What are social andeconomic inclusion?
Inclusion is a term that is familiar to most peoplein their everyday lives. We feel included, orexcluded, from family, neighbourhood, or communityactivities. Inclusion and exclusion have also beenrecognized as social issues in Europe since the1970s, where it has become a central feature of public policies.
In Atlantic Canada, social andeconomic exclusion and inclusion have recentlybecome the focus of attention among those whoare concerned about poverty and its many negativeeffects on people:Those who are excluded, whether because of poverty, ill health, gender, race or lack of edu-cation, do not have the opportunity for full participation in the economic and social benefitsof society.
What is an inclusion lens?
A lens is an aid to improve vision. It can alsoprovide a new way to look at the root causes of oldproblems, like poverty, discrimination, disadvantage,and disability. The term “Inclusion Lens” used hereis a shorthand way of looking at social and eco-nomic exclusion and inclusion. The Inclusion Lensis a tool for analyzing
legislation, policies, programs,
to determine whether they promotethe social and economic inclusion of individuals,families, and communities. It will open up mindsto new ways of thinking and open doors to newsolutions for old problems. Ultimately, it providesa new way to encourage change that will trans-form society.The Inclusion Lens is designed for use by policymakers, program managers, and community leaderswho work in the context of social and economicexclusion, in both the public and non-profit
It will also be a tool for activists insocial movements, such as women and peoplewith disabilities, and community developersworking toward healthy, sustainable communities.It provides a method for analyzing both the con-ditions of exclusion and solutions that promoteinclusion. It also provides a way of beginning to
Why is such a tool needed?
Social and economic exclusion and inclusion haveemerged as new ways of understanding povertyand disadvantage, and their impact on healthand well-being, by creating a shared understand-ing across sectors and
as the basisfor action. One of the overarching objectives of the Population and Public Health Branch, AtlanticRegional Office, Health Canada, is to influencethe development of healthy public policies andprograms which address the determinants of health and which promote social and economicinclusion. (See Appendix 2 for more informationabout the determinants of health.)
to promote social and economic inclu-sion call for actions that respond to individual,family, community, and societal concerns.Complex problems require complex solutions.Action is required from many sectors of societyto address the
nature of exclusion.Policy makers need tools and methods to createpublic policies that are inclusive. These toolshelp them translate the
of social andeconomic exclusion and inclusion into concreteterms that can then be fed into the public policydevelopment process.The Inclusion Lens provides a way to begin thedialogue with excluded groups, raise awarenessabout how exclusion works, and identify steps tomove toward policies, programs, and practicesthat will be inclusive.
An Inclusion Lens
Workbook for Looking at Social and Economic Exclusion and Inclusion