Social Inclusion
Introduction
One of the biggest challenges facing society is how to share the social and economic wealth around to build communities in which everyone can belong, contribute and be valued.

If social cohesion is to do with infrastructures on an institutional level, then social inclusion relates to belonging and membership at an interpersonal and collective level. Thus the strength of community membership and identity is central to community inclusion: a community with only weak community inclusion will not have the resources to be meaningfully included in society in its own right

This will involve tackling the causes of social exclusion: poverty, discrimination, inequality and lack of opportunity.Social inclusion does not happen by accident, or overnight. It requires sustained political commitment and government leadership, including through building action partnerships across government, business, the community sector and local communities.

Barriers
We acknowledge the potentially problematic nature of citizenship, which might be too passive or defensive a concept to incorporate what is meant by ‘social inclusion’, because it infers a more involved participation. Such participation has three dimensions:
  • material - the possibility to articulate and defend specific interests,
  • procedural - the guarantee of public and private autonomy,
  • personal - voluntary participation.

    Institutional e.g opening hours, staff attitude, rules and regulations, charges, book stock policy, facilities e.g disabled access access

    Personal and Social e.g lack of basic skills (reading, writing), low income and poverty, lack of permanent address

    Perceptions and awareness e.g people who are educationally disadvantaged, people who don’t think libraries are relevant to their lives or needs, lack of knowledge of facilities and services, or how to use them

    Environmental e.g difficult access to building, poor transport links, institutional nature of building

  • Indicators
    Social indicators can serve a range of purposes related to vision, budgeting, community mobilisation, agency accountability and public education (Leichter et al 2002). By considering changes over time, social indicators are a critical tool in the development, assessment and monitoring of social policy. They can describe, in quantitative and qualitative terms, the level of social development achieved in a particular society and the current extent of social problems (Vandenbrouke 2001).

    The benefits of indicators lie in their capacity to inform and guide policy-making and resource allocation choices. Selecting, monitoring and reporting on indicators can focus government attention on future priorities including government policymaking and accountability processes. Construction of indicators will further our understanding of where and why progress towards social inclusion is being achieved or frustrated. In addition, analysis of the underlying source data will help identify problem areas that require responses at the policy, program and community development levels. Indicators can also be a powerful catalyst for action by facilitating collaboration among different interests, particularly public-private collaboration at the local level.

    Domains

    Sub-domains

    Citizenship rights

    Constitutional rights

     

    Social rights

     

    Civil rights

     

    Economic and Political rights

    Labour markets

    Access to paid employment

    Services

    Health services

     

    Housing

     

    Education

     

    Social care

     

    Financial services

     

    Transport

     

    Civic and cultural services

    Social networks

    Neighbourhood participation

     

    Friendships

     

    Family life

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