managed. The article features UNU-MERIT researcher Sanae Okamoto, an expert in psychology, cogn...
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