Linking sustainable development to social inclusion
While governments around the world have committed themselves to fighting poverty, poverty can only be eradicated once marginalised individuals and groups experience equality, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities or age. That is why discussions on sustainable development and reversing poverty often refer to social inclusion. Development organisations and government agencies can contribute to inclusive transformation processes that improve circumstances for marginalised people and allow them to take part in society and benefit from social services and various political, social, physical and market spaces.
Youth are particularly important drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity in developing countries and engaging them in the agricultural sector and keeping them in the rural areas should be a priority. To ensure context-specific inclusive transformation processes, development professionals and organisations need to understand and define marginalised peoples’ needs, interests, constraints and possibilities, as well as understand their roles in decision-making processes at household, economic and societal levels.
The Rural Development, Social nclusion, Gender and Youth specialisation equips students with competences needed to understand and define these contextual factors, reduce inequities and improve social and economic conditions for everyone.
By the time you graduate, you will have developed the ability to:
• identify opportunities for systemic change and to enhance opportunities and interests of youth, men and women in rural environments • promote social inclusion and mainstream gender and other socialequity issues in rural development • recommend changes that will bring about gender equality in organisations • develop a personal strategy for enhancing empowerment, social inclusion, youth involvement and gender equality in your own profession and organisation.
Specialists in Rural Development, Social Inclusion, Gender and Youth contribute to inclusive transformation of social processes that improve circumstances for marginalised people to take part in society. Recognising that equal access to markets and social services, influence over decisions affecting one’s life and young people as key drivers of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will increase security over livelihood and improve social economic conditions for everyone, specialists may design interdisciplinary projects to mainstream social inclusion and reduce inequities. As agents for community development, they may be managers, coordinators or consultants in a (non-)governmental organisation or in the private sector.