Social Development Direct (SDDirect) is the UK’s leading firm of social development assistance and research experts. They offer high quality support and advice to leading international development agencies including the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the UN and iNGOs. Social inclusion and gender equality are at the heart of everything they do.
Working with major development agencies in countries across the world, they are able to have a tangible, life-changing impact on the lives and well-being of vulnerable people. This includes poor people, women and girls, children and youth, people with disabilities, sexual minorities, migrants and refugees, the aged and other marginalised groups. They have experience working on these issues in a wide range of countries and settings, including fragile states and post-conflict countries.
They work collaboratively with diverse partners and stakeholders – from governments (national, regional and local) to civil society organisations (CSOs), research institutions, and private sector players.
Their efforts are focused on transformative change to improve the life prospects of poor and marginalised people and to combat discrimination and social exclusion on the basis of gender, sexuality, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, faith or political beliefs. They work to ensure that men, women and children affected by poverty and social exclusion are empowered to build the resources, assets, and capabilities required to determine their own development. They aim to strengthen a culture of active citizenship in which people are able to exercise both rights and responsibilities and to hold government and other duty bearers accountable for delivery of public goods like water, sanitation, health, education, economic opportunity, food security, access to justice, social protection and democratic participation.
Social and Political Analysis
SDDirect uses social and political analysis to understand the norms and institutions that structure relations and processes within society. By systematically gathering information on social groups, social relations and institutions, they are able to analyze power relations between them and to understand the barriers which some groups face in accessing resources and opportunities.
Social and Political Research
Social research is concerned with measuring and analyzing social structures, attitudes, norms and behaviors and the factors that motivate and constrain individuals and groups in society.
Programme and Project Design
SDDirect consultants take a lead on developing projects and programmes with a strong social development focus, such as reducing risk and vulnerability, tackling social exclusion, designing social protection measures, promoting gender equality and working with civil society.
At the core of SDDirect's development practice is their work to inform policy in order to improve the ways in which the social and political dimensions of development are understood and addressed.
Monitoring and Evaluation
SDDirect's approach emphasizes the importance of high quality social and political analysis in monitoring and evaluating the contribution of development interventions to poverty reduction and their impacts on different social and economic groups.
Working with Civil Society
SDDirect uses the term civil society for a wide range of collective actions around common goals and interests. In their social, economic and political actions, people often choose to be represented by civil society organizations (CSOs). There are many categories of CSOs - for example, trade unions, media organizations, academic institutions, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and women's organisations. The most usual interpretation of the term CSO is non-governmental organisation (NGO), either national (NNGO) or international (INGO).
Strengthening the social development capacity of organizations working in the area of poverty reduction in the UK and internationally, equipping them to design and deliver effective policy and services to reduce poverty and inequality, is a cornerstone of successful, sustainable development.
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