There is now wide recognition that poverty is much more than a simple lack of income and productive resources. And addressing poverty requires much more than good economic policy and positive economic growth. In this context, social development can be defined as a transformative process which aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability by: increasing inclusion and equity in access to resources, services and opportunities; building the asset base of different individuals and groups (including non-material assets); empowering people in their relationships with political, economic and social institutions (both formal and informal).
Social development is therefore a cross-cutting approach which applies across all development “sectors”, from infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture, to education, health and governance. Specifically, the use of social development approaches ensures that policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes are built upon and include an understanding of:
- poverty and vulnerability as multi-dimensional and dynamic;
- the local context, including the formal (organisational) and informal (social norms, relationships and customs) institutions that affect levels of choice, access and control over resources – all of which can either facilitate or hinder movements out of poverty;
- how different groups benefit from or are disadvantaged by development projects, programmes and policies; and
- how power dynamics, interactions and relationships – which can be reinforced through political systems, institutions (formal and informal) and dialogue – affect social inclusion/exclusion and social change.
OPM’s expertise lies in helping donors and governments gain this understanding. We apply techniques such as political economy analysis, poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA), social and gender analysis and vulnerability analysis, as well as survey and participatory monitoring work, to gather the views of citizens and integrate these into the policy cycle. In doing so, we emphasise the process of research and analysis as an empowering tool for citizens and communities, while using the final findings to provide practical and socially feasible recommendations.
Completion Date: February 2017
Client: Department for International Development (DFID), UK
Completion Date: March 2014
Client: European Bank Reconstruction and Development(EBRD)
Completion Date: June 2013
Completion Date: April 2013
- 1 of 6