Method finder practitoners guide: social inclusion

Method finder practitoners guide: social inclusion

Understanding the complexities of social exclusion

Deep-rooted power relations as well as socio-cultural institutions that enable or constrain human interaction lie at the core of social exclusion. Social exclusion and its multi-dimensional facets can be addressed best through integrated approaches, consisting of a variety of activities and policies, as well as collaborations between different stakeholders, and making interventions at different levels. Social inclusion cannot be achieved by simply using a step by step method, but has to be achieved through awareness raising and a change of consciousness.

However, this booklet provides a starting point for thinking about social inclusion. The method discussed highlights a number of steps such as social analysis and definition of target groups, preparation of the inventory record, disaggregated baseline data and indicators, and organisational preparedness and awareness.

It improve practitioners' understanding of the complex processes of social exclusion, and transformation. It also aims to help them in the design, implementation and steering of conceptualised, cross-cutting and targeted interventions enabling the most deprived and vulnerable groups of society to step out of the poverty circle and to improve their dignity, self-confidence, and socio-economic status.

Key advantages and limitations outlined in this method are:

  • the method gives a provision for mainstreaming social inclusion within the project cycle and provides means for continuous monitoring and evaluation of a programme to ensure active and quality participation of excluded groups and to strengthen the transparency and equity 
  • periodic reflection on the project outcomes decreases the likelihood of unintended negative impacts of project work (i.e. reinforcing and maintaining social exclusion), and makes early re-orientation possible 
  • since processes for social transformation address power relations, the distribution of entitlements and the construction of social identities may initially cause elites groups to hesitate to get involved with target population groups in program planning and not give importance to the need and priorities of these groups in policy planning 
  • the complexity and multidimensional facets of social exclusion might reveal identified target groups as heterogeneous in terms of social identity, geographical location, needs or capacity.This can make it difficult to design targeted programmes to cater to all their specific needs and priorities.