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SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK: A NEW VISION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE OECS. REPORT PREPARED BY PROF. CLIVE Y. THOMAS Institute of Development Studies University of Guyana January 2001. The CY Report. The main objective:

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SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK: A NEW VISION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE OECS


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    1. SOCIAL POLICY FRAMEWORK: A NEW VISION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE OECS REPORT PREPARED BY PROF. CLIVE Y. THOMAS Institute of Development Studies University of Guyana January 2001

    2. The CY Report The main objective: • Prepare a social policy framework document as a blueprint for national social policies in the OECS.

    3. The CY Report Subsidiary objectives: • Undertake a background analysis of the current social and economic situation; • Provide a justification for social policy; • Suggest An indicator of overall policy goals and objectives; and • Recommend programme initiatives and institutional arrangements.

    4. This Review • Seeks to present the central components of Prof. Thomas’s Framework • The Key concepts underpinning the framework • Will not present the economic or social analysis which is presented in the study; but • Seeks to open the Dialogue around the institutionalization of a Social Policy Framework which Prof. Thomas suggested

    5. Key Findings • The absence of a conceptual framework, grounded in the reality and aspirations of the region, and linked as well to the evolving global norms and practices, is, perhaps, one of the most important deficiencies of social policy in the region.

    6. Methodology and Structure of the CY Thomas Report Methodology: A Qualitative Study entailing • An extensive review of relevant literature; and • In-depth interviews with key stakeholders from the OECS Secretariat, member countries and regional personnel working on OECS issues

    7. Structure and Methodology ..cont’d Structure: • Introduction • Review of : • economic performance and outcomes; • Social performance and outcomes; • Assessment of the international environment and social policy; • Elaboration of the framework for social policy design, implementation and monitoring in the OECS; and • A recommended modality for taking the report forward.

    8. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SOCIAL POLICY:based on ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND STRUCTURE

    9. Five considerations, which justify the construction of a social policy framework: • Economic growth is a necessary, though not a sufficient condition for social development; • Growth has been below the estimate of 6 percent per year real growth indicated by ECLAC as required to bridge the social and technological gaps in Latin America-Caribbean region;

    10. Basic Considerations … cont’d • The particular configuration of the regional economies leaves them vulnerable to exogenous shocks, both external and internal, even in periods of high growth. The need therefore, for social protection policies to deal with interruptions even in the context of high economic growth remains urgent; • The region's economic structure has embedded in it a number of systemic constraints, limitations, and weaknesses; and

    11. Basic Considerations … cont’d • The prospects of OECS growth depend upon: • (a) further diversification, (b) continued FDI inflows, (c) international competitiveness, (d) political and social stability, and (e) the performance of the global economy.

    12. Key systemic constraint and limitation in the OECS, • The SIGNIFICANT VULNERABILITY of the OECS. • Based on the combination of small size, economic openness, the degree of diversification of the economy, levels of income, and exposure to natural disasters

    13. Major External & Internal Pressures on the OECS Social Welfare System External: • Donors & Inter-governmental • Change of vision to suit donors’ perspectives. • Increased role of international obligations, standards and norms • Globalisation • Economic uncertainty Internal: • Demographic changes

    14. Different Pressures • Ideological pressures; • Pressures created by the fact that the upper middle classes are tending to withdraw from participation in the state system of social welfare provisioning; • Labour market changes and their impact on education, training, unemployment, and the nature of the work process; and • The disincentive effects of welfare provisioning.

    15. Major Implications for Social Policy • The view of social policy and social spending as an investment in people and institutions (social capital) and therefore productivity enhancing, has gained only limited acceptance throughout the region; • There is manifestly insufficient coordination between social institutions, even at the level of central government; • The central role of the worker or the “core-bread winner” in social policy formulation is not adequately recognized;

    16. Major Implications … cont’d • Institutions across all the domains remain severely deficient in their capacity, flexibility, and adaptability; • The legal basis for a modern social service delivery system is not there; • The importance of social relationships and shared values as resources for effective social action is not sufficiently recognized; • Since the 1970s, redistributive policies have receded into the background of public discourse; and

    17. Major Implications … cont’d • The region’s institutional approach to social services delivery and the reality of the poverty of particular communities

    18. Needs Based & Rights Based • A rights-based approach prioritizes individuals, households and communities as active agents with claims to resources to promote their own development. It is • participatory and partnership oriented; and • recognizes all rights, including economic, cultural and social. • the needs-based approach can potentially establish top-down command and control mechanisms to ensure their provision.

