Building Inclusive Societies in Southeast Asia

Social Inclusion denotes the process of individual's self-realisation within a society, acceptance and recognition of one's potential by social institutions, and unobstructed participation in civic, social, economic and political spheres of life. In present-day Southeast Asian societies, the rapid transformations occurring under forces of globalization create conditions of vulnerability that put individuals and groups at risk of social exclusion. For millions of people, Social Inclusion involves breaking increasingly complex barriers to fulfil their human rights as full members of society. When the government policies exclude people from equitable share of the benefits of economic growth, inequalities increase, while political stability, continued sustainable development and general social harmony are undermined. For the governments in the region, this presents a real challenge: what type of policies need to be enacted to ensure an environment that is conducive to Social Inclusion?

As a central concept of the 2030 Agenda and the foundation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Social Inclusion is everybody’s business – countries affluent and poor, governments big and small, the UN system and broader development community, civil society and private sector.

And yet, much remains to be done to understand the complex nature of Social Inclusion, to develop methodologies to monitor and measure progress towards this goal, and to translate the emerging knowledge into policy and action.

UNESCO, with its multidimensional mandate in Social and Human Sciences, is pushing the frontiers of knowledge for better understanding and effective application of Social Inclusion in public policy.  In Southeast Asian sub-region, UNESCO Jakarta Office is pioneering applied projects to build the capacity of the “community of practice” – governments, universities, civil society – in inclusive public policy design. These projects are designed to put into practice the Analytical Framework for Inclusive Policy Design developed by UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme, as well as other tools and methodologies from the academic and research institutions around the world.

For detailed information about these initiatives in different Southeast Asian countries, please click on the appropriate links below:

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