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Social Sustainability and Inclusion—formerly known as Social Development—reflects the World Bank’s focus on addressing long lasting barriers to development, strengthening the focus on people who have been excluded from economic and social opportunities, and increasing investment in inclusive growth.

Social sustainability is about inclusive and resilient societies where citizens have voice and governments respond.  Social sustainability is also about expanding opportunities for all people today and tomorrow. Together with economic and environmental sustainability, it is critical for poverty-reduction and shared prosperity. 

The core tenet of Social Sustainability and Inclusion’s work is to help people—regardless of their gender, race, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or disability—overcome obstacles that prevent them from fully participating in society, and supporting their efforts to shape their own future. It does so by working with governments, communities, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to create more inclusive societies, empower citizens, and foster more resilient and peaceful communities.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2021


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