From the 17 – 21 September the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Centre for African Studies based at the School of Oriental and African Studies will hold a training session on Policy-Making To Challenge Social Exclusion, Inequality And Marginalisation. The course aims to provide policy makers and development and human rights practitioners with skills to support their work with marginalised communities. The specific objective is to create a cohort of policy makers and senior leaders within international, regional and national non-governmental organisations, policy institutes and government agencies, who are equipped with a theoretical framework and practical tools to support small and large-scale interventions to address social exclusion, marginalisation and inequalities.
This course provides a policy lens on social exclusion and marginalisation, providing a theoretical framework for understanding the process by which certain groups are systematically disadvantaged. Furthermore, the course will look at the ways in which systematic discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, caste, descent, gender non-confirmation, age, disability, HIV status, migrant status or where they live, shaped certain communities’ social prospects, access to services and ability to mobilise in defence of their rights. Because discrimination occurs in public institutions, such as the legal system or education and health services, as well as social institutions like the household, (DFID, Reducing Poverty by Tackling Social Exclusion: A DFID Policy Paper 2005:3), the course will focus on the ways in which these institutions either challenge or deepen social exclusion.
The course will use a number of innovative mechanisms to facilitate this discussion, in order to equip policy-makers and those who work to influence policy outcomes and social programmes, with the skills to better identify the drivers of social exclusion, and the mechanisms for addressing it. A particular emphasis will be on:
- A human rights frameworks for protecting the rights of marginalised people and
- Policies and programmes that seek to address the challenges of marginalised groups in a long-term and systemic manner.
- The course will use case studies from the Southern Africa region, to demonstrate policy successes and failures. Furthermore, the course will use participatory methods to ensure that participants are able to apply the theory of social exclusion in a practical and hands-on manner. The particular focus of the course will be on how social exclusion impacts on access to health, education and legal services.