(See also Environmental and Social Sustainability.) Social sustainability means improving responsiveness to local communities; ensuring that responses are tailored to specific country contexts; and promoting social inclusion, cohesion, and accountability. Social sustainability takes the larger worldview into consideration in relation to communities, culture, and globalization. At the project level, this entails undertaking adequate social analysis and assessment, which in turn allows for adequate identification of social opportunities, as well as adequate mitigation of social impacts and risks, including through the proper application of the Bank's social safeguard policies.
The Social Sustainability and Safeguards Cluster of the Social Development Department (SDV) aims to improve the operational dimensions of social sustainability and help task teams enhance social opportunities and mitigate social risks, including but not limited to those covered by the Bank's social safeguard policies on involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples. This effort promotes the social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups, cohesion, and accountability, which are key to empowering people and overcoming poverty.
The Bank focuses on four important areas of social sustainability:
• Supporting the development of corporate policies on social sustainability and safeguards
• Building staff skills in both broad social analysis and social safeguards through training and mentoring programs
• Providing strategic operational support to regions and Bank Group staff on the application of the principles of social sustainability and safeguards in specific sectors, countries, and institutional contexts
• Producing knowledge and practical guidelines to support social sustainability and safeguards, including social safeguard policy reviews, guidance notes, toolkits, and case studies