Research Papers I-W

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Social Capital Initiative
A growing body of evidence indicates that the size and density of social networks and institutions, and the nature of interpersonal interactions, significantly affect the efficiency and sustainability of development programs. Yet the exact channels through which this "social capital" impacts developmental outcomes have only begun to be explored, and the lessons to be drawn from these observations for program design and implementation remain to be formulated.
Social Capital
ISUMA, Canadian Journal of Policy Research, vol. 2, no. 1, Spring 2001
Various articles such as: The Place of Social Capital in Understanding Social and Economic Outcomes - M. Woolcock The Complementary Roles of Human and Social Capital - T. Schuller The Contribution of Human and Social Capital - S. Côté
Long Live Community: Social Capital as Public Health
Kawachi, I.
Americans now understand that their health is at risk if they smoke, overeat, and fail to exercise. But a growing body of evidence suggests that public health also depends on a less widely understood influence—social cohesion. And while many Americans have stopped smoking, gone on diets, and put on jogging shoes, American society has become, if anything, less cohesive.
Role of Group Learning in Building Social Capital
Kilpatrick, S., Bell, R. and Falk, I.
The Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia is investigating the elements of social capital and developing a set of indicators that show that social capital is building. The indicators can be used where groups or organisations with a shared purpose engage in productive interactions which benefit not only the individual member groups but the ‘learning community’ as a whole. The intention is that the indicators will be applicable to geographic communities, professional or common interest communities, such as professional associations, and groups of businesses such as Executive LinkTM, the subject of this paper.
Policies to Enhance Sustainable Development
OECD (2001).
A range of government agencies, international organisations and groups in civil society are actively promoting the sustainable development agenda. What the OECD brings to these efforts are its economic perspective to these issues and its multidisciplinary expertise. Implementing policies in practice that promote sustainable development requires the strong involvement of both economic and other policy communities, as well as ongoing efforts to build bridges among these communities.
Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology
Portes, A.
This paper reviews the origins and definitions of social capital in the writings of Bourdieu, Loury, and Coleman, among other authors. It distinguishes four sources of social capital and examines their dynamics. Applications of the concept in the sociological literature emphasize its role in social control, in family support, and in benefits mediated by extrafamilial networks. I provide examples of each of these positive functions. Negative consequences of the same processes also deserve attention for a balanced picture of the forces at play.
Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
Putnam, R.
What does "social capital" mean? The central premise of social capital is that social networks have value. Social capital refers to the collective value of all "social networks" [who people know] and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other ["norms of reciprocity"]. How does social capital work? The term social capital emphasizes not just warm and cuddly feelings, but a wide variety of quite specific benefits that flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. Social capital creates value for the people who are connected and - at least sometimes - for bystanders as well.
The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life
Putnam, R.
Failure to cooperate for mutual benefit does not necessarily signal ignorance or irrationality or even malevolence, as philosophers since Hobbes have underscored. Hume's farmers were not dumb, or crazy, or evil; they were trapped. Social scientists have lately analyzed this fundamental predicament in a variety of guises: the tragedy of the commons; the logic of collective action; public goods; the prisoners' dilemma. In all these situations, as in Hume's rustic anecdote, everyone would be better off if everyone could cooperate. In the absence of coordination and credible mutual commitment, however, everyone defects, ruefully but rationally, confirming one another's melancholy expectations.
Friends in High Places? An Overview of Social Capital
Woolcock, M.
Social capital can be split into three connecting strands: bonding social capital (strong ties between immediate family members, neighbours, close friends, and business associates sharing similar demographic characteristics); bridging social capital (weaker ties between people from different ethnic, geographical, and occupational backgrounds but with similar economic status and political influence); linking social capital (ties between poor people and those in positions of influence in formal organisations such as banks, agricultural extension offices, schools, housing authorities, or the police).
Social Capital for Development
World Bank
Social capital refers to the norms and networks that enable collective action. Increasing evidence shows that social cohesion — social capital — is critical for poverty alleviation and sustainable human and economic development. This website is the World Bank’s link with external partners, researchers, institutions, governments and others interested in understanding and applying social capital for sustainable social and economic development.