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This content is taken from the UNESCO & UNESCO MOST Programme's online course, Inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Research, Policy and Management for Social Transformations. Join the course to learn more.

Course content and design

This course has been conceived by UNESCO’s MOST Programme (Management of Social Transformations), as an initiative of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences for Latin America and the Caribbean. Various universities, academic councils, think-tanks, government bodies and international organizations are involved.

This course is intended as a contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 10: reduce inequalities in and among countries, as well as Goal 16: promote peaceful and inclusive societies, and provide access to justice for all. Furthermore, it is interested in including contributions to attain Goal 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Its aims are:

• To contribute to strengthening the nexus between research and public policies, with emphasis on policies to struggle against inequality, providing an overview of their challenges and prospects.

• To identify tools, strategies and practices that enable knowledge and research to be placed at the service of public policies aimed at lessening inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean.

• To identify research and public policy challenges and opportunities to help lessen inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The four-week course will cover the following issues:

Week 1 - Knowledge, policies and management. What do we do with what we know and with what we do not know? Do we fully realize the inequalities existing in Latin America and the Caribbean? Are we really producing the knowledge necessary for this day and age? What knowledge do decision-makers need?

Week 2 – The dimension of inequality. Have the questions changed in the 21st century? What is inequality? Why are we the most unequal region in the world? Is struggling against poverty enough to lessen inequality? Is sustainable development possible if inequality exists?

Week 3 - Knowledge management for policies. Sources, means and strategies to face inequality. We assess policies, but do we assess equity? What role does civil society play in having an impact along the path of decision? How do we communicate to different audiences? Communication and action networks.

Week 4 – Transformation routes against inequality. Towards new knowledge and public action architectures. What is the importance of information systems in social policies? Research-action approaches for social transformation. The axiological approach in policies. Key messages in the pending agenda.

The following may be found each week:

  • Theoretical-methodological contents.

  • Presentation of international reports and studies

  • Institutional findings.

  • Practical cases.

  • Stakeholders’ voices (experts, policy-makers, public managers, activists, communicators, social networks).

  • Debating communities (forums).

  • Shared preparation activities.

Furthermore, there are spaces for comments in each activity where participants can insert reflections, testimonials and establish horizontal communication with other participants and with the course lecturers. We hope that this will build up a true community in dialogue and crossing learning.

At the end of each week, a repository of information resources, bibliographic and web reference links will be provided. For this item we are grateful for the contributions made by ECLAC, CLACSO, IDRC, SEGIB, PNUD, FLACSO, among other important bodies.

We hope that this course will really foster reflection, debate and exchanges. We encourage social learning emerging from forums and shared activities. Opportunities for each person to offer impressions, opinions and arguments are multiple and are permanently available.

Thematic communities may also be generated here, interested in delving deeper into some particular issue. In all these opportunities, we aspire to forge a community that is respectful of other people’s ideas, that is honest in its positions, with debate on the arguments and the greatest respect for others, be they participants or lecturers.

It is expected that the participants in the course, in this FutureLearn Platform, will behave in an appropriate manner. The Platform itself contains a Code of Conduct, available in English and open to consultation.

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This article is from the free online course:

Inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Research, Policy and Management for Social Transformations