The University of Manchester is advancing our understanding of the world in which we live, addressing inequalities to improve lives.
There are pronounced inequalities across the world, within individual countries, and in our own city of Manchester. While progress has been made on some aspects of inequality, it’s still the case that food, healthcare, infrastructure and resources are plentiful in some areas, yet scarce in others. Far too many households struggle with low income and poor job prospects.
Across the world, men and women’s opportunities, experiences, their potential and their quality of life are shaped by unequal treatment, prejudice and discrimination due to their personal characteristics or family background.
As we have done for almost two centuries, The University of Manchester is leading the way in addressing all aspects of inequality, from poverty to social justice, from living conditions to equality in the workplace. Bringing together some of the best academic minds in applied medicine, business, law, social sciences and the arts, we’re meeting these challenges head on, creating and sharing knowledge to understand our world and directly change it for the better.
Global inequalities: Research breakthroughs
Researchers have developed a mapping tool to measure climate disadvantage and identify vulnerable groups.
Our research helps agencies design more relevant programmes to target growth and poverty reduction.
Discover evidence-led solutions from University experts for thriving and sustainable communities.
Our equality research is contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more here.
Our experts focus on inequalities between people, between places, and the capacity to participate and prosper in society.
We not only examine the causes and impacts of these inequalities but also identify practices that will achieve a fairer world.
Discover more about our current inequality research projects.
Discover how we're bridging divides through research, innovation and investment.
We bring together some of the best academic minds to strive towards a fairer, healthier world.
Hard-hitting insights into racism and the justice system in England and Wales.
Working to understand the on-the-ground impacts of austerity policies and funding cuts.
The African Cities Research Consortium are tackling complex problems in Africa’s rapidly changing cities.
Measuring, celebrating and improving the wellbeing of young people in Manchester and beyond.
Institutes, Centres and networks
Research on global inequalities spans across all three of our Faculties at The University of Manchester, drawing on technical expertise from the Faculty of Science and Engineering in initiatives such as FutureDAMS, insights on health and social care from the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, and in-depth analysis of societies environments and cultures from the Faculty of Humanities.
Learn more about our dedicated Institutes, Centres and Networks which foster world leading interdisciplinary research into making our city, our region, our nation, and our world a fairer and more equal place to live.
Christabel Pankhurst Institute
Developing needs-led health technology research and innovation, and exploring how these address inequalities.
Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research
Deploying cutting-edge social research methods and analysis to investigate issues of social and political inequality.
Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity
Transforming current understanding of the contemporary challenges of ethnic inequalities.
An interdisciplinary network operating across the whole range of the University’s digital research.
Global Development Institute
Driving forward new ideas promoting sustainable development and social justice for all.
Humanitarianism and Conflict Response Institute
Expert insights on humanitarian response, development and peace.
Institute for Health Policy and Organisation
Inﬂuencing healthcare policy and organisation through world-leading interdisciplinary research.
Manchester Institute for Education
Theory and practice combine to challenge issues of equity and social justice in education.
Manchester Institute of Innovation Research
Highlighting innovation as a driver of social change.
Manchester Urban Institute
Building more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable cities for current and future generations.
The Productivity Institute
Pinpointing productivity as key to a more prosperous and equitable society.
Sustainable Consumption Institute
Reimagining how consumption and production can contribute to less resource-intensive and more equitable ways of life.
Thomas Ashton Institute
Delivering insights to enable a better working world in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive.
Work and Equalities Institute
Promoting the conditions for more inclusive and fair work and employment arrangements.
Get an in-depth insight into how our inequalities research is changing the world.
Experts for media
Our experts can offer fresh perspectives and explain how we're advancing knowledge for a better world.
Work with our Policy@Manchester Team to influence and challenge policymakers.
Global challenges, Manchester solutions
Economic growth is pursued by every nation around the globe, but the benefits of increasing prosperity are unevenly distributed. This imbalance leads to social and economic inequalities.
The Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit is an independent analytic resource to help make poverty reduction central to processes of economic growth and devolution in Greater Manchester, and to provide research, analysis and insight on inclusive growth in other UK cities.
Everyday peace indicators
When peace-building projects report success at a national level, on-the-ground research may tell different stories of human rights abuses, militarised governments and inter-group conflict. Local communities – best placed to identify changes in their own circumstances – are often overlooked.
The Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute (HCRI) has asked community members in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Sudan to identify their own measures of peace. Researchers take these ‘everyday peace indicators’ and test them within their wider community, repeating the exercise to measure change over time. The indicators chosen – such as business owners painting their storefronts – help reveal community priorities and therefore their confidence in peace.
Every single day, 19,000 children die of easily preventable causes. Traditional development aid projects are not sufficient to tackle the scale of the problem.
Research at the Global Development Institute has shown direct anti-poverty transfers to be a practical, politically sustainable and financially feasible means to address extreme and chronic poverty in low- and middleincome countries. Our findings have shaped development policy, influenced national governments and informed practice in several countries, including Uganda and Bangladesh.
Sustainable Development Goals
The challenges of poverty, hunger, health, climate change, education, sustainability and inequality are being faced in every nation across the world.
University of Manchester research addresses the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Whether it’s addressing microplastics in rivers, food insecurity or building climate-resilient cities, our research is focused on developing a sustainable future.
Business and human rights
Businesses are increasingly seen as having a direct responsibility to respect human rights in their activities and operations, regardless of the context in which they operate.
The Business and Human Rights Network defines the challenges of business to respect human rights, engages key actors, and informs the academic, social and political debate, helping to shape future policy and corporate practice. Key themes being explored by the network include investment, modern-day slavery and gender equality in global value chains.
By 2030, 60% of the global population will live in cities, with at least 25% of city dwellers aged 60 or over. The needs of this age group will become increasingly significant in social and public policy.
Our researchers trained a group of 18 older residents, aged between 58 and 74, to help us with our research. These co-researchers then conducted 68 interviews across South Manchester with older people who were experiencing social exclusion, isolation, poverty or health problems. Interviews focused on ways of improving quality of life for older people in urban communities and were designed to be particularly sensitive to marginalised community voices.
Cost of living crisis disproportionately impacting older ethnic minorities
A new joint report reveals how existing inequalities place minority ethnic groups, especially older people, at heightened risk from the effects of high inflation and associated pressures.
International Advisory Board helps GDI chart the future of global development
The new Board brings together expertise and insights from international agencies, NGOs, academic institutions and the private sector.
African Cities Research Consortium starts new pilot projects
The ACRC, based at our University, is commencing pilot action research projects in four African cities: Nairobi, Harare, Maiduguri, and Mogadishu.
Tackling loneliness requires a new approach which addresses societal inequalities
A review into loneliness inequalities conducted by some of the UK’s leading researchers has highlighted key social and societal factors.
Northern regions relegated to bottom of child health league table
A league table ranking child health by football team area has further shown the dramatic health divide between the North and the South.
Inaugural Lectures - Prof Ian Mell and Prof Ralitza Dimova
6 December 2023, 4.30pm-6.30pm
On Wednesday 6 December, join the School of Environment, Education and Development at The University of Manchester for inaugural lectures from Ian Mell, Professor in Environmental..
Accelerating Just Climate Action Conference
12 December 2023, 8.30am-5.30pm
To save a few airmiles and prevent feelings of flightshame related to COP28 being hosted in UAE this year, Sustainable Futures with support from Tyndall Manchester, Henry Royce Ins..