TOPIC 1: Historical aspects of social policy
Assignment 1: History of social policy
Name: Godfrey Ogonda Adm. No: EL/ARM/00350/2013
Social policy primarily refers to guidelines, principles, legislation and activities that affect the living conditions conducive to human welfares. Adesina (2009) defined social policy as the “collective public efforts aimed at affecting and protecting the social well-being of people within a given territory”.
History of social policy
The earliest example of direct intervention by government in human welfare dates back to rule as the second Caliph of Islam in the 6th century. He used Zakāt (alms) collections and also other governmental resources to establish pensions, income support, child benefits and various stipends for people of the non-Muslim community.
In the West, proponents of scientific social planning, such as the sociologist Auguste Comte, and social researchers, such as Charles booth, contributed to the emergence of social policy in the industrialized nations. Other significant examples in the history of development of social policy are the Bismarckian welfare state in Germany in the 19th century as well as social security policies introduced by the New Deal in the United States of America between 1933 and 1935 and health reforms of the Beveridge Report of 1942.
Social policy in the 21st century is complex and in each state it is subject to local, national and international political influence. For example, membership of the European Union is conditional to member states' adherence to the Social Chapter of European Union law.
In Africa, the role and stature of social policy has changed dramatically over the years. During the colonization of certain African states, the situation was more fraught. The colonial regimes had fairly comprehensive social insurance schemes for the white population, whose jobs were protected from outside competition: pension schemes, free or