SOCW 8137 Contemporary Issues, Social Change and Social Policy

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Assignment 1: Social Policy Paper 3

In previous Assignments, you have been asked to investigate public policies related to a single SDG, with the option to select policies that aim to address social problems that exist at the intersection of two or more SDGs. Expanding on your past policy analyses, your remaining Social Policy Paper Assignments will ask you to locate and analyze single policies that specifically address at least two SDGs—furthering your exploration of the relationships between SDGs and your capacity to reveal the hidden systems within them.

There are several practical benefits to the skill of revealing hidden systems and impacts, both intended and unintended, captured within policies. For example, consider how you might use your heightened understanding of the SDGs and their relationships to propose a policy change or innovation within an organization. You might be working with organizational leaders who are not aware of the extent to which the policy in question ripples throughout the organization and community—you can leverage your ability to reveal hidden systems to make seemingly irrelevant issues directly relatable to the policy and the goals of leaders/decision-makers, enacting change that will address additional systems and reduce the unintended consequences of potentially insular policy development. This approach to change and innovation will require individual acts of courage—to challenge the status quo and to present new ways of thinking—and the judicious, intentional use of leadership and management skills, such as those outlined by Brown (2019):

  • Rumbling with vulnerability
  • Living into our values
  • Braving trust
  • Learning to rise (p. 31)

Brené Brown’s work, a sample of which is captured in her article provided in the Learning Resources this week, is just one illustration of how principles of leadership can be applied to guide organizations and institutions toward timely changes. With her background in social work, Brown brings an empathetic systems approach to her recommendations for leadership and change agents; however, any leadership or management resources that address the interpersonal tactics for effectively broaching, discussing, and applying unfamiliar or sensitive ideas to support actions aligned with common social good (progress toward the SDGs) could apply.

For this Assignment, you search for, select, and provide a review of policies related to the recent SDGs you studied, including:

  • Goal 5: Gender Equality
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

By reviewing policies specific to the context of the SDGs, in addition to your weekly Discussions that focus on how SDGs and policy impact nonprofit organizations, you will highlight the relationships between global, interdisciplinary social ecological issues and micro, mezzo, and macro social work practice implications.

Brown, B. (2019). Dare to lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts. Rotman Management, 28–33.


  • Click on the United Nations website in the Learning Resources this week and revisit the SDGs from Week 3 and Week 4:
    • Goal 5: Gender Equality
    • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • Review the Learning Resources this week.
  • Identify two public policies, each addressing two of the SDGs above. Be sure to cover each SDG in your policy selections.
    • For example, you might select one policy that addresses Goal 5: Gender Equality and Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and another policy that addresses Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.


Submit a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

For both policies you identified: 

  • Provide an overview of the selected policy, including:
    • Problem definition
    • Goals
    • Strategies/instruments to achieve goals.
  • Explain why the work is important at the micro, mezzo, and/or macro levels. In your explanation, describe the intersection of or relationship between the SDGs addressed in the policy.
  • Describe at least one innovation from which the policy could benefit—or, if the policy is pursuing innovation, describe the innovation and its potential strengths and shortcomings.
  • Explain how this is important to the field of social work.


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