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Partner Session: Trust as a Social Capital – UNDP Perspective

Partner Session: Trust as a Social Capital – UNDP Perspective

Discussion points:

  • How do inclusive and transparent governance systems contribute to building trust in a society?
  • What are the linkages between social cohesion and resilience to crises?
  • What role can women’s organizations play in building trust?

Responsive, inclusive and resilient institutions are central to sustainable development and peaceful societies. When societies are more cohesive and channels of dialogue, cooperation and interaction are multiple and multi-layered, efforts to promote hate and highlight differences will not flourish. Thus, building social cohesion also strengthens the resilience of states and societies so that they can change and adapt to 21st century challenges.

Social cohesion – a multidimensional concept in which trust makes an essential component – is often described as a “society’s immunity to crises”. The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has considerably challenged all aspects of life as we know it, exposing governance vulnerabilities across the world. Social capital implies links that cut horizontally and vertically in a community, and its bridging quality has the potential to cut across group lines, generating a strong feeling of connectedness and cohesion.

Research shows that cohesive societies may reflect stronger citizenship norms and experience greater levels of institutionalized and responsive governance and, potentially, support for democracy and popular participation.