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Usted está aquí: Inicio Acerca del CLAD Publicaciones Revista del CLAD Reforma y Democracia Artículos por número publicado 007, Enero 1997 Rearrangement of Actors in Social Programmes: Considerations from the Point of View of Latin American Experience

Rearrangement of Actors in Social Programmes: Considerations from the Point of View of Latin American Experience

Martín Hopenhayn

The changing roles of actors involved in the management and implementation of social programmes in Latin America are discussed in this paper. The shift of responsibilities towards the actors themselves, the debureaucratisation of social policy, its openness and societal initiatives are mentioned and a characterisation is proposed for the harmonisation models between the state structure and civil society.

In terms of allocation of social expenditure as a function of rational demand, modernisation of the State’s social area has a dual goal. On the one hand, it facilitates the work of managing and implementing the social structure to the extent that it unburdens some of the tasks onto the beneficiaries themselves. On the other hand, it contributes to greater diligence and deconcentration of decision-making and action. From the political point of view, it furthers the replacement of a clientelist and paternalistic bias in the social support system by more democratic mechanisms.

Notwithstanting this, the allocation of public resources against the demands of organised beneficiaries does not necessarily have a focalising effect towards the poor. Attempts have been made to resolve this through initiatives such as the Social Investment Fund (FIS) in Bolivia, the Community Childcare Network in Ecuador and the Food Sponsorship Programme in Venezuela.

The mobilisation of multiple actors in production support and social propmotion programmes for the poor in rural areas is key to overcoming poverty. Programmes such as DRI in Colombia and the National Solidarity Programme in Mexico follow this line. It would seem that achieving a cross between a coordinated support system for participational programmes and a system for the supply of resources and services according to demand is of vital importance for reorganising rural poverty programmes.

Urban poverty is associated to informality in production, such that social policy in this area requires furthering the promotion of production among actors that have been excluded from the modern economy. This requires that the various institutional agents be coordinated to set into motion production programmes in the informal sector, create information systems, promote organisation modalities for production at micro scale and allocate resources for projects submitted by the beneficiaries.

Educational reform is an example of sectoral social policy with a redefinition of actors. In view of the results of decentralisation, municipalisation and privatisation of education in the various social strata, the Chilean case is of particular interest. In this context of changes, the participation of civil society actors can occur at various levels.

By way of conclusion, a description of three contrasting paradigms is presented, that is: the peripheral planning State; the modern neoliberal State and the modern democratic State. On this basis, the role of the State, the notion of equity, the decision-making mechanisms, State-Society harmonisation patterns, the magnitude and the profile of the State’s social sectors and decentralisation are discussed.

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