Social Cohesion

While rapid growth in emerging economies has lifted millions of people out of poverty, it also has led to a growing divide between different population groups and to a widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.

These recent developments and the rise in conflicts and social unrests caused by them have refocused the attention of the international development community on the role of social cohesion for long-term sustainable development

Social Cohesion works to promote cohesive societies that enable women and men to work together to address common needs, overcome constraints and consider diverse interests.

Development policy seeks to ensure that globalisation creates jobs that come with fair conditions. The European experience shows that social cohesion is a driver of economic growth, not a hindrance.

In developing countries, unemployment and lack of social protection are compounded by large informal economies, where workers earn very little. The real problem is underemployment and the increasing number of working poor, especially women and young people.

Investing in employment is crucial for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Without new and better jobs we run the risk of increasingly divided societies where the poor do not benefit from growth, leading to social discord and instability.


  • Poverty and Social Impact Assessment
  • Advice for policy coherence for social cohesion
  • Reforms to make services work for poor people
  • Social Accountability measures
  • Mainstreaming employment and decent work
  • Social inclusion of labour migrants
  • Increasing Transparency and Access to Information