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Back | Programme Area: The Social Effects of Globalization

Social Development and Public Policy: A Study of Some Successful Experiences



Edited volume by Dharam Ghai.

This book examines the experiences of several countries (and one state within a federated country) whose social achievements have aroused much interest and debate, namely Chile, China, Costa Rica, Kerala, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. The authors in this edited volume focus on impressive performances in the domain of health and education, although other dimensions of social development, such as social security, unemployment, incidence of poverty and gender disparities are also discussed. The book attempts to analyse the experiences of these countries using a common framework of historical, cultural and political economy dimensions. It gives particular attention to the political determinants of social policy, the amount and composition of expenditure devoted to social programmes and the institutional arrangements for the financing, organization and delivery of social services.

The study countries have three common factors that have been crucial to their success: a political leadership committed to extending vital social services to the entire population; strong action by the public sector in the provision of health and education services; and a state which assumed responsibility for the provision of services crucial to social achievement. The authors also note that the administrative capacity of the state and infrastructure to reach all parts of the country as well as major segments of the population is more instrumental in improving social welfare than is the amount of resources allocated to social programmes.

A major conclusion to be drawn from this study is that it is the overall social policy and patterns of public social expenditure that are responsible for superior social performance. A social policy that accords priority to maternal and child care, prevention of insect-borne and infectious diseases, and improvement, without gender discrimination of health education, adult literacy, basic education and sanitary and hygienic conditions, can have a quick and powerful impact on social indicators.

Contents: Social Development and Public Policy: Some Lessons from Successful Experiences—Dharam Ghai • Human Development Achievements in an Indian State: A Case Study of Kerala—V.K. Ramachandran • Social Development and China’s Changing Development Strategy—Carl Riskin • Sri Lanka’s Social Achievements and Challenges—Godfrey Gunatilleke • Social Development, State Capacity and Economic Reform: The Experience of Viet Nam—Valentine M. Moghadam • Protecting Social Achievements During Economic Crisis in Cuba—Solon Barraclough • Achieving and Sustaining Social Development with Limited Resources: The Experience of Costa Rica—Carmelo Mesa-Lago • Balancing Targeted and Universal Social Policies: The Chilean Experience—Jaime Ruiz-Tagle
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 Dec 1999
    Pub. Place: Basingstoke
    ISBN: 0-333-77912-6
    Type: paperback
    From: Palgrave
  • Pub. Date: 1 Dec 1999
    Pub. Place: Basingstoke
    ISBN: 0-333-73411-4
    Type: hardback
    From: Palgrave