Globalization and liberalization have played a paradoxical role in recent decades. While they have reduced global (inter-country) inequalities, they have also reinforced intra-country inequalities by creating winners and losers within each country. The Covid-19 health crisis has further aggravated these trends by reinforcing socio-economic inequalities at all levels.
In light of these considerations, AFD and the European Union have made the fight against inequality one of their respective priorities. It is in this context that the European Commission and AFD started their collaboration on reducing inequalities with the establishment of the first phase of the EU-AFD Research Facility on Inequalities in 2017, and the Extension more recently. The Facility's program thus aims to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda, including the fight against inequality (SDG 10).
In order to strengthen knowledge on inequalities, 22 research projects aiming to better understand socioeconomic inequalities, their determinants, effects and dynamics were carried out in 32 countries between 2017 and 2020. More than a hundred research papers and policy briefs were published during the first phase of the Facility, which will have fed the academic debate but also initiated national exchanges on the theme of inequalities in the countries concerned.
Following the success of this first phase, the Extension was launched in 2021. This new phase focuses on supporting the development of policies to reduce inequality in four partner countries: South Africa, Mexico, Colombia and Indonesia. In the long term, this research-based programme will enable partner countries and development actors to better understand the dynamics of inequalities in order to better respond to them in terms of public policies.
By seeking to build a common European strategy within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the first and second phases of the Facility also encourage greater cohesion between EU Member States on strategies to reduce inequalities.