Acting Upon Inequality

2:30 h

An e-course designed for experts working with SOCIEUX+, and open to everyone interested

About the course

The SOCIEUX+ e-learning Acting upon inequality aims to sensitise and empower experts mobilised by the Facility to do no harm and to contribute to reduce social and economic inequality in their actions with partner institutions. Because inequality hinders the achievement of the SDG’s. Inequality is not only unjust, it is also the root cause of poverty. Moreover, limited inequality favours social cohesion, poverty reduction, sustainable growth and conflict sensitivity and is a way to mitigate biodiversity loss and climate change. Inequality is no longer seen as a necessary stage towards development. Inequality is the result of human-made choices and can be acted upon with a clever mix of policies that are implemented progressively over time. To act upon inequality, the topic needs to be top of mind and we need to keep our focus constantly and explicitly on it when designing policies and projects. It is important to carefully design policies and projects to avoid side effects, to assess who can benefit from universal and targeted policies and to understand interactions with other policies and life-events.

Key contents

This e-learning takes about 2h30. It focuses on global inequality and inequality in partner countries of SOCIEUX+. After some introductory activities, it consists of five content sections:

  • Why acting upon inequality matters;
  • Defining inequality and related concepts;
  • Measuring inequality to assess progress;
  • Drivers of inequality;
  • Designing impactful policies.

Each of the five sections, guided by learning objectives, consists of hypothetic pathways of life courses of people that highlight some aspects of inequality, videos by renowned experts, an open assignment that helps to process information individually, and optional material for further reading. There is also the possibility to obtain a certificate. And you can get involved in the chat room and the capacity4dev group on fighting inequalities.

As SOCIEUX+ is a EU co-funded facility, which brings European expertise to countries across the world, this e-learning builds strongly on the EU reference documents on inequality published by EU International Partnerships (INTPA), with some own accents. It invites people to understand inequality as a multidimensional concept. Understanding of economic inequality is an interesting start, to complement with a human rights-based perspective and can be enriched with the capability approach (to understand how people can convert resources to better their lives). Intersectionality is an interesting lens to look at inequality too. We opted to put the focus in addition on longitudinal life courses in which events unfold and inequalities can accumulate.

Furthermore, as SOCIEUX+ is working in the field of social protection and labour market and employment issues, the section about impactful policies is oriented towards these policies. The central questions are:

  • How are opportunities and outcomes distributed?
  • Who will benefit from policies?
  • And what are the drivers behind this?

We aim to provide tools and the mindset to guide the reflection and to contribute to act upon inequality. Inequality is a sensitive topic, related to socio-cultural norms, privilege, elites and power. Therefore, decisive action is needed.


The following experts contributed to the e-learning:

  • Alessandro Batazzi, Policy Officer Inequalities INTPA, European Commission;
  • Dörte Bosse, Deputy Head of Unit Social Inclusion and Protection, Health and Demography INTPA, European Commission;
  • Teresa Cavero, Independent Consultant in International Development Policies;
  • Ana María Claver Muñoz, Lead Strategy, Knowledge and Learning Oxfam;
  • Anda David, Senior Researcher, Agence Française de Développement (AFD);
  • Prof. Tom de Herdt, Antwerp Interdisciplinary Platform for Research on Inequality, University of Antwerp;
  • Prof. Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights;
  • Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Director Equity and Social Policy at ODI and Independent Consultant;
  • Carlos Gradín, Research Fellow UNU-WIDER; Professor University of Vigo;
  • John Vandaele, Journalist for MO* and author of books on society and economics, inequality and globalisation.

We like to thank very much all contributors to the e-learning, and we hope you will enjoy it, and find it useful to guide your action.


The course is available in English, French and Spanish.


Register on the SOCIEUX+ E-learning platform to access the course.


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