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Latin America through the lens of social cohesion: selected indicators

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Latin America through the lens of social cohesion: selected indicators

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL Physical Description: 44 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Date: February 2010 ECLAC symbol: LC/L.3189


This document was prepared by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), within the framework of the project "Measuring Social Cohesion in Latin America", developed with support from the European Commission. The document provides statistical information intended to feed the discussion and exchange of experiences on social cohesion policies in Latin America. These policies, and in particular those geared towards promoting decent work for young people, will be the main topic of discussion at the Ministerial Meeting of the EU-LAC Social Cohesion Forum, in Lima on 8-10 February 2010.In recent years, ECLAC has called upon the countries of the region to advance towards building social covenants with broad citizen support in order to reduce social gaps. In this model, social protection would be founded on institutionalized solidarity between those groups with the most resources and those most disadvantaged, and on belonging to a system of cooperation that would guarantee a basic set of rights for the entire population. Thus, the efforts made by ECLAC to place social cohesion on the agendas of the countries of Latin America are a part of this new approach to development issues, in which reducing social gaps is linked to citizen support and institutional capacities.This document provides countries with the first regional overview on social cohesion, and goes beyond the statistical data traditionally used by ECLAC. Specifically, the text provides a descriptive and comparative background for examining the progress and current status in the countries of Latin America regarding the three pillars of social cohesion: social gaps, institutional operation and citizen support (belonging).The text is organized in five sections. The first section, by means of introduction, provides a brief presentation of the social cohesion approach formulated by ECLAC, including the concept itself and a frame of reference (the pillars of cohesion). The following three sections include statistical data for the three pillars. In the section devoted to social gaps, data is presented on poverty and incomes, employment and,social protection, education, health and nutrition. Regarding institutions, the current status of the operation of democracy, the rule of law, public policies, the economy and the market are reviewed. With regard to the subjective pillar, data is presented on public opinion regarding support for democracy and confidence in institutions, perceptions of inequality, support for initiatives geared towards reducing gaps, economic expectations and ties and participation.This book is intended to provide key public-policy makers in the countries of the region -and specifically participants in the new meeting of the EU-LAC Social Cohesion Forum- with a collection of data that might serve as a foundation for social cohesion policies. As such, we hope to advance the discussion and implementation of this topic on country agendas. Alicia BárcenaExecutive SecretaryEconomic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean