Perspectives on global development

International Conference on Social Cohesion and Development







Background | Plenary Session/Keynote Speeches

Parallel Sessions 

20-21 January 2011

OECD Conference Centre


Organised by the OECD Development Centre, with the financial support of Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP)




A cohesive society works towards the well-being of all its members, minimising disparities and avoiding marginalisation. It entails three major dimensions: fostering cohesion by building networks of relationships, trust and identity between different groups; fighting discrimination, exclusion and excessive inequalities; and enabling upward social mobility. While rapid growth in emerging economies has lifted millions of people out of poverty, it also has led to a growing divide between rich and poor. Many groups in society such as minorities, migrants and the elderly have been largely excluded from the benefits of growth, leaving them more vulnerable to the shocks that come with the opening up of economies. At the same time, for people living in poor and fragile states – the ‘bottom billion’ – the frustration of persisting poverty and destitution is a recipe for conflict and social unrest.


The current economic crisis has shown that it is the poor and vulnerable groups in society who are disproportionately affected by such shocks. Employment trends are particularly alarming for the youth, women and the elderly threatened by unemployment or the need to take up precarious jobs. Recent survey data also indicates that there has been a general global decline in life satisfaction and historical data show that this decline is unprecedented. These perceptions are as important for social cohesion as traditional, quantified measures such as income, poverty and inequality levels.


The International Conference on Social Cohesion and Development attempts to deepen understanding of this complex and pertinent relationship between social cohesion and development. Both plenary and parallel sessions offer ample opportunities to discuss various topics related to the conference theme such as employment, gender and migration. The programme featured keynote addresses from Richard Freeman (Harvard University), Rebeca Grynspan (UNDP), Michael Woolcock (World Bank) and Cassam Uteem (ex President of Mauritius).


Please refer to the complete agenda for more details about the conference.


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For more photos of the conference, please click here.




Plenary Sessions/Keynote Speeches

Plenary Session 1 : Social cohesion : a means or an end for development?

What Distinctive Contribution Can Social Cohesion Make to Development Theory, Research and Policy?  
Michael Woolcock (Senior Social Scientist, World Bank Development Research Group)


Plenary Session 2 : Social cohesion and labour markets

Can competitive labor markets produce social cohesion: lessons from advanced and developing countries? 
Richard Freeman (Professor of Economics, Harvard University)


Social Cohesion and Labour Markets

Ekkehard Ernst (Senior Economist, International Labour Institute)


Plenary Session 3 : Social cohesion and development policy

Advancing Human Development: Towards policies that build social cohesion

Rebeca Grynspan (Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme)


Plenary session 4 : Putting social cohesion into public policies: Why, how and who?
Strategies for integrating social cohesion in public policies

Ignacio Soleto Martín (Head of the Social Cohesion Area, FIIAPP)


The Shared Societies Project: Democratic Leadership for Dialogue, Diversity and Social Cohesion. Building a world safe for difference.

CassamAdvancing Human Development: Towards policies that build social cohesion Uteem (Former President of Mauritius, Member of the Club de Madrid)


Summing up and looking forward

Johannes Jutting (Head of Unit, Poverty Reduction and Social Development, OECD Development Centre)



Parallels sessions 

Session I.A  Measuring social cohesion I (Country-level perspectives)


Social cohesion and development: Using cross-country data to understand cohesive societies  (ppt)

Arjan de Haan (International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands), Irene van Staveren (International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands), Ellen Webbink (International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands)
Measuring and validating social cohesion: A bottom-up approach (ppt)

Sylvain Acket (CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg), Monique Borsenberger (CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg),  Paul Dickes (CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg),  Francesco Sarracino (CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg)


The Economic Rationale for Social Cohesion –The Cross-Country Evidence (ppt)

Roberto Foa (Harvard University, USA)

Measuring cross-country differences in social cohesion (ppt)

Christopher Garroway de Coninck (OECD Development Centre) and Johannes Jütting (OECD Development Centre)

Session I.B Social cohesion, macroeconomic performance and policies


Does trust favor macroeconomic stability? (ppt)

Marc Sangnier (Paris School of Economics, France)

The economic and social effects of real exchange rate - evidence from the Chinese provinces (ppt)

Ping Hua (CERDI and CNRS, France)


Shifting Wealth and the Consequences of Rising Food Prices on Social Cohesion: A Diagnosis and Policy Responses (ppt)

Andrew Mold  (OECD Development Centre)


Session I.C Trust and pro-social behaviour


Stated social behavior and revealed actions: Evidence from six Latin American countries using representative samples (ppt)

Juan Camilo Cárdenas (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia),  Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank),  Hugo Ñopo (Inter-American Development Bank)

Understanding changes in social cohesion in Bolivia (ppt)

Werner Hernani-Limarino (Fundación ARU, Bolivia), Maria Alejandra Villegas (Fundación ARU, Bolivia)

Social divisions and interpersonal transfers in India (ppt)

Thomas Bossuroy (SALDRU, University of Cape Town, South Africa),  Joel Selway (Brigham Young University, USA)


Session II.A Labour and social protection


The role of labour market and social protection in reducing inequality and eradicating poverty in Latin America (ppt)

Fabio Betranou (ILO), Roxana Maurizio (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento and CONICET, Argentina)

Public works programmes in developing countries: Reducing gendered disparities in economic opportunities? (ppt)

Rebecca Holmes (Overseas Development Institute, UK),  Nicola Jones (Overseas Development Institute, UK)


Coverage Gaps in Social Protection: What Role for Institutional Innovations? (ppt)

Juan R de Laiglesia (OECD Development Centre)


Session II.B  Conflict


Social capital and post-war reconstruction: Evidence from northern Mozambique (ppt)

Kati Schindler (German Institute for Economic Research, Germany)

Social embeddedness and conflict potential (ppt)

Nicola Nixon (UNDP), Sevinc Rende (Isik University Istanbul, Turkey),  Dorothy Rosenberg (Machka Analytica, USA)


Session II.C Territorial dimensions in social cohesion


The political economy of the distribution of public infrastructure in developing federal democracies (ppt)Lucas González (Universidad de General San Martín and Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina),  Marcelo Leiras (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina), Iganicio Mamone (UCA)

Social cohesion and social policy decentralization: Some reflections on the situation in Europe and Latin America (ppt)

Jesús Ruiz-Huerta (University Rey Juan Carlos, Spain), Juan Martín (CEPAL)


Slums as expressions of social exclusion: Explaining the prevalence of slums in African countries (ppt) 

Ben Arimah (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Kenya)


Session III.A Measuring social cohesion II (Subjective & micro data)


A decline of social cohesion in the Netherlands? Participation and trust, 1997-2010 (ppt)

Saskia te Riele (Statistics Netherlands, The Netherlands), Hans Schmeets (Statistics Netherlands and Maastricht University, The Netherlands)


Opportunity and empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do perceptions differ by income? (ppt)

Bob Tortora (Gallup, USA), Steve Crabtree (Gallup, USA). Presented by Andrew Rzepa (Gallup, USA)

Multidimensional poverty in China: Findings based on CHNS (ppt)

Jiantuo Yu (China Development Research Foundation, China)

Session III.B  Education


The political economy of pro-poor growth: Evidence from education policies in India and Brazil (ppt)

Nicole Rippin (German Development Institute and University of Göttingen, Germany), Bettina Boekle-Giuffrida (German Development Institute and Free University of Berlin, Germany)

Educational policies to reduce social inequalities in Latin America: Potential and limits. Evidence from Uruguay and Venezuela (ppt)

Stefan Peters (University of Kassel, Germany)


The effects of elite recruitment on social cohesion and economic development (ppt)

Elise S. Brezis (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)


Session III.C Migration, integration and ethnic diversity


Immigration and political stability (ppt)

Astghik Mavisakalyan (Australian National University, Australia),
Tesfaye Gebremedhin (University of Canberra, Australia)


Public good provision, diversity and distribution (ppt)

Ken Jackson (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)


The Southward Shift in International Migration: Social Challenges and Policy Implications (ppt)

David Khoudour-Castéras (OECD Development Centre),  Jason Gagnon (OECD Development Centre),  Victoire Lefebvre (OECD Development Centre)


Session IV.A Vulnerability and social cohesion


Vulnerability and cooperation: The role of social policy in the promotion of trade (ppt)

Chris Bidner (University of New South Wales, Australia),  Ken Jackson (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

Social cohesion and natural disaster loss recovery of households: Experience from Bangladesh (ppt)

M. Jahangir Alam Chowdhury (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Vulnerability to downside risk in developing countries: What can subjective probabilities tell us? (ppt)

Felix Povel (University of Göttingen, Germany)


Social exclusion of the elderly in contemporary China

Wenmeng Feng (China Development Research Foundation, China)

Session IV.B Civic and political participation


Web 2.0-enabled social cohesion (ppt)

Angela Hariche (OECD), Estelle Loiseau (OECD Development Centre)

Social cohesion, civic culture, and urban development in Russia (ppt)

Rinat Menyashev (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia) ,  Leonid Polishchuk (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

The democratic transition 1870-2000 (ppt)

Fabrice Murtin (OECD, France), Romain Wacziarg (UCLA and NBER, USA)


Session IV.C Gender dimensions in social cohesion


Levels and patterns of social cohesion and its relationship with development in India: A woman’s perspective approach (ppt)

Protap Mukherjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India),  Lopamudra Ray Saraswati (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)

What about the women? Female headship, poverty and vulnerability in Thailand and Vietnam (ppt)

Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen, Germany), Tobias Lechtenfeld (University of Göttingen, Germany), Felix Povel (University of Göttingen, Germany)

Shifting wealth, shifting gender relations? Global trends in gender inequality and the implications for social cohesion (ppt)

Karen Barnes (OECD Development Centre), Estelle Loiseau (OECD Development Centre),  Nejma Bouchama (OECD Development Centre)




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