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Symposium 2012

Solution for Tackling Inequality of Opportunities

The Challenge

Inequality has increased substantially in many countries in recent decades. Spectacular gains in the incomes and wealth of the richest fraction of the population often contrast with severe poverty in ...

Inequality has increased substantially in many countries in recent decades. Spectacular gains in the incomes and wealth of the richest fraction of the population often contrast with severe poverty in the same country. Inequality of outcomes often goes hand in hand with inequality of opportunities, as poor people endure various forms of social exclusion, including unequal access to education and health care, high rates of youth unemployment or precarious work and an absence of social recognition.

Publicly-funded early childhood programs should complement family and social policies that provide support for disadvantaged families.

A multidimensional approach to tackling inequalities of opportunities needs to be adopted. One-dimensional policies directed exclusively at improving the education of disadvantaged children are often ineffective at reducing inequality of opportunities. For example, better schools are of little use if the pupils remain sick and underfed. Therefore, governments should adopt more holistic approaches. Public early childhood programs should complement family support, health care and education right from the start.

In addition, people in structurally weak neighborhoods often lack role models. Helping disadvantaged people step out of their inequality trap requires increasing their aspirations and teaching them how they can practically improve their living conditions, for example, through health, housing or education.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Add quality targets to quantity targets in education and provide access to high-quality education through education vouchers for poor children and free choice of institution.

    Add quality targets to quantity targets in education and provide access to high-quality education through education vouchers for poor children and free choice of institution.

    Add quality targets to quantity targets in education and provide access to high-quality education through education vouchers for poor children and free choice of institution.

    Polity, Academia
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

    Fund social projects through Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

    Business