New Frontiers of Social Policy

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This series is designed to address issues of importance to the World Bank's Social Development Strategy, which aims to empower people by transforming institutions to make them more inclusive, responsible, and accountable, and transforming subjects and beneficiaries into citizens with rights and responsibilities. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of the World Bank Social Development unit.

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  • Publication
    Social Dimensions of Climate Change : Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World
    (World Bank, 2010) Mearns, Robin; Mearns, Robin; Norton, Andrew
    Climate change is widely acknowledged as foremost among the formidable challenges facing the international community in the 21st century. It poses challenges to fundamental elements of our understanding of appropriate goals for social and economic policy, such as the connection of prosperity, growth, equity, and sustainable development. This volume seeks to establish an agenda for research and action built on an enhanced understanding of the relationship between climate change and the key social dimensions of vulnerability, social justice, and equity. The volume is organized as follows. This introductory chapter first sets the scene by framing climate change as an issue of social justice at multiple levels, and by highlighting equity and vulnerability as the central organizing themes of an agenda on the social dimensions of climate change. Chapter two leads off with a review of existing theories and frameworks for understanding vulnerability, drawing out implications for pro-poor climate policy. Understanding the multilayered causal structure of vulnerability then can assist in identifying entry points for pro-poor climate policy at multiple levels. Building on such analytical approaches, chapters three and four, respectively, consider the implications of climate change for armed conflict and for migration. Those chapters are followed by a discussion of two of the most important social cleavages that characterize distinct forms of vulnerability to climate change and climate action: gender (chapter five) and ethnicity or indigenous identity (chapter six), in the latter case, focusing on the role of indigenous knowledge in crafting climate response measures in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Chapter seven highlights the important mediating role of local institutions in achieving more equitable, pro-poor outcomes from efforts to support adaptation to climate change. Chapter eight examines the implications of climate change for agrarian societies living in dry-land areas of the developing world, and chapter nine does the same for those living in urban centers. Chapter ten considers the role of social policy instruments in supporting pro-poor adaptation to climate change; and it argues for a focus on 'no-regrets' options that integrate adaptation with existing development approaches, albeit with modifications to take better account of the ways in which climate variables interact with other drivers of vulnerability. Finally, chapter eleven turns to the implications of climate policy and action for forest areas and forest people.
  • Publication
    Delivering Services in Multicultural Societies
    (World Bank, 2010) Marc, Alexandre
    The last two decades have witnessed a growing recognition of the importance of taking cultural and ethnic diversity into consideration when designing and implementing development programs. As societies around the world have become more culturally diverse, and the role culture plays in the formation of identity has become better understood, governments are beginning to pay greater attention to the management of cultural diversity and are becoming more sensitive to issues of cultural exclusion. This book explores how taking cultural diversity into account can affect the delivery of services both positively and negatively, and how local governments can respond to the challenge of programming for and around diversity. The following chapter presents the current debate on the role of governments, at all levels, in managing cultural diversity. Chapter three takes a more in-depth look at specific areas in which the demand for recognition of cultural practices in the delivery of services is strongest. Chapter four examines policies pertaining to basic service delivery that can address and support cultural diversity. Finally, chapter five summarizes the lessons learned from the design of culturally sensitive policies for delivering services to a diverse population.