Social & Human Sciences – Major Programme III

The Social and Human Sciences (SHS) Sector of UNESCO has over the years prioritized a “research-policy nexus” approach, as a vehicle for influencing policies on critical social and emerging issues at the national, regional and global levels. Results that had been generated from policy research and supported by the Sector, are frequently translated into policy recommendations and policy advice to regional bodies, such as ECOWAS.

In the field of Social and Human Sciences, their activities are cross cutting and hence various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) work towards achieving the objectives of the sector.

The Sector supports issues concerning the youth, sports, women empowerment and gender equality through gender mainstreaming, child right promotion and protection, social protection/ development, combating domestic violence and human trafficking.

UNESCO through the SHS sector has engaged academia in Ghana to conduct various researches in the areas of social integration, governance, poverty reduction and gender


During the 2014 – 2017 biennium, the SHS Sector has sought out to achieve:

Main line of action 1: Mobilizing future-oriented research, knowledge and policy-making to support social transformations, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

  • Future-oriented social science and humanities research on social transformations and intercultural dialogue enhanced through the uses of sustainability science as well as fully inclusive human rights-based and gender-sensitive initiatives to strengthen national social science policy and international scientific cooperation.
  • Initiatives based on a human rights-based approach in education, culture, the sciences, communication and information developed that support social transformations for the emergence of more inclusive societies and greater intercultural dialogue.
  • Capacities of decision-makers, civil society organizations and other key stakeholders strengthened, to design and implement innovative proposals for the development of public policies in favour of social inclusion and intercultural dialogue, particularly targeting disadvantaged populations
  • Access to knowledge enhanced through the promotion of shared history and memory for reconciliation and dialogue

Main line of action 2: Empowering Member States to manage the ethical, legal, environmental and societal implications of scientific and technological challenges with a view to achieving inclusive and sustainable social development

  • Capacities of Member States strengthened to manage bioethical challenges and engage fully in debates on bioethics and on the identification of the ethical, legal and social implications of cutting-edge science, emerging technologies and their application for sustainable development.

Main line of action 3: Building policies through a participatory process with stakeholders in both the fields of youth and of sports; supporting youth development and civic engagement

  • Capacities of Member States strengthened to design and implement multi-stakeholder and inclusive public youth policies, and young women and men engaged in community building and democratic processes
  • Multi-stakeholder and inclusive public policies designed and implemented by Member States in the field of physical education, sports and anti-doping.

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