In honor of International Day of Nonviolence on October 2, this month’s DRG Learning Digest reflects a partnership with USAID’s Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention to explore social cohesion. Social cohesion is a measure of the bonds of trust within and between groups as well as societal trust in formal and informal institutions. It provides the underpinning for a well-functioning, peaceful society by facilitating non-violent conflict resolution and helping reduce political and social tensions. It also strengthens conflict resilience by helping safeguard communities from violence when they are faced with external shocks or stresses such as climate change, economic downturns, or democratic decline. Identifying ways to foster and strengthen social cohesion should be an objective of all development assistance.
Discussed below, practitioners can help develop social cohesion in varying contexts by ensuring that their programs and activities build trust and provide opportunities for positive collaboration toward a shared goal. Importantly, research suggests that social cohesion activities are more likely to be effective when they are informed by a conflict assessment.
This edition of the DRG Learning Digest examines the following topics:
- What is social cohesion?
- How can development assistance effectively foster and strengthen social cohesion?
- Why does a conflict and violence assessment matter?