    19. International “good-practice” • First, it reveals the experience to date from learning-by-doing as interpreted by the donor countries and translated into policy support for the region; and • Second, it sets the norms and standards against which the framework recommended in this report can be measured.

    20. Social Policy: A Conceptual Framework for the OECS • A major challenge to the promotion of sustainable human development in the OECS is the absence of a coherent and well-articulated framework to shape the evolution of social policy; and • Policy interventions will be largely ah hoc and reactive to the unfolding domestic and external situations.

    21. Construct of a conceptual framework for Social Policy in the region Eight concrete steps are required: • Step 1: provide a workable definition/description of social policy as it applies to the OECS. • Step 2: present a clear delineation of the philosophical premises on which the definition/description of social policy rests. • Step 3: state the overall objective of the social framework.

    22. Construct of a … cont’d • Step 4: identify the main strategic objectives, which follow from the overall objective. • Step 5: indicate the main areas through which social welfare/protection benefits are to be provided. • Step 6: identify the basic concerns of the social policy framework and the groups of policies which address these. • Step 7: bring together the components of the framework • Step 8: highlight the key innovative features of the framework.

    23. Definition • Social policy refers to • Those aims, objectives and declared intentions of a range of organizations in the public, private/business, civil sector, and international community that are intended to meet the needs of the entire OECS population, male and female, in order to improve their well-being or welfare; • The way these are translated into programmes for change; and • The outcomes of these programmes

    24. Four premises: • Population of the OECS, both male and female, are actors, owners, and initiators of social policy. They are expected to have (and demand) increasing agency over the domains of society, economy, polity, and culture. • The necessity/imperative for social reform and change is a widely shared value among the population of the OECS.

    25. Social change will be ultimately reflected in the nature and quality of the social relations, inter-connections, and shared values among the population of the OECS.. • Social Development is a “public good”,

    26. Overall objective • The creation of more secure and functional social relations/also termed social capital • The enlargement of the capability of its population, both men and women, (and in particular poor and vulnerable groups) to meet their needs and interests; • Through effective participation in the activities of the four central institutions of the OECS: state, market, household, and community.

    27. Strategic objective • The development objective of social policy in the OECS may be described as enabling the population as a rule, men and women, and vulnerable groups in particular, to (1) address their needs and interests, (2) secure greater “livelihood security”, and (3) to strengthen social relations (social capital).

    28. Nine development goals • Poverty eradication • Building social capital • Securing family/household relations • Gender equity • Participation/empowerment • Institutional sustainability • Environmental sustainability • International competitiveness • Macroeconomic stability and balance

    29. Social Protection/Welfare Objective • The social protection/welfare objective addresses both the principles that guide the distribution of welfare benefits and provisioning in the society, and the specific means or “welfare mix” through which these are provided.

    30. Theoretical approaches • The risk-based approach • Capability or resource approach

    31. Social Welfare Regime/Paradigm • Social protection/welfare is offered through specific welfare regimes or paradigms.

    32. Social Protection Objective • Welfare Paradigm/Regime • Welfare Mix • Welfare Outcomes • Stratification Effects

    33. Operationalizing Social Protection/ Welfare • Employment • Income supplements • Consumption provisioning • Direct services • Regulation

    34. Basic Concerns & Related Policies • Empowerment • Livelihood security • Social services • Social integration

    35. Basic concerns … cont’d The basic concerns can be addressed through three types of social policy • Investment in human capital • Protection/compensatory policies • Social integration policies

    36. Highlight features • The Social Policy Framework suggested, deliberately goes beyond the social sector budgetary analysis that very often passes for social policy determination in the region. • It seeks to create the context within which programmes and projects, whether originating in the state, private, civil, household, community, domestic or international sectors, can be conceived, assessed, implemented, and evaluated; • The Framework focuses on the all the key levels of decision-making in the society;

    37. Highlight features …cont’d • In a basic sense, the framework provided here is intended to be iterative; • The framework takes a long-term perspective of the development of social policy; • The starting point of the framework has been the review of social and economic performance and outcomes in the region; • The proposed framework should form the basis for dialogue; and • The framework treats gender equity as a cross-cutting theme.

    38. Value-added of this Report • Is its contribution towards crafting a conceptual social policy framework document, within which social policy interventions and programmes in the Region can be located.

    39. Political will • We are reminded that without political commitment to pursue a course of social policy, its successful implementation, is highly unlikely.