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May 01 , 2010

Delivering Services In Multicultural Societies


The last twenty years has witnessed a growing recognition of the importance of considering cultural and ethnic diversity in the design and implementation of development programs. The increasing cultural diversity of societies throughout the world and the important role of culture in identity formation in a global society create a major challenge for national and local governments in ensuring social cohesion and inclusion. This book reviews recent approaches in taking into account cultural diversity in delivery of basic services. It first discusses the idea that supporting cultural diversity can help achieve social inclusion and social cohesion. It provides an outlook on the debate on multiculturalism from various perspectives and discusses the benefits and risks of policies supporting cultural diversity. The book then examines policies and programs supporting cultural diversity in the delivery of basic services: education, health care, customary law, traditional governance systems, and cultural services. For each of these services the book reviews the main challenges and describes best practices. Finally the book attempts a synthesis of what has been learned from the experience of taking cultural diversity into account in delivery of services.
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