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.

Items in this collection

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  • Publication
    Inclusion Matters : The Foundation for Shared Prosperity
    (Washington, DC, 2013-10-18) World Bank
    Today, the world is at a conjuncture where issues of exclusion and inclusion are assuming new significance for both developed and developing countries. The imperative for social inclusion has blurred the distinction between these two stylized poles of development. Countries that used to be referred to as developed are grappling with issues of exclusion and inclusion perhaps more intensely today than they did a decade ago. And countries previously called developing are grappling with both old issues and new forms of exclusion thrown up by growth. Nonlinear demographic transitions, global economic volatility, shifts in the international balance of power, and local political movements have had a large part to play in these shifting sands. These changes make social inclusion more urgent than it was even a decade ago. This report tries to put boundaries around the abstraction that is "social inclusion." Placing the discussion of social inclusion within such global transitions and transformations, the report argues that social inclusion is an evolving agenda. It offers two easy-to-use definitions and a framework to assist practitioners in asking, outlining, and developing some of the right questions that can help advance the agenda of inclusion in different contexts. This report builds on previous analytical work, especially by the World Bank, on themes that touch upon social inclusion, including multidimensional poverty, inequality, equity, social cohesion, and empowerment. There are seven main messages in this report: (1) excluded groups exist in all countries; (2) excluded groups are consistently denied opportunities; (3) intense global transitions are leading to social transformations that create new opportunities for inclusion as well as exacerbating existing forms of exclusion; (4) people take part in society through markets, services, and spaces; (5) social and economic transformations affect the attitudes and perceptions of people. As people act on the basis of how they feel, it is important to pay attention to their attitudes and perceptions; (6) exclusion is not immutable. Abundant evidence demonstrates that social inclusion can be planned and achieved; and (7) moving ahead will require a broader and deeper knowledge of exclusion and its impacts as well as taking concerted action. The report is divided into three parts. Part one is framing the issues. Part two focuses on transitions, transformations, and perceptions. Part three is change is possible.
  • 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.