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   Course Title    Managing Social Policy
Lecturer    Artan Karini
Institution    University of Tirana
Country    Albania


Course Description and Objectives

The course is designed to develop and complement the theoretical framework of social policy offered to students of Social Work at the University of Tirana. Based on a series of lectures and discussions over the theoretical aspects of social policy, the course aims not only at an in-depth analysis of the social policy practices but also at improving studentsí analytical skills in defining, developing and tracking the implementation of social policies including social insurance policy, welfare policy, medical insurance policy, policies for poverty reduction, pension policy, etc. from both a national and international perspective. It is important to emphasize that a significant component of the course and a very important requirement in all course components including classroom discussions, term and final papers and other course assignments, is the studentís ability to compare and contrast various social policies that are implemented by national and international organizations.

In accordance with the regulations of the Faculty of Social Science and the Department of Social Work, the course will take place over two 45 min. classes (i.e. a 90 minute session) every Tuesday following the lecture classes. Despite the fact that the seminar classes of this course will, pretty much, follow the content of the lecture classes, this schedule might change depending upon the number of students in each class or general changes in the Universityís course schedule, which will be announced in advance.

Like any other academic discipline, this Social Policy course aims at expanding the analytical capabilities of the future social workers rather than their "training" at the University of Tirana. Based on this logic, it is expected that students will pay full attention to the content of this course including lectures and additional materials to be provided by the instructor of the course (unfortunately, most of these are only available in English) in an argumentative, analytical and comparative fashion. To this end, guest lecturers from a variety of fields including public administration and management, political science, social science, etc., might also be invited to speak to the students. Contingent upon studentsí general interest, information on CEP (Civic Education Project, Inc.) and other international events will be available to the students, who will, in turn, use such opportunities to develop their research interest and network with other professionals and students from counterpart institutions and Universities in the Southeast European region. Additional details will be discussed with the instructor during the above-mentioned office hours, which will be held at the Department of Social Work.

Course Calendar

February 26, 2002 Discussion on the allocation of government funds for social policy. The effectiveness of the governmentís prioritization of social funds.

March 5, 2002

Discussion of micro and macro factors that influence the process of social policy implementation.

Case Study: Labor Markets and Social Policy during the transition in Albania

March 12, 2002

Discussion of main concepts of social insurance. Some of the typical models of social insurance.

Case Study: Typical Social Insurance Problems in Post-Communist Albania.

March 19, 2002

Discussion of some of the contemporary models of social insurance policy.

March 26, 2002

Discussion of the social insurance models that currently apply in Albania. Advantages and disadvantages of compulsory, voluntary and complementary social insurance.

April 2, 2002

Guest lecture: Major differences between social policy models in Eastern Europe and Western Europe. Guest speaker: Stuart Graham, Ph.D., CEP Visiting Lecturer.

April 9, 2002

The main characteristics of the social insurance system in Albania as compared to the totalitarian system as well as other systems in the region and broader.

April 16, 2002

Mid-Term Test

April 23, 2002

Discussion on how Albanian Social Work students understand their role in the new social insurance system. Approaches to funding social insurance. The role of the Albanian Social Insurance Institute.

April 30, 2002

Guidelines on Final Project (Social Policy Analysis Format)

May 7, 2002

Discussion on the social groups that suffer poverty most. The role of social workers in the short-term, mid-term and long-term poverty reduction strategy. Case Study: Current Efforts undertaken by the Government of Albania regarding economic growth and poverty reduction strategies.

May 14, 2002

Models of Social Services and their application in the Albanian context.

May 21, 2002

The current policy of the Government of Albania and the role of civil society for poverty reduction and economic growth in Albania.

May 28, 2002

The current policy of the Government of Albania and the role of civil society against unemployment in Albania.

June 4, 2002

Discussion of the actions that the Government of Albania, through the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, has taken to put in social policies against unemployment.

June 11, 2002

Discussion on health policy and its priorities in Albania, its implementation and evaluation. The role of social workers in this respect.

Final Project is due.

June 18, 2002

Final Exam

Course Requirements

Additional details about course assignments will be provided in writing during the term. The dates of the mid-term and the final exam will be announced in advance. It is expected that students will be motivated to attend the courseótheir presence, participation and performance in this course would reflect their motivation, just as the success or failure of the course would reflect the studentsí responsibility and genuine interest in the subject. As a consequence, it is the studentsí responsibility to attend each class and participate in them actively; therefore, no permission can be asked from the instructor to be absent from a class (for personal or other reasons). Students are, of course, welcome to make suggestions for the improvement of the course.

Grading

The instructorís flexibility in grading will depend on the studentsí satisfactory performance in all the requirements of the course including:

Term paper: 20 points

Mid-term test: 24 points

Class participation: 6 points

Final Exam: 50 points

Total: 100 points

Required readings and textbooks:

The Entitlement to Social Policy; Tomes I., 1997, pg. 80-203, edited by Topi, A.
UNDP Human Development Report 2000, study of a group of experts from the Albanian NGO sector for UNDP/Albania; 2000; Copyright: UNDP/Albania
The Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction introduced by the Government of Albania; Publication of the Council of Ministers, Republic of Albania; 2001


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