What could be the contribution of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences sector?

Article date: 4 Feb 2013, Author: Sylvia Walby

The structure and functions of UNESCO are under discussion, including the nature of the actual and potential contribution of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences (SHS) Sector.

This brief is a contribution to these discussions. A tension is identified between, on the one hand, short-term policy impact (visibility) and, on the other hand, the building of capacity in the social sciences in order to deliver improved quality of evidence to support policy making in the longer-term (credibility). SHS activities and the mission and functions of UNESCO are reported and the challenges and dilemmas in the contribution of the UNESCO SHS Sector are reviewed.