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Fostering Social Cohesion: The Role of Social Networks in HDP Coherence

Group of women pounding grain
Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi / Save the Children
8:00am - 10:00am ET

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In this session, participants came together to discuss social networks as a dimension of social cohesion and how understanding, supporting, and strengthening social networks contributes to HDP coherence.

First, participants learned from Nile Hope in South Sudan and the ViMPlus activity (ACDI/VOCA) in Burkina Faso about how they are leveraging social networks in their context. Then, CARE and REAL discussed their recent research on informal social protection networks in Yemen and how households are relying on their social networks to cope and survive the protracted crisis.

Participants were invited to share their own examples of how social networks are considered as an element in fostering social cohesion in humanitarian and development assistance. Learn more about the speakers below. 

This event was part of the thematic area: Advancing Locally Led HDP Coherence.

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Lightning Talk Presenter Bios


Edouard BoenaEdouard Boena is a Social Cohesion and Accountability Specialist for the ViMPlus activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA in the Centre-Nord region of Burkina Faso. He is a local and rural development practitioner with expertise in decentralization, governance, food security, and community resilience. Edouard served as Program Manager in Governance at the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel-Résilience Renforcée (REGIS-ER/USAID) project in Burkina Faso, and has over 18 years of experience in development and humanitarian projects developing tools, mechanisms, and strategies. Edouard holds a Masters degree in Geography from the Joseph KI-ZERBO University of Ouagadougou, where he is currently a doctoral student.

Simon BuonySimon Buony is the Program Director for Nile Hope. He holds a Master’s degree in Humanitarian and Conflict Migration and a Bachelor's degree in Development Studies, and a Bachelor's degree in Education. Prior to his current position at Nile Hope, Simon was Operations Manager and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager.

Speaker Bios

Jeeyon Kim profile pictureDr. Jeeyon Kim is the Senior Researcher for Resilience at Mercy Corps, where she leads research related to resilience in fragile contexts in close collaboration with academic partners, practitioners, and policy and advocacy team members. Her recent research focuses on informal support networks and linkages to resilience in South Sudan and Yemen, women’s groups and psychosocial factors, and intentional sequencing, layering, and integration in resilience programming.

Charlotte Heales PictureDr. Charlotte Heales is the Head of Programme Quality at CARE International UK. Charlotte has a background in financial inclusion research, including on savings groups and their effect on economic justice. Charlotte’s recent work focuses on working with teams to trial and validate new models for supporting effective and accountable humanitarian response. This includes work on the VSLA in Emergencies approach and Women Lead in Emergencies.