Social Inclusion

Shocks and stresses do not affect all people in the same way. Integrating and addressing the needs of traditionally marginalized groups into program design can lead to more effective resilience programs and activities.

Image
woman gathering water

Overview

Shocks and stresses do not affect all people in the same way. Women, people with disabilities, older people, and other marginalized groups are uniquely vulnerable during and in the aftermath of shocks. Limited mobility, uneven access to resources, and power imbalances can leave these groups less equipped to deal with shocks and stresses when they happen, and can result in assistance after a disaster or crisis being delayed or denied.

As resilience programming increasingly takes social inclusion issues into account, more evidence is being generated on how layered interventions to boost social inclusion can increase social capital, access to finance, and other sources of resilience.

Source

Integrating traditionally marginalized groups into society and into feedback and program design can lead to more effective resilience programs and activities. For instance, within a mixed-caste community, greater social inclusion can help people of lower socioeconomic status access informal finance through connections with wealthier neighbors.

When youth, women, and the elderly are involved in household decision-making, their perspectives result in a more realistic approach to financial decisions that affect the household, leading to more financial stability when shocks occur. Market linkages for women and youth can increase and diversify household incomes, providing protection during a crisis.

Evidence

Much of the research on social inclusion in resilience has focused on gender and has found that women’s empowerment and resilience programming that takes into account the different vulnerabilities and needs of women and men can have significant impacts on resilience. Less research has been done on social inclusion of other groups; however, a number of donor-funded projects aim to address issues of social inclusion of youth, members of lower castes, and other marginalized groups, which should provide evidence on best practices for social inclusion in resilience programming.

More Resources