High Level Political Forum 2019 Side Event: Lived Experiences of Inequality (SDG 10): Grassroots Respond: 16 July 2019; 1:00- 3:00PM At CCUN, 777 UN Plaza, E 44th Street, NY 10017

CONCEPT NOTE Inequality has increased in most if not all countries of the world over the last few decades. This trend was accelerated by the 2008 fiscal crisis, as gains since the recovery have accrued almost entirely to the most advantaged sectors. Experts ranging from the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights to the head of the world’s largest hedge fund have labeled inequality as a serious global crisis and warned of growing instability. Importantly, the 2030 Agenda includes SDG 10—”to reduce inequality within and among countries.” As with all goals, it is essential that appropriate measures are used to ensure accountability for progress and that these measures are based on a thorough understanding of the nature of inequalities.

Statistical data are available to show such things as the income and wealth gaps between quintiles at the national level; still other data express inequalities in terms of health conditions and outcomes, such as gaps in life expectancy, infant mortality, nutritional status, access to water and sanitation, and more. But beyond these macro level indicators, how is inequality actually experienced on the ground? And how can we assess whether countries are successfully addressing Goal 10 in ways that are improving living conditions in communities?

The Grassroots Task Force of the NGO Committee for Social Development has conducted a survey of locally based, community level workers and residents to collect data on how inequalities are experienced at the grassroots level. The survey collected input on the nature of inequalities, population groups that are most affected by inequalities, and government and other initiatives to address inequalities. We hope to identify good practices that can be replicated in other locales and in government policies. The survey instrument was circulated in 6 languages in an attempt to increase responses from diverse countries.

The side event will share selected findings from the survey and the sharing of stories from the ground:


Lynne M. Healy, International Association of Schools of Social Work

Madison Weisend, Intern, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary

Rozie Yunas, PBVM, International Presentation Association

Monica Sanchez, LSA Family Health Services, VIVAT International

Zozan Antar, International Association of Schools of Social Work

Moderator:    Margaret O’Dwyer, DC, JD, Company of the Daughters of Charity

Sponsor: NGO Committee on Social Development

Cosponsors: Company of the Daughters of Charity; Congregations of St. Joseph, International Association of School of Social Work, International Presentation Association, Religious of the Heart of Mary, Society of St. Vincent De Paul, UNANIMA International, VIVAT International

Notice of a UN side event that IASSW with partners are co-sponsoring on July 16 at the High Level Political Forum at the UN. This is part of IASSW’s continuing work with the NGO Committee for Social Development.