What is it?

It is a compilation of digital resources designed to strengthen, through self-learning, the capabilities of public officials to identify inequality gaps in various spheres and propose public policy strategies, especially in policy management and institutionality, that can close those inequality gaps in the countries of the region. It contains information on key international standards that, starting from a rights-based approach, would facilitate an analysis of the social inequality related problems that predominate among diverse population groups, using as its conceptual framework the inequality structural axes or determinants.

Also based on regional experiences, the toolkit incorporates resources that help in identifying social policy proposals that can reduce inequalities as well as diverse management and institutionality strategies that can put within reach of the entire population the realization of the Social Development Goals.

Developing the toolkit involved researching and analysing the realities of the countries of the region, international and regional policy and standards as well as international instruments such as the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development. That broader investigative and analytical effort is reflected in two texts that serve as the basis of the digital toolkit: "Promoting equality: the contribution of social policies in Latin America and the Caribbean”, and “Management and institutionality of social policies for equality in Latin America and the Caribbean".

It is hoped that this compilation of resources can contribute to effectively closing the inequality gaps that affect diverse population groups that inhabit the countries of the region, thereby contributing to stronger human rights guarantees and levels of social well-being.

Who are the target audience?

This toolkit is intended for use by social policymakers. Although the main target audience consists of the government officials in charge of designing, implementing and evaluating these policies, it is hoped that civil society organizations and cooperation agencies will also find these concepts and experiences helpful in identifying pertinent national and international regulatory standards and in assessing, prioritizing, designing and implementing public policies that will help to reduce social inequalities. The toolkit may also be useful for students doing research on social and economic development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.

How is it structured?

The digital toolkit is built around two central components: “Axes of Inequality” and “Management and Institutionality”. These are complemented by three resource assets that will help with navigating and searching through the diverse resources on the website: a “Repository of policies and strategies”, a “Digital library” and a “Glossary”.

The “Axes of Inequality” component, which is based on "Promoting equality: the contribution of social policies in Latin America and the Caribbean”, has 13 chapters, including an introduction to the question of inequality and a chapter on related structural and emerging challenges. The central chapters examine each of the social inequality determinants or axes (socio-economic stratum, gender, ethnic/racial identity, territory, disability, migratory status) with each chapter sharing a similar structure that includes: i) key axis concepts; ii) key international standards that frame the axis in question from a human-rights based angle; iii) an analysis of each axis that clarifies and exemplifies the types of gaps that exist in specific areas, such as income, labour and employment, social protection and care, education, health and nutrition, basic services, public safety and freedom from violence and participation and decision-making; iv) the high-priority public policies for reducing inequalities corresponding to each axis, along with relevant success stories from the countries of the region and v) the impacts on inequality caused by the Covid-19 pandemic associated with the axis in question. Each chapter also lists essential publications and online sources.


The “Management and Institutionality” component, based on "Management and institutionality of social policies for equality in Latin America and the Caribbean", has 10 chapters, including an introduction to the issues under discussion and another on challenges. The central chapters analyse eight major aspects of social policy management and institutionality (institutional framework, coherence and coordination, non-state actors, local policies, information systems, monitoring and evaluation, social protection against natural disasters and overcoming poverty), with each chapter possessing a similar structure that includes: i) key concepts; ii) an introduction to the importance of the issue; iii) fundamental characteristics of the area in question; iv) specific examples drawn from relevant experiences and v) recommendations on how to improve the corresponding management and institutionality environment, with each also accompanied by lists of essential publications, data bases and electronic resources.

The “Repository of policies and strategies” includes a structured compilation of relevant policies and strategies developed by the countries of the region listed under the “Axes of Inequality” and “Management and Institutionality” sections.

The “Digital library” contains a broad range of self-learning digital resources, as well as an extensive list of reference materials that have served in the drafting of the aforementioned core publications and contribute to the contents of this toolkit.

This self-learning instrument is complemented by a “Glossary” of germane terms, including key concepts that appear in the previously cited background papers.