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WEF announce policy initiative on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion

Tue, Jan 31st, 2017

Against a background of an emerging consensus on the need for a more socially inclusive approach to generating economic growth the World Economic Forum have responded to this challenge with the release of a far reaching Inclusive Growth and Development Report. The report consists of a policy framework and benchmarking data with national performance indicators. Together, the policy framework and benchmarking data are intended to provide countries with the practical tools needed to help turn the ambition of inclusive growth into a practical and measurable plans of action.

The Report presents a policy framework encompassing seven principal domains (pillars) (see Figure)


and 15 sub-domains (sub-pillars) which describe the spectrum of structural factors that particularly influence the breadth of social participation in the process and benefits of economic growth. WEF argue that there is no single ideal policy mix for the pursuit of inclusive growth. “It is most important to view the entire spectrum of the Framework as an integrated system”

A range of national policy implications are highlighted including a number with clear national HRD implications.

  • A robust inclusive-growth strategy is both pro-labour and pro-business, an agenda to boost both social inclusion and economic efficiency through a stronger focus on institutions.
  • Countries seeking to keep pace with the labour-market challenges accompanying the Fourth Industrial Revolution should set a discrete national investment target and public-private implementation strategy across the following five areas of human capital formation:

            1) Active labour-market policies

            2) Equity of access to quality basic education

            3) Gender parity

            4) Non-standard work benefits and protections

            5) Effective school-to-work transition

Data indicates that few, if any, of even the most advanced economies are well positioned for the change that is coming. A universal basic income is no substitute for these five crucial institutional underpinnings of a well-functioning labour market. It may serve as a useful complement at some point, but countries seeking to prepare their workforces for the Fourth= Industrial Revolution would do well to invest in and level up performance across these areas. Here again, a systemic rather than silver-bullet approach is likely to be most effective.


Top performers on the Inclusive Development Index include Norway, Luxembourg and Iceland. Amongst Developing Countries Lesotho, Nepal, Georgia and Mongolia are identified as most improved over a five-year period.


The full report can be downloaded at