Synthesis of evidence supporting an inclusive development approach

Client: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The context

The Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008–2017) highlighted the need to address social exclusion and called for more inclusive approaches to overcome poverty in its multiple dimensions. This was reiterated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030’s  commitment to ‘leave no one behind’. Inclusion is now globally recognised as an essential pre-requisite for effective aid. In the Pacific Reset programme, women’s economic empowerment and engagement of youth are the priorities.

Despite the prominence of inclusive development as a concept, ambiguity still exists around the term.Also, evidence of its overall impact on development effectiveness and the more qualitative aspects of wellbeing is sparse.

The review

Standard of Proof conducted a systematic literature review of research studies and evaluations of development interventions with an inclusive approach. We focused on reviewing the evidence on traditionally excluded groups, such as women, people with disabilities, young people, rural communities, that aligned with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s focus areas relevant to development interventions. The report provided the Ministry with a working definition of inclusive development, discussed the different reasons for considering inclusive development as a component of development activities, and collated evidence on the impact and effectiveness of this approach.

We’re pleased to have supported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in deepening their understanding of the benefits to an inclusive approach to development by synthesising the evidence behind it.