The 2011 uprisings have affected the entire Arab region politically, economically and socially. Political instability and conflict have since then replaced optimism and hope, and calls for social inclusion, economic reform and increased social justice were in some cases silenced. Governments in the region now face considerable challenges on many levels; however, embarking on the needed social reforms should remain a priority. There are still opportunities to reshape and guide future social policy trajectories in Arab countries in order to ensure that development and growth become inclusive and sustainable.
This report lays out a concept of inclusive social development. It reviews the current status in the areas of employment, social protection, access to health care, education and housing services in the Arab region. It also looks into the interconnections between policy domains and suggests ways to mainstream social inclusion across government policies. The report does not aim to provide a comprehensive inventory, but rather looks at key issues on the basis of selected country examples.