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Social capital and civil society


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A paper documenting the core concepts of social capital and its economic and political functions. It traces the origins of social capital and suggests how it can be cultivated. It explores core concepts, but uses academic and sometimes complex words to describe them

Social capital and poverty

November 1998

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This paper attempts to "map" the idea of social capital, which relates different types of evidence and theories originating from different disciplines. After an introduction, it attempts to define social capital from basic economic theory, answering the questions 'what is social about it?' and 'what makes it capital?'. Section 3 extends the theoretical analysis by answering the question 'how does it work?'. It thus disaggregates social capital according to the types of social interaction which form it, the way they form it, and how it raises incomes. Section 4 discusses "endoginising" social capital, and Section 5 distinguishes social capital generated by civil society and that supplied by government. It then turns to the measurement and empirical application of the analytic concepts, at the micro-level of household and firm studies (Section 6), and at the aggregate level of regressions on internationally comparable data (Section 7). The final three sections turn to policy. Section 8 discusses examples of when social capital can be damaging. Section 9 considers how policy should respond to the more usual case of when civil social capital is useful but under-provided. Section 10 focuses on the implications for poverty

Social capital : the missing link?

GROOTAERT, Christiaan

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This paper describes social capital as the missing link in the understanding of growth and development, which has traditionally been analysed in terms of physical, natural and human capital. It also discusses the definition, monitoring and measurement of social capital, and ends with a list of suggestions for donors seeking to incorporate these ideas in their work

Implementing Agenda 21 : NGO experiences from around the world

CRUZ, Adrienne

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A collection of essays on issues arising, and experiences around, attempts to implement Agenda 21, which was adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. Challenges and progress are discussed in broad terms, followed by a series of case studies. The commitment of civil society to achieving the goals of Agenda 21, inspite of social, institutional and political context, the changing role of the United Nations, and financial constraints, is documented.

Millennium Development Goals


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UN-NGLS website providing basic information about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as information on the UN's action, civil society's action, country/regional action, and links to handbooks about the MDGs and educational resources. There are also links to other MDG related websites and listservs

Social Capital Gateway : resources for the study of social capital


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This website contains useful resources for researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners interested in social interactions and social capital. Resources are organised by topics, including: social capital and the economy, social capital in developed countries, social capital in low-income countries, social capital and institutions, social capital and transition, social capital and well-being. Includes directories on specialised websites, digital libraries, and social scientists interested in social capital

Development gateway


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The Development Gateway portal provides a space for communities to share experiences on development efforts. The portal supports the Development Gateway Foundation's knowledge-sharing efforts through services such as an online directory for information on development projects (AiDA), an electronic procurement market (dgMarket), information on major development topics (Topic Pages), and links to a growing network of country-level initiatives (Country Gateways). By offering users virtual interactive communities centered on development issues, the portal's Topic Pages encourage knowledge-sharing and help improve collaboration among development practitioners. Expert guides and global topic advisors work with their communities to highlight the most relevant and useful resources available on the Internet. The topic pages enable you to share knowledge and locate resources on a variety of development topics; build a community of experience around development topics through individual member contributions; receive free email alerts and newsletters; and make connections with thousands of registered users

AFRO barometer : a comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets and civil society in Africa

Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)
Center for Democracy and Development, (CDD-Ghana)
Michigan State University (MSU)

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Afrobarometer is a state-of-the-art research survey that measures the social, political and economic atmosphere in Africa. Afrobarometer surveys are conducted in more than a dozen countries. Because there are a standard set of questions, countries can be systematically compared and, ultimately, trends in public attitudes can be tracked over time. Each survey collects data about individual attitudes and behavior. Surveys have been done on democracy, governance, livelihoods, macro-economics and markets, social capital, crime, participation and national identity


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The purpose of this website is to monitor the development of human rights, rule of law standards, and policies in EU countries and those applying for membership. The work here includes: encouraging regular and comprehensive independent monitoring; contributing to improving standards and policies; and promoting active engagement of civil society. This work would be useful for anyone with an interest in human rights and policy development across Europe

SciDev.Net : Science and development network

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This website offers policymakers, researchers, the media and civil society information and a platform to explore how science and technology can reduce poverty, improve health and raise standards of living around the world. SciDev.Net also builds developing countries’ capacity for communicating science and technology through regional networks of committed individuals and organisations, practical guidance and specialist workshops

HLP on the post-2015 development agenda


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This website features information about a High Level Panel (HLP) formed by 27 eminent persons from 27 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The HLP is mandated to focus on the global development framework beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, in order to address causes of poverty, resilience to crisis, dimensions of economic growth, social equality and environmental sustainability. This website presents information about the panel members and secretariat, practical information related to the Panel’s processes and outreach, meeting communiques and links to information about Beyond 2015 initiatives. This website is useful to anyone interested in the Beyond 2015 process

Towards financial self-reliance : a handbook on resource mobilisation for civil society organisations in the south : introduction


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The resource provides the introductory chapter of a "manual for the use of trainers of facilitators who want to manage a four-day course in ‘Resource Mobilization for Civil Society Organizations in the South’. This Manual provides the core text of the handbook, plus suggestions for how each section of the course can be presented. It contains the hard copy to be made into overheads to assist the facilitator in his/her work. It also contains copies of all the handouts ready for photocopying. Finally, it provides suggestions for the exercises to be used in the course”

Young power in social action (YPSA)


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YPSA is a voluntary, non-profit, social development organization registered with a number of different departments of Bangladesh Government, focusing on youth participation in development programmes. It envisions a society without poverty where everyone’s basic needs and rights are ensured. YPSA exists to participate with the poor and vulnerable population with all commitment to bring about their own and society’s sustainable development. The website contains a number of reports and publications, as well as details on the various YPSA projects, the focus of which range from health to human rights to economic development



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The African Network for Evidence-to-Action on Disability (AfriNEAD) facilitates networking among researchers, persons with disability, government representatives, business and civil society within the African region as well as with international communities to ensure that research contributes to a better quality of life for people with disabilities in Africa. This website contains information about its network, symposia, discussions, research and resources. Links are also provided to archives and related websites