Global Master of Public Policy

What does it take to influence social welfare policy?

Jun 8, 2017 11:00:45 AM


Photo by Deutsche Bank Bangkok and the NGO "Rong Rein Khong Noo" (engl. "My School”) working together to build classrooms in Bangkok.

The role NGOs and NPOs play in the social welfare policy process is expanding, which will require more highly trained analytical practitioners that know how to apply policy solutions to complex problems across diverse countries.  This increase in NGOs collaborating in governance roles is particularly relevant in developing nations.  For example, in An Analysis of the Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in the Social Welfare Policy Process, Gwarinda et al. (2015) found that in post-colonial African states, the role of NGOs has evolved to the point where they are actively engaged in the policy process acting as quasi-official government representatives.  In a similar vein of research, Bradya and Bostic’s article Paradoxes of Social Policy (2015) use welfare transfers, relative poverty, and redistribution preferences to analyze both developed and developing countries’ social welfare programs.  Bradya and Bostic, unexpectedly find that universal, comprehensive social policy alleviates poverty more effectively than policies that specifically target the poor. 

In her 2010 Ted Talks, What nonprofits can learn from Coca-Cola  Melinda Gates introduces another seemingly paradoxical concept for social policy development experts to consider.  Gates argues that NGOs and governments in developing countries should take lessons from innovative multinational corporations such as Coke to more effectively implement and integrate social policies into civic society.  She emphasizes that if we want to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MNGs), then we should model our social policy efforts after Coke’s strategy of taking real time data and feeding it back into the product, tap into local entrepreneurial talent, and have incredible marketing.

If you are a government analyst, researcher, or consultant and think that the USC-HKU Master of Global Public Policy (MGPP) program could help open new career opportunities, please do not hesitate to share it with your colleagues and apply to our program. 

Kevin Baron

Written by Kevin Baron