Social Development - Our work

The Social Development programme is committed to ensuring socially inclusive development and thus works on issues of gender justice, social exclusion, inequality and the eradication of poverty.  We consider socially inclusive development in relation to a wide range of sectors and issues and diverse population groups, by age, ethnicity or other identity.

Woman and Child, Antigua, Guatemala (Flickr: szeke

Gender and inequality

Portrait of women and children. India (Flickr: World Bank / Curt Carnemark

Empowering women and girls is an effective way to achieve socially inclusive, pro-poor development. Yet women and girls across the developing world find that their capabilities are constrained by a mass of interlinked inequalities. We take a life-course approach to these constraints, with a particular focus on how they influence the intersection between gender, childhood and the transition to young adulthood.

Social effects of economic and climate crises

Civil society march through Durban, South Africa (Flickr: Ainhoa Goma/Oxfam

Our work aims to facilitate the development of gender-sensitive and inclusive poverty reduction strategies to target the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society. In addition we look at effective resilience and adaptation mechanisms and explore the impact of crises and shocks, both financial and climate-related, through an age and gender lens.

Social protection, gender and age

Old Harari woman. Source: Flickr/Rod Waddington

Our work aims to inform social protection frameworks and programmes (including cash transfers, public works, and others) to encourage their gender- and age-sensitive design and implementation, alongside effective vulnerability targeting.

Youth and childhood

Class in Lesotho. Source: Wikimedia Commons

There a growing recognition of the critical importance of childhood and youth for national development, and a new emphasis on the need for a gendered understanding of the very different adolescence experienced by girls and boys. Our work aims to clarify this pivotal life stage in development progress.

Children Brazil eye on camera (Flickr: Children at Risk Foundation – CARF Brazil

Our work aims to apply a gender- and exclusion- sensitive lens to such issues as school violence, education and early marriage, adolescent fertility choices, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV and AIDs. We also explore the intersections of these topics with analysis of issues around livelihoods, migration and broader poverty and inequality.

Methods and capacity building for research with socially excluded groups

Social & Policy Innovation diagram (Flickr:

Our work looks at vanguard approaches to systemic reviews and policy synthesis methods as well as utilising and developing innovative tools for data collection and analysis, particularly with hard-to-reach and excluded groups. All of this work includes elements that develop the research capacity of our partners and enhance mutual exchange.