UN report on social integration and NGOs

Recent report on social integration and NGOs. Interesting to compare how the report defines social integration with how it is described in SRV.

From the report:

Social integration is the process of building the values, relations and institutions essential for the creation of such an equitable and dynamic society, where all individuals, regardless of their race, sex, language or religion, can fully exercise their rights and responsibilities on an equal basis with others and contribute to society.

The above definition is focused on the societal in comparison to the personal level.

The Social Role Valorization (SRV) monograph (2004, p. 123) describes integration as:

valued participation with valued people in valued activities that take place in valued settings

The above report is concerned with socially devalued people, such as poor people, minorities, migrant populations, impaired people, elders, etc. It cites the following barriers to social integration:

The responding organizations identified many barriers to social integration. The three most frequently cited barriers to social integration were lack of education, gender bias and inequality and poverty.

The report recommendations are almost entirely focused on getting the government to do something, which is certainly one valid strategy but not one where I would necessarily put my primary efforts.

The report includes so-called ‘best practice’ examples from international projects working toward the goal of social integration. There are some interesting references within these examples to competency enhancement and leadership roles. Some of the examples include programs supporting large scale integration (e.g., homeless shelters, soup kitchens) as means toward social integration! Pretty deep unconsciousness in those cases.

One of the examples of a ‘best practice’ from Thailand concerns a program that started a school for extremely poor children. They made sure the kids were given student IDs, and mentioned that no one calls them ‘street children’ anymore (relevant example of possessions and personal impression).

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 11:27 am by MTumeinski · Permalink
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