Social inclusion

These pages are dedicated towards understanding how to better do project and program design to pay attention to social inclusion. 

The understanding of social inclusion is here:

  • How to include the normally excluded
  • How projects connect with local expertise, communities, policy, context etc. For example, attention to social inclusion is needed to make sure that capacity building or technical solutions or ideas are being plugged in with sufficient consideration of the local context, governance and communities.

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Social inclusion

Social inclusion is good practice. Attention to project and program design with regards to social inclusion has many benefits:

  •  Empowering disadvantaged persons
  •  Creating long-lasting success for programmatic and project efforts and investments.
  •  Involving people can provide the strategic innovative capacity a project needs.

Still, there is much more to be wished for in terms of implementation on the ground.  Despite intentions to address social inclusion, it is well known that many projects are designed in such a way that:

  • Stakeholders are excluded or not involved in a good way.
  • Not enough time is invested in developing local ownership and trust
  • Communication and perception challenges mean that interventions are not designed to enable change and participation. For example, there is a perception that poor cannot pay, but they often pay more for drinking water than people in high income areas.
  •  Participation is not incentivized as people need to spend time on earning a livelihood.
  •  External actors rarely allocate adequate resources for social inclusion aspects due to tight budgets or lack of knowledge.
  •  External actors, such as donors and NGOs, seen as intermediates, may not have the capacities to understand communities fully and may not act in their interest.

Given challenges such as these, it is highly relevant to better guide programmatic and project work for better social inclusion. It is also important to understand why there is a gap between knowledge and action. How can we work to bridge the gap?

We recommend you to also explore the Locally Led Adaptation Hub.

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