In policy, terminology is important. Comparative analysis of social policy is a particularly challenging topic for maintaining terminological clarity and consistency. Over the years, I have worked to develop my own definitions for terms used in social policy (a defining feature of the applied-anthro website) to ensure clarity and continuity in my writing. This lexicon is influenced by the IFI definitions, but it is adapted to accomodate discussion of broad phenomenological concerns.
Consider the following:
Most IFIs compile some form of operations manual comprised of policies for effecting the mandates of their institutional charters. In addition to board-approved policies and regulations, some IFI operations manuals also include notes of guidance for bank staff and clients that elaborate on the intended meaning of policy provisions to facilitate better implementation.
For example, while the Asian Development Bank's operations manual refers only to policies (which the ADB terms operational procedures, or OPs), the operations manual of the World Bank contains operational policies (OPs), bank procedures (BPs), directives, as well as interim instructions to staff (referred to OpMemos).
It can be hard to distinguish 'policy' from 'guidance', and still more difficult to discern what is "required" as opposed to that which is simply "recommended" (a question that clients often pose when considering recommendations for policy implementation). It can also be challenging to identify the range of social policy that may be applicable to a given project or development initiative.
Safeguards are one aspect of social policy. Other aspects include social development policy (including initiatives to mainstream gender-sensitive development; initiatives to ensure the participation and empowerment of people and communities affected by development processes), social protection policy (including social assistance and welfare service programs including child protection and micro- and area based schemes to address poverty, and vulnerability; social insurance programs to cushion risks associated with unemployment, ill-health, disability, work-related injury and old age; and labour market policies and programs designed to generate employment, improve working conditions), human rights law, etc. Unfortunately, IFI institutional treatments of social issues (such as web and print publications touting institutional contributions to social development) seldom help to situate different institutional initiatives and activities within their greater policy contexts.
|action plan||: a document defining actions for ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policy mandates|
|adverse possession||: a method of acquiring title to real property by possession for a statutory period under certain conditions|
|affected communities||: communities that are subject to risks or impacts from project operations|
|artifact||: a portable object that is created by past human activity|
|biodiversity||: variety of life in all its forms, including genetic, species and ecosystem diversity|
|community history||: detailed account of the community’s past, detailing how things have changed, with a particular focus on relationships with external actors and the trends these relations have followed, as well as internal dynamics within the community|
|census||: the official process of counting a population of a given jurisdiction|
|civil society||: a network of actors, associations, agencies and institutions operating between the state and the market|
|compensation in kind||: compensation for losses that cannot be easily valued or compensated for in monetary terms|
|consultation||: a process of two-way communication between project developers and stakeholders in which views, preferences, and information are exchanged in a culturally appropriate manner, within locally-appropriate time frames, and using locally-understood languages and communication formats|
|Country Safeguard Systems (CSS)||: national, subnational, or sectoral implementing institutions and relevant laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that pertain to the policy areas of environmental and social safeguards|
|cultural heritage||: any non-renewable resource possessing cultural, scientific, spiritual or religious value|
|development||: the act or process of growing (or causing something to grow), or become larger, more advanced, or more complex over a over a period of time|
|development paradigm||: actions, activities, and programmes based on, and extending from, salient theories and beliefs about what consitutes 'development'|
|grievance||: a concern or complaint raised by an individual or a group within communities affected by company operations|
|international financial institution||: financial institutions that have been established (or chartered) by more than one country|
|involuntary resettlement||: physical and/or economic displacement resulting from project-related land acquisition where affected individuals or communities do not have the right to contest their loss of land use and access|
|meta-phenomenon||: a high-level categorisation and grouping of facts, acts, ideas or locution realized as phenomena|
|Performance Standards||: policy guidelines for how to identify, avoid, mitigate, and manage environmental and social risks and impacts; initially, only IFC had Performance Standards|
|replacement cost||: market value of assets plus transaction costs|
|replacement cost of public structures||: the cost of purchasing or building a new structure, with an area and quality similar to or better than those of the affected structure, or of repairing a partially affected structure, including labor and contractors’ fees and transaction costs such as registration and transfer taxes|
|replacement cost of urban land||: the market value of land of equivalent area and use, with similar or improved infrastructure and services preferably located in the vicinity of the affected land, plus transaction costs such as registration and transfer taxes|
|resettlement||: the transportation of a people to a new area for settlement|
|retrenchment||: the elimination of a significant number of employee positions or the dismissal or layoff of a significant number of employees by an employer|
|safeguard policy||: policies intended to prevent and mitigate undue harm to people and their environment in the development process|
|social analysis||: the practice of analyzing a situation or social issue, problem or trend through objective, systematic exploration—often with the aim of prompting change|
|social development||: transformative processes of social change, usually intented to benefit human well-being|
|social development practitioner||: a category of professionals (primarily comprised of social scientists) working (i.e., practising) in the field of international social development|
|social indicator||: a value measured when conducting systematic evaluation or when defining performance targets and auditing criteria|
|social policy||: 1) regulatory measures (guidelines, principles, legislation and activities) intended to ensure or effect the well-being of a society and its constituent members; 2) an interdisciplinary field of study and (applied) practice that is concerned with societies' responses to social need|
|stakeholder analysis||: a technique to identify and assess the importance and interests of key people, groups, or institutions usually in relation to specific policies, programmes or communities|
|stakeholders||: all individuals and/or groups who can reasonably be expected to be affected by, or can affect project operations|
|survey||: a sampling, or partial collection, of facts, figures, or opinions|
|temporality||: the state of existing within or having some relationship with time|
|triangulation||: the technique of integrating multiple lines of investigation and analysis of a topic of inquiry to ensure the integrity of data sources, to enhance the insights of analytical inquiry, as well as to enhance confidence in the ensuing findings|