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Working Group on Social Cohesion

When addressing protracted development challenges, collaboration between institutions is a must. On May 8, 2006, the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) met at the IDB  to discuss avenues for collaboration and coordination with a view to fostering social cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean, resulting in the formation of a Working Group.  

The consensus among participants at the meeting was that increased social cohesion is  necessary to help bolster sustainable development and economic growth. The objective of the Working Group is to identify promising approaches towards augmenting social cohesion, review the institutions’ policies and operational experiences, compare best practices, and explore possible areas of synergy. Also, while participants acknowledged that definitions of social cohesion may vary, the broad approach to be taken by the Working Group reflects priorities of all four institutions.

The task of the Working Group is to foster coordination in promoting social cohesion in the region. To this end, the group will serve as a platform for exchanging ideas and experiences, assessing the effectiveness of programs and projects on a pilot basis, and sharing social analyses and methodologies, including possible indicators of social cohesion.

In terms of outreach efforts, the Working Group may organize or sponsor workshops or seminars, including possible high-level meetings focusing on social cohesion as a development goal for Latin America and the Caribbean. Of course, highlighting issues related to social inclusion on the different institutions’ websites is another option for dissemination.

The Working Group is scheduled to meet twice a year, holding virtual discussions in the meantime as needed. It will have an annually rotating chair, starting with the IDB in 2006, followed by the WB and the EC in 2007 and 2008, respectively. 

The next meeting of the Working Group will take place in Washington DC in the fall of 2006.



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