This essay defines Social Policies in Community Development Programs and its benefits to the communities in the context of developing countries as Papua New Guinea is also developing. Papua New Guinea is challenged by poverty, weak government systems, high crime rates, poor health services, poor education systems as well as poor infrastructural developments including bad road conditions and other issues of a developing country.
Social Policies in Community Development Programs deals mostly with the needs of the people living in a given community. A community may refers to individuals living in small groups or in big social units practicing the same norms, religion, values, identity or sharing basic government services while residing in a common geographical area. Hence, to develop a particular community especially using government resources and programs, we need policies that provide directions to the areas of need of which resources can be utilized for improving the quality of life. Generally, policies are set of principles, rules and guidelines formulated or adopted by an organization to reach its long-term goals and typically published in a booklet or other form that is widely accessible. There are different types of policies including government policies, business policies, company policies, social policies in community development programs etc. However, other types of policies are overlooked in this writing while social policies in community development programs is the central focus.
Social policies in community development programs is usually within a governmental or political setting, such as the welfare state and study of social services. It consists of guidelines, principles, legislation and activities that affect the living conditions conducive to human welfare, such as a person's quality of life. Social policies in community development programs can also mean to develop set of principles, rules or guidelines that regulates activities of a community-based program funded by government or other agencies to meet the social welfare needs of the people.
Social welfare is described as “the organized system of social services and institutions, designed to aid individuals and groups to attain satisfying standards of life and health”. Social welfare encompasses the well-being and interests of large number of people, including their physical, educational, mental and emotional, spiritual and economic needs. Therefore, social policies in community development programs are important because they serve the purpose of meeting the physical, educational, mental and emotional, spiritual and economic needs of the people living in a community. For instance, social policies of physical needs may include guidelines for delivering healthcare services, sporting activities, addressing law and order issues etc. Alternatively, social policies in education may give directions for administering a school while social policies in spiritual needs may include policies that protect and encourage religious activities or administers a church in a community. Further social policies can be written to guide economical activities like buying and selling of cash crops and other commercial activities that generate income of a community and some social policies can be develop to provide regulations for programs such as marriage counselling, family therapy and related programs that assist individuals to overcome mental and emotional pressures of daily living.
The outcomes of developing social policies in community development programs has adverse effects of positive benefits. The social policies minimizes risks taken in implementing a community program while increases the opportunity of meeting the aims and desired objectives of the program. It raises the morale of the people who initiates the program as well as motivating them to monitor and keep the program operating. Developing social polices provide directions or instructions on how certain tasks can be executed as well as helping the staffs who initiated the program to make right decisions about certain matters. On the other hand, social policies ensures that community programs meet individual and group needs of a particular issue. Furthermore, social policies creates no room for mismanagement of funds or other activities that might endanger the function of the program and it sustain planned activities and make them become productive. It provide ways of communicating with people living in a community where the program is going to be executed.
To conclude, developing social policies in community development programs is important because good social policies enables community-based programs to achieve its purpose and so the social welfare issues of the people can be addressed accordingly. Social policies are developed to be observe and follow; therefore, no policies can be ignored. All social policies must be implemented to serve its purpose for the common good of everyone living in a community.
The importance of policy making for an organization
Having well established polices in an organisation is important for several reasons. Firstly, policies provide the framework or structure of an organisation, which directs the employees of what they are supposed to do or how they should performed a delegated task. For example, polices requiring a person working in a human resource department to keep a paper trail of newly hired employees that have trained gives a proof that he or she is involved in ethical human resources practices. Secondly, having well-written organisational policies is important for internal control. For example, if an organisation have strong policies on ethics, it can help instil the importance of integrity and ethical behaviours in employees. Thirdly, well-written policies provide guidelines that minimizes the economic, social and legal risks taken in managing the organisation and increases the chance to meet the desired objectives, opportunities and benefits of the organisation and the workers. This helps to improve workforce morale, worker retention and job satisfaction in employees. Fourthly, policies serve as a way for top management level to communicate the behavioural expectations of the organisation down to the low management level and other employees. Alongside, organizational policies helps an organisation maintain compliance, which means to maintain a degree of accountability in the eyes of internal and external stakeholders. Moreover, policies hep the manager of an organisation to manage his or her staffs and other obligations. Furthermore, well-written organisational policies build the learning culture of an organisation. Simply refers to creating a learning environment in the organisation by encouraging and motivating the employees to learn new concepts in addition to their job knowledge. This includes determining which policies each employee should read and creating a process for updating policies throughout the year. Additionally, policies help employees know what is expected of them with respect to standards of behaviour and performance and set rules and guidelines for decision-making in routine situations so that employees and managers do not need to ask senior managers every time what to do. Finally, policies help employees to adopt a consistent and clear response across the organisation, which continually refer to situations involving employee interaction as well as promoting fairness and equality along with having accepted methods of dealing with complaints and misunderstandings to help avoid favouritism in the organisation.
