Social Policies in Grenada

image of Social Policies in Grenada

The country case studies and thematic papers in this series examine social policy issues facing small states and the implications for economic development. They show how, despite their inherent vulnerability, some small states have been successful in improving their social indicators because of the complementary social and economic policies they have implemented.


Grenada is a small state that has made impressive initial achievements in economic and human development since independence, especially in education and health. However, continuing unemployment and poverty, the recent erosion of trade preferences, and the changing international donor aid environment have exposed structural weaknesses in its economic model. Patsy Lewis assesses developments in social policy approaches and delivery in the postcolonial period, including the economic strategies pursued and their effects on social policy, particularly in respect of children. She looks at the challenges faced by governments and presents a brief case study of Hurricane Ivan, as an instance for exploring community and national responses, resilience and innovation.



Strengthening the Legislative Framework for Social Protection

The discussion so far suggests that the approach to social policy has for the most part been ad hoc and reactive, and that many gaps persist. Protection for poor and vulnerable groups remains weak. Given the limitations of social protection and welfare that have been identified, government faces the challenge of extending the range and coverage of benefits. The legislative and regulatory framework is important to the construction and delivery of social policy. International conventions spearheaded by the UN, which help to create and promote norms in respect of social policy, are important vehicles for advancing social policy at national level. Thomas (2001) notes that this has had the effect of shifting perceptions of social policy in the direction of rights grounded in a legal framework. In Grenada, regulation and legal protection are particularly important in respect of the treatment of women and children where, despite tremendous gains, gaps remain. The main conventions in respect of children’s and women’s rights to which Grenada is a party are the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which it signed and ratified in 1990, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which it signed in 1980 and ratified in 1990. There is a strong relationship between international conventions and regional obligations, which has had implications for the development and implementation of legislation in the national sphere. When government resources are limited, international conventions play an important role in providing impetus at national level for the commitment of scarce resources to putting in place the necessary framework for meeting obligations.


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