OPHI Working Paper on Social Isolation

February 2014

One of the biggest issues for children who lose parents or live in poverty is the sense of isolation and lack of meaningful social connections. Studies show this impedes their learning, health and capacity to function successfully as members of society.

Synergos Institute works to address this challenge in Mozambique and South Africa through a partnership with Kim Samuel (a Synergos board member), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) and the Foundation for Community Development (FDC) in Mozambique. Our work is supported by the Samuel Family Foundation.

Kim Samuel, together with OPHI colleagues Diego Zavaleta and China Mills have released a working paper Social Isolation: A Conceptual and Measurement Proposal that contributes to the debate on social connectedness and its measurement by:

  • Presenting a working definition that stresses relational features in the life experience of people
  • Emphasizing the relevance of isolation for poverty analysis
  • Proposing some indicators to measure social connectedness that could be feasibly incorporated into a multi-topic household survey.

Get the paper Social Isolation: A Conceptual and Measurement Proposal.