The Social Policy Index: It's Applicability in Latin American Countries

By Jorge Garcés Ferrer, Francisco Rodenas, Gustavo Castillo Rozas and Carla Vidal Figueroa.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social Policy is a tool employed by states to intervene in society with an aim of reducing the effects of poverty and inequality by meeting people’s basic needs. The question is how do we measure social policy? In 2006, the United Nations Organization proposed a Social Policy Index (SPI), a methodological tool to measure social policy, with the aim of understanding the current regimes of economic and social structures in each country. The SPI suggests quantifying the elements of social policy, without focusing on their results, preferring to identify how the policy and the efforts of each government are materialized in some social indexes like social spending, social security, taxes, and institutional quality. Nevertheless, there are no known results to prove the effectiveness of this index. This paper discusses the proposal made by the UN and considers its application in particular time periods of social policy in Chile (1996 – 2010), a Latin American country and member of the OECD. A special emphasis is placed on the review of its dimensions, indicators, and information sources, identifying their strengths and potential difficulties in their applicability in Latin American countries like Chile.

Keywords: Social Policy, Social Indexes, Social Policy Index, Comparative Social Policy

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.27-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.426MB).

Dr. Jorge Garcés Ferrer

Professor of Social Policy at the University and Director of Polibienestar Research Institute of University of Valencia, Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Dr. Jorge Garcés is a professor of social policy and director of Polibienestar Research at the Institute of University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain. Dr. Garcés has a doctorate in psychology and a doctorate in political science and administration. He has experience in research projects on social and health care, elderly people, dependency, and assistive technologies. The main European projects that he has developed are: LivingAll (FP6), Interlinks (FP7), Friends Online (Daphne EU Program), Be Supportive, Not Violent! Positive Parenting for Happy Children (Daphne Program), smart technologies for self-service to seniors in social housing (AAL Program) and Alzheimer: Tremplin Intergenerationnel D´insertion Sociale et Professionanelle (Directorate General of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission). Moreover, he has also participated as the main researcher of fifteen projects funded under national R&D calls.

Dr. Francisco Rodenas

Lecturer at the University of Valencia (Spain) and Researcher at the Polibienestar Research Institute, Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Dr. Francisco Ródenas Rigla is a lecturer at the University of Valencia (Spain) and a researcher at the Polibienestar Research Institute, Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Dr. Ródenas has a PhD in sociology and is a lecturer at the University of Valencia (Spain) and a researcher at the Polibienestar Research Institute (www.polibienestar.org). His teaching experience started in 1992 on topics related to social services, administration, and public policy. He currently leads a research line on efficiency, quality of health, and social systems for long-term care. He has published his research results in journals collected in ISI-Journal Citation Reports, such as Health Policy, Health and Social Care in the Community, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, or European Journal of Ageing. He is a coauthor for 6 books on welfare and social-health services. He has participated in 5 European R & D projects, has directed 2 R & D competitive projects in Spain, and has been a part of the research team in over 30 projects and research contracts with government and the private sector. He has had research stays at the Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde-Sul (Portugal) and the University of Kent (UK).

Dr. Gustavo Castillo Rozas

Cinc Segles Researcher, Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Gustavo Castillo Rozas is a Cinc Segles researcher at Polibienestar Research Institute at the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain, and is a social worker from the University of Concepción (Chile). He has a master’s degree in social welfare and is a PhD candidate in social sciences, both in the University of Valencia (Spain). He is a “Cinc Segles” researcher in Polibienestar Research Institute, where he has worked on a project on Governance in Peru and as part of the local organizing committee of the Annual Conference of ESPAnet 2011. He is currently researching and delving into the area of social policy and comparative social policy.

Carla Vidal Figueroa

Researcher, Polibienestar Research Institute, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Carla Vidal Figueroa is a researcher at the Polibienestar Research Institute at the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain, and is a Chilean Social Worker from University of Concepción. She has a master's degree in social welfare from the University of Valencia (Spain) and is a PhD candidate in social sciences at the same university. At the Polibienestar Research Institute, she has worked on a project on Governance in Peru, and she has also been a part of the local organizing committee of the Annual Conference of ESPAnet 2011. Her research focuses on social policy and comparative social policy.