Socially Inclusive Development: The Foundations for Decent Societies in East and Southern Africa

Pamela Abbott, Claire Wallace, Roger Sapsford* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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This article is concerned with how social processes and social provision are conceptualised and measured in societies in order to offer guidance on how to improve developmental progress. Significant advances have been made in developing multidimensional measures of development, but they provide little guidance to governments on how to build sustainable societies. We argue for the need to develop a theoretically informed social and policy framework that permits the foundations for building decent societies to be put in place by governments. In our view the recently developed Decent Society Model provides such a framework. Our example is the assessment of government provision, by function, within fourteen countries of East and Southern Africa. The context is the current debates about socially inclusive development, but we argue that it is necessary to range more widely, as social processes of different kinds are multiply interrelated. Social inclusion is recognised by governments as well as international agencies, including the World Bank and the United Nations, as not only an ethical imperative but smart economics; socially inclusive societies are more stable and have greater potential for economic growth. Societies that can develop sustainably need not only to be inclusive, however, but to provide economic security for all, to be socially cohesive and to empower citizens so that as individuals and communities they can take control over their own lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-839
Number of pages27
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number4
Early online date7 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • social inclusion
  • inclusive development
  • East Africa
  • decent society
  • sub-Saharan Africa


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