Graduate Course on Social Investment for Children opens at Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona
Social investment in children now will improve their life chances and future productivity as members of the labour force. A skilled and productive future labour force will help to ensure sustainable development. Increased and more equitable social investment in children is key to the reduction of poverty and inequalities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 4) states that:
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.
Increasing social investment, putting children at the centre of development strategies and strengthening the institutional capacity of developing states are necessary to reduce inequality and make the implementation of children's rights a reality in Latin America and the Caribbean. While there is a rich culture of studies and research in children in the Medical Faculty, there is a paucity of courses in the Faculty of Social Sciences that examine policies and social investment in children in depth. This course will begin to fill this deficiency.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE
This course seeks to examine the critical social issues and social policy challenges in relation to children. The dimensions and causes of child vulnerability will be discussed within several theoretical frameworks. Current policies and programmes to reduce vulnerability of children will be assessed. The students are expected to be computer literate, as the course work will include practical use of the data from the public budget. Focus will be on the Jamaican budget (because of ease of access) but case studies from other developing countries will be examined. Cross-cutting issues in the course will highlight gender and stratification analyses.
1. To train students in social investment analysis and particularly social investment in children.
2. To sensitize students on issues and challenges in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies in relation to children.
3. To train students in budget analysis.
At the end of the course, the students should be able to achieve the following:
1. Have an understanding of the international commitments and conventions relating to children
2. Define and identify issues and challenges in the formulation and implementation of policies for children.
3. Have an understanding of risks that face children in the developing countries.
4. Improve awareness to child rights and the importance of the national budget
5. Have knowledge of the national budget process.
6. Know the different components of budgets
7. Be able to carry out social investment analysis (state and non-state resources).
8. Be able to conduct an analysis of the Government’s annual budget.
9. Be able to estimate returns on investment in children.
10. Have developed team skills which are essential for the successful social policy analysis.
11. Have an understanding of the place of dealing with children’s issues as vital to achieving social development for all (the society, the growing population of the elderly, and other minorities)