Social cohesion has gained a lot of attention recently. It is not only important to tackle crises but also for global development in the long run. Societies both in the global North and South are facing challenges of their social cohesion which to overcome necessitates knowledge exchange and joint learning. The Social Cohesion Week and the launched Social Cohesion Hub aspire to help making one of the first steps in this endeavour.
DIE’s Social Cohesion Week (#SoCoWeek) brought together researchers and policy practitioners to exchange and discuss the making, drivers and consequences of social cohesion from 9 to 12 November. The 378 participants were lucky to count on the contribution of 52 speakers in 11 sessions on a variety of topics. An opening panel discussion focused on where research on social cohesion stands today, while the contributions of international cooperation to improving social cohesion was the focus of a practitioners’ panel. Further workshop sessions focused on different drivers of social cohesion, ranging from forced displacement through economic driving forces, social protection schemes, taxation, post-conflict transitional justice, peacebuilding, shared value orientations and consequences of Covid-19. A special workshop session presented and discussed the conceptualisation and measurement of social cohesion of the research team at DIE.
The launch of the Social Cohesion Hub was the highlight of the week. The collaborative knowledge web platform set up by DIE this year offers an online space to find information and foster exchange about concepts, data, literature, and development cooperation projects on social cohesion. Representatives of the World Bank, UNDP and GIZ highlighted the relevance of the #SoCoHub and discussed how to form a community of action between researchers and policy practitioners working on social cohesion. They also discussed potentials and challenges of a successful future of the #SoCoHub. Interested in the topic? Follow the hashtag #SoCoResearch on Twitter.