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Research Group Sustainable Development

Research Unit

Lifecycle:1 Nov 2002 →  Today
Organisation profile:


Research is grouped into two research themes within this research group, Global Development and Environmental Policy respectively, which in turn are also split up into priority research lines.


HIVA  executes a diverse set of research and evaluation activities related to global development and development cooperation. Its research seeks to inform policy and practice and features the following areas of specialization.

Actors in development

  • Traditional actors in development: NGOs, bilateral donors, multilateral donors
  • Emerging actors in development: emerging economies, trade unions, private sector, citizen initiatives, migrant organisations, foundations
  • Actors in the Global South: cooperatives, mutual health organisations, civil society organisations

Thematic areas

  • Global citizenship
  • Global trends in development
  • Education, labour market and development
  • Social economy
  • Social protection and access to health

Methodology and mechanisms in development

  • Planning, monitoring and evaluation (PME), and organisational learning
  • Capacity development
  • Development effectiveness
  • Collaborative action research


HIVA has a broad experience in policy-relevant research on environmental policy and sustainable development. We are an established partner in national and international research programmes with our expertise on environmental policy evaluation and environmental taxation. In the field of sustainable development, our research is shifting towards the analysis of transitions, i.e. fundamental changes in societal systems. Furthermore, our team focuses on European and global environmental and climate governance.

Core themes

  • Sustainable development (Sustainabi lity transitions and transition policy - Wellbeing and sustainable development- Governance for sustainable development)
  • Economic and financial instru ments (Environmental taxes and subsidies - Environmentally harmful subsidies -Funding transitions)
  • Environmental policy evaluation (Ex ante and ex post evaluations - Effectiveness and side effects of environmental policy)
  • Adaptation to climate change (Social and economic impacts of floods)
  • Global environmental governance (Chinese climate and energy policies - EU-Asiarelations - Resource governance and sustainable materials management)
Keywords:global development, environmental policy
Disciplines:Other economics and business, Citizenship, immigration and political inequality, International and comparative politics, Multilevel governance, National politics, Political behaviour, Political organisations and institutions, Political theory and methodology, Public administration, Other political science, Applied sociology