Implementation the policy in project proposals
Generally, a policy is used to write a project proposal. However, not all policies can be written into project proposals depending on the type of polices they are because some policies are written to observe and follow like company policies on integrity and other work ethics. On the other, a social policy is developed to address the needs of the people living in a community. That means planned activities are written into proposal with other necessary elements of a project to seek funds before executing the project. For example, good water supply for people living in Madang town is a social policy in community development that can be used to write up a project proposal, as it requires funds and other elements to implement the policy. This policy can be implemented into a project proposal through writing the planned activities of what should be done during certain period of timeframe in a sequential order so that the policy is achieved through meeting its intended objectives.
Thus, before writing a project proposal the most important step to take is to identify the needs of the people and contact the potential funders to know if there are funds available for the type of project you are planning to execute. If there are funds available than you may request them for providing you with the criteria or requirements they have for the project you are trying to implement. After receiving the format of the project, you may write the project proposal. The proposal should contain a short and descriptive title with a cover sheet signed to hold accountable for the grant funds as well as a table of content that provide the listing of what is in the proposal. It should have a well-written executive summary to show the reader the purpose of the project, outline its descriptions and show how the project can contribute to the achievement of the national development. Furthermore, it is important to include the statement of the issue with the goals and objectives and complete description of the project. Project descriptions should have work plan activities along with timeframe marking each activity as well as identifying resources (both human and physical resources) required to manage the project. Project description should also include budget and actual quotations of the items and materials required to implement the project. Other necessary elements include geographical description of the project site, how project will be monitored and evaluated and provide ways on how the project will be sustained in the future. After completing writing the project proposal, you may submit it to the office of the donor you are seeking financial assistance from and wait for their response.
Challenges of community development policy
There are many challenges facing the communities in our contemporary societies today especially with people living in rural and urban communities. Some of the problems they faces in everyday living are:
- Law and Order issues – law and order issues include crimes such as abortion, murder, euthanasia, shop and bank robberies, spreading of firearms, willful setting fire to properties, misappropriation of public funds and other social issues that are affecting the peace and harmony in the communities we are living. For example, in 2014 World Bank reported that crime was increasing in a number of “hot spots” in Papua New Guinea, including; Lae, Port Moresby, Madang, East New Britain, West New Britain, Western Highlands and Enga.
- Weak Governance - Inadequate skills and weak capacity in the public service are the most critical inhibitors to development in PNG. A key feature of weak governance in PNG is corruption.
- Poor Health Services - PNG is classified as a low middle-income country in the Pacific countries. Close to 90 percent of the population live in rural areas and access to these widely scattered communities is often difficult, slow and expensive. Violence against women and achieving gender equality remain major challenges. The major health problems currently affecting PNG according to the World Health Organization are:
- Communicable diseases, with malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, and acute respiratory disease the major causes of morbidity and mortality.
- A generalised HIV epidemic driven mainly by heterosexual transmission.
- Rates of infant and child mortality are high compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
- Maternal mortality remains very high.
Poor Education services
According to a case study published in 2001, over 500,000 children aged 6-12 do not go to school and it is estimated that half the adult population cannot read or write while more boys than girls go to school and complete basic education. Additionally, more classrooms are needed and teachers need more training as well as management and financing from a national government to school level needs strengthening.
The country had a post-Independence population of 3.5 million and growing at a healthy rate of 2.8 percent, which means it increased by 98,000 taking into account the death rate. Over the last 40 years, the rate according to World Bank estimates has never gone below 2 per cent and PNG’s population is now over 8 million. In 2013, World Bank figures have the country’s population at a conservative 7.3 million. Needless to say, there are a lot more students, many of them bright and capable keen to learn and better themselves, but they are faced with a range of challenges one of which is the limited number of spaces available while many of the sick patients are dying due to shortage of medical supplies and equipment.