Contemporary challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean: perspectives from the social sciences

When, local time: 
Thursday, 15 December 2016 -
9:30am to 12:30pm
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
John Crowley,

UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Programme will organize two panel discussions in the context of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme. The first panel will focus on “Challenges of education in Latin America today” and the second panel will address “The World Social Science Report 2016 and Latin America”. These panel discussions will take place throughout the morning of 15 December 2016 in UNESCO Headquarters.

One main contemporary challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean consists in advancing the development of inclusive education systems in the region. Social inclusion, one of the top priorities of MOST, requires multidisciplinary thinking, intersectoral coordination and partnerships with regional networks. Developing an education agenda that is truly inclusive will be strategic. The Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), the largest social science network in the region –encompassing more than 600 institutions in 57 countries in 5 continents- is an active partner of UNESCO in the promotion of knowledge for inclusive policies and practices.

Building on World Social Science Report 2016, the second panel will discuss inequalities in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WSSR -- with contributions from more than 100 experts -- was overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee which included the Nobel-Prize laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz. The report is co-published by UNESCO and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) in Paris in cooperation with the UK-based Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex.

The 2016 WSSR looks at seven dimensions of inequalities and at how they, often progressively, interact to shape people’s lives. The Report shows how inequalities cannot and should not understood only in terms of income and wealth. To be fit for purpose, analysis and action should tackle inequalities in their entirety – i.e., through their economic, political, social, cultural, spatial, knowledge-based, and environmental axes.