Social Development focuses on the need to “put people first” in development processes. Poverty is more than low income – it is also about vulnerability, exclusion, unaccountable institutions, powerlessness, and exposure to violence. Social Development promotes Social inclusion of the poor and vulnerable by empowering people, building cohesive and resilient societies, and making institutions accessible and accountable to citizens.
Working with governments, communities, civil society, the private sector, and the marginalized, including persons with disabilities and Indigenous Peoples, Social Development translates the complex relationship between societies and states into operations. Empirical evidence and operational experience show that Social Development promotes economic growth and leads to better interventions and a higher quality of life.
What is social development?
Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. The success of society is linked to the well-being of each and every citizen.
Social development means investing in people. It requires the removal of
barriers so that all citizens can journey toward their dreams with confidence
and dignity. It is about refusing to accept that people who live in poverty
will always be poor. It is about helping people so they can move forward on
their path to self-sufficiency.
Every New Brunswick must have the opportunity to grow, develop their own skills and contribute to their families and communities in a meaningful way. If they are healthy, well-educated and trained to enter the workforce and are able to make a decent wage they are better equipped to meet their basic needs and be successful. Their families will also do well and the whole of society will benefit.
Learning must start early in life. By investing in early learning initiatives, we can ensure a greater degree of success amongst our citizens. Making sure that children get a good start in their education goes a long way to increasing their success later in life.
An affordable, high quality child care system is also needed for society to succeed. When people know that their children are being well taken care of, they can be more productive in their jobs. When employers have good employees, their business is more likely to succeed. When businesses succeed, the economic situation of a community is improved. An investment today in good child care programs can provide many long-term economic benefits for society.
In addition, a safe affordable place to live is very important in helping people achieve self-sufficiency. It is the focus of family life; where families can live safely, nurture their children, build community relationships and care for aging parents. Without a decent place to live, it is difficult to function as a productive member of society.
Other investments in people that contribute to the economic prosperity of society include youth programs and services, post-secondary education, job creation, promotion of healthy, active living and safe and secure communities
To reduce poverty, we need to take a social development approach and invest in our people. By investing in people, we can reduce poverty. We need to go beyond looking at government to find ways to develop our most valuable resources, our people. We need to share responsibility with community organizations, businesses, universities and municipalities in the task of improving the well-being of all New Bruns wickers and preventing and reducing poverty.