Social policies and socioeconomic indicators for transitional economies
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As part of the United Nations Development Programs thematic focus on poverty eradication and Poverty Strategy Initiatives, the UNDP, in cooperation with the Armenian Government, the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), organized a workshop on Social Indicators to be held at Yrevan, Armenia on November 13-14, 1997. In accordance with the United Nations Global Conferences and their goals, the workshop pursued as its goal the elaboration of poverty initiatives to alleviate poverty, preserve the human capital and adjust it to new market conditions, which could be attained by providing detailed and targeted information, improving the survey methodologies, determining the choice of main social indicators to be used with the consideration of the national specifics. This publication presents ECLACs conribution to the workshop. Rolando Franco gives an overview of some economic, political and social characteristics, which are at the core of a transition from planned to market economies. He refers to differences and similarities between the change of the economic model observed in Latin America and the model taking shape in transitional economies, giving charactersitic features of the import-substitution model and the post-adjustment model. Afterwards, the author concentrates in presenting two paradigms within the context of the Latin American social policy characteristics, which correspond to the two development models that have been applied in the region, before and after what has been called the crisis of the 1980s". On the other side, Pascual Gerstenfeld marks that indicators should help to identify the main causes and effects of social trends and provide useful information for the design of social policies. Further he analyses a set of indicators based on data from household surveys, which have contributed in a large measure to the Latin American experience in quantitative socioeconomic analysis. Following the above, he presents reflections on social indicators for the analysis of the well-being and equity in societies in transition. Finally, Ernesto Cohen covers the social policy evaluation through assessing social projects, in a way that they allow a resign of and reallocation of resources and provide a strategic avenue for rationalizing the government social expenditure. He goes through the project cycle, the advantages of the cost-impact analysis, and the importance of monitoring efficiency of social programs."