Linkages between the social and production spheres: Gaps, pillars and challenges

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

During the Second Meeting of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Montevideo in October, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) presented the book “Linkages between the social and production spheres: Gaps, pillars and challenges”.

ECLAC understands equality as a strategic objective of development; operating on this premise, the book argues for the need to push forward with inclusive social development in the different dimensions defined in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

So, the document pays particular attention to the axes where the goals set by the Agenda 2030 meet; goals that are universal, integrated and indivisible, and which bring into play all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental. The text alludes to the “extended social pillar”, a concept that has echoes in the integrated and indivisible nature of Agenda 2030, in which social issues are woven into economic, environmental and institutional affairs. It is also reminiscent of SDG 17, according to which the means of implementing and bringing new momentum to the global alliance for sustainable development need to be reinforced.

The book begins by giving an overview of its content that, organized in four chapters, analyzes the obstacles facing sustainable development and the paths that lead to achieving it.

As we are told in Chapter II, one of the greatest challenges facing the region is respect for a legal framework. Similarly, poverty limits the opportunities people have and the outcomes they achieve. For these reasons, the book argues that public policy should aim to extend people’s individual empowerment and protect their vulnerabilities, emphasizing childhood, adolescence and young people: the measures adopted should consider the whole life cycle.

Chapter III looks at the dual challenge of social and labor inclusion. Collaboration and coordination between institutions in the economic-productive sphere, together with entities in the social arena is crucial for encouraging inclusive growth, reducing the different variants of inequality and overcoming poverty. This requires a minimum level of welfare, through universal access to good social services, and on the other hand, access to opportunities for decent work, with social security cover.

The book dedicates a chapter to public policies for social and economic inclusion. To work towards these, it highlights three areas that need thought; in the first place, the need to extend social and labor inclusion by concentrating on building skills; secondly, the importance of strengthening institutions by driving through appropriate public policies; and finally, the importance of making inclusive social development more feasible, from the political and fiscal perspectives, through consensus and participation.

After analyzing the key challenges facing the region in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the document sets out a series of clearly defined goals around each of the SDGs that Latin America and the Caribbean need to work hardest towards achieving.