The overall goal of the Social and Human Development Directorate of the SADC Secretariat is to contribute to the reduction of human poverty and improve the availability of efficient human resources for the promotion of the regions’ economic growth, deeper integration and its competitiveness in the global economy.
Human and social development is accorded priority by SADC Member States in view of its crucial role as a factor and as a broad measure of development. It also has an important role to play in consolidating the historical, social and cultural ties and affinities of the peoples of the region
The Social and Human Development Directorate is within the portfolio of the Deputy Executive Secretary: Regional Integration.
As one of the core areas of integration within the SADC Secretariat, the Social and Human Development Directorate is mandated to ensure the availability of educated, skilled, healthy, productive human resources required for promoting investment, efficiency and competitiveness of the region in the global economy as well as improving the quality of lives of the region's population.
To deliver on the above goal, the Directorate of Social and Human Development has the following areas of responsibility:
- Education and Skills Development – includes the access to quality education and training. The aim is to increase availability of educated and skilled human resources within the region to contribute to poverty alleviation and regional integration.
- Employment and Labour – promoting demand for labour and labour absorption in the regional economy through fostering decent work (employment, social protection, social dialogue, labour standards) and establishment of labour market information systems.
- Health and Pharmaceuticals - focuses on attaining an acceptable standard of health for all SADC citizens. Implementing the SADC protocol on health and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
- HIV and AIDS - aims to significantly reduce the number of people living with HIV and AIDS in the region. Through the implementation of the HIV and AIDS Strategic framework, attempt to reduce the impact of the virus.
- Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth – ensures that the needs of vulnerable, children, orphans and youth are integrated into SADC sector specific activities and programmes.
- Science, Technology and Innovation – use Science and technology to drive sustainable social and economic development.
In line with the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), the main functions of the Social Human Development Directorate are:
- Development, promotion and harmonisation of human resources development, education, skills development and training policies, strategies and programmes.
- Development, promotion and harmonisation of policies towards social welfare for the vulnerable groups.
- Development, promotion and harmonisation of health care policies and standards.
- Coordination and development of policies to effectively combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic and all other communicable and non-communicable diseases.
- Promotion of employment creation and efficient human resources utilisation and development of active labour market legislation, employment policies and labour standards, which facilitate efficient and effective labour relations at the workplace.
- Coordination and monitoring implementation of Special Programmes such as the Programme on OVCY.
- Development and promotion of policies and programmes to ensure sustainable human development;
- Development, promotion and harmonisation of policies and gender development strategies and programmes.
- The SADC Protocol on Health
- The Maseru Declaration on HIV and AIDS
- The SADC Protocol on Science and Technology
- The SADC Protocol on Education and Training