The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. INTRODUCTION This research paper demonstrates the importance and contributions of public policy analysis to public policy formulation and public policy implementation. Public Policy making involves a long series of more or less related activities rather than a single discreet decision. (R. Rose Policy Making in Britain). Public Policy is merely a continuous process of decisions and activities. It is the association with formal organizational structures of a specific legal type i.e. agencies of the state which support the distinction between public policy and private policy. It is geared towards solving internal problems of domestic and national importance that will affect its citizens. The origin or basis of public policy starts with ideas, convictions or opinions that have to be sold to the populace. Public policies are essentially important whether the concern rest on quality, quantity, direction or its symbolic value (Turner and Hulme, 1997). Policy development received significant attention following the Second World War, as the need for an analytical approach to social ills was becoming more integral to the formulation of policy processes. The importance of Social sciences as a profession was recognized by various disciplines, including sociology and economics to gain a better understanding of policy processes, in order to make informed decisions. During the 1960s, economists developed various cost-benefit analysis theories as an approach to problem solving. Related disciplines provided further inputs, which added various perspectives to address social ills through the systems approach (Heineman et al., 1997:14-17). Public Policy is an important area in Political Science and analysis and provides government with facts and statistics about the extent to which initiatives are working so decisions can be made on the public’s behalf, to respond to a problem which requires attention. The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. SELECTED PERSPECTIVES ON POLICY ANALYSIS Public policy analysis can examine a variety of topics, from the impact of infrastructure on a nation to basic civil laws. According to Dye 1976, in ‘What governments do, Why they do it, and What difference does it make’, two research paradigms have emerged among political scientists who have become interested in the design, measurement and analysis of public policies. It is essentially a process that aides the development of responsive policies making, thereby making their delivery more effective. Hogwood and Gunn (1984), took a different approach to how they arrived at an understanding of public policy. They looked at the way in which the word “policy” was used in other popular documents and they suggested the schema for classification of differing policy statements: As a label for a field of activity- this includes economic policy, social policy, foreign policy. The writer drew attention to the possibility of the field be coming crowded due to the number of permutations possible but they also noted that in some fields such as leisure and recreation, policies were absent. As an expression of general purpose or desired state of affairs- there was an inclusion in this category of statements that conveyed an intention that something should be achieved, for example, lowering the inflation rate. This type of policy is more often included in election manifestos. As specific proposals- this is seen as a feature of election manifestos, where the party cites proposals in their manifestos of matters that are of concern to them and others. As decisions of government- the writers have reservations about referring to decisions as policies as a decision becoming a policy is dependent on the political structure. If it is a majority party form of government, like in the UK as opposed to one where the President The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. needs the support of Congress, like the USA, will be determinant of a decision becoming a policy. As a programme- this type of policy requires a clearly defined area of government activity and involves the passing of legislation, a high level of organization and the use of resources. An example of this is the school feeding programme, where a specific legislation would have been passed, various resources would be needed to get the job done and manpower to complete the delivery. As output- describes what is actually achieved rather than what was promised through legislation. For example, in the Health care system, even with more funding, training, beds and staff, may not necessarily improve the overall and influence the ultimate output but may reach the intermediate output. As outcome- the writers recognised that it may be difficult to make a distinction between output and outcome, however outputs the government’s activities at the time of delivery and outcome as the impact that occurs as aa result of the output. There observation is that a given policy outcome may be the product of outputs of other policy instruments implemented by several organization operating in the same policy area. As a theory or model- according to the writers, all policies, even though it may not be in black and white, are based on assumptions. Policies imply theories based on cause and effect, even though they are not always a straightforward relationship. This type of thinking shows where if ‘x’ part of the policy fails then ‘y’ part is not likely to develop. As a process- this perspective on policy becomes evident through continuous observation over a period of time. According to Hogwood and Gunn, this view of policy leads to issues related to policy analysis. The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. To ensure effective communication Specific skills which inform policy makers and included process investigations during the policy process continued to be developed into a dynamic investigative framework that included four parameters. These were namely; • the concepts underpinning policy change, • policy change in terms of the environment and the complex reality, • the institutional capacities for change and • the experiences of change on the beneficiaries. Considering the above, any process that excludes any of the processes preceding would be based on a linear mode, which progresses from the initial stage of policy design to policy implementation without stakeholder participation (Potter & Subrahmanian, 1998:23-26). Both public and private interests shape public policy. Dunn’s 1984 definition of public policy as a series of government choices to act or not to act regarding specific issues alludes to policy makers’ responses or nonresponses regarding pertinent issues (Van Niekerk et al., 2002:86-87). Dunn’s 1984 definition remains relevant to the present discourse on public policy (Potter & Subrahmanian, 1998:35-39; Van Niekerk, et al., 2002:86-87). From the 1980s up to present, policy development processes, saw the focus shift to public service delivery based on appropriate policies. There are, however, constraints regarding transparent processes and efficient resource utilization (The World Bank Development Report, 2003:160-162; May, 1997:1-3). The public sector remains accountable for policy processes in respect of funding service delivery and monitoring poverty programmes. An inefficient public sector will not deliver effective services. Good governance is a crucial aspect of public service The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. delivery, and includes prudent financial expenditure, co-ordination and efficient local management. Public accountability will ensure policy success. A lack of human and financial capital adversely affects public sector reform and accountability. It is imperative to balance diverse group interests by strengthening organizational capabilities. The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. CONTRIBUTIONS OF PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS Policy analysis refers to the process of identifying which of the alternative policies is most likely to accomplish a certain set goals as regards the relationship between the goals and policies at hand. According to Dunn (2003), policy analysis methods offer the means needed to evaluate the policy alternatives and provide recommendations on the preferred policy approach to achieve the various economic, social or political goals. In addition, policy analysis offers a way of evaluating the existing policies with the primary of objective of providing recommendations on improvement (Dunn, 2003). Therefore, policy analysis is an indispensable tool during the development and implementation stages of public policy. According to Dye 2007, policy analysis plays an instrumental role in the decision-making process in order to craft the most effective policy that can achieve the established goal. Policy analysis facilitates this by using a systematic approach to evaluate the various policy options with regard the goals and objectives at hand. The outcome of the policy analysis process provides a basis for recommending the most appropriate policy to be implemented in order to achieve the established goals. Policy analysis can deploy a number of methods such as quantitative and qualitative research, and using various models such as the process, institutional and rational models with the main objective of coming up with the best policy agenda. According to Radin (2000), he asserts that policy analysis is an effective tool that guarantees the effectiveness and efficiency of the public policies crafted. Public policies have several impacts on various domains such as politics, the economy and social spheres. According to Guess & Farnham, 2011, Public policies comprise of programs, decisions and actions implemented by governmental agencies in order to address issues affecting The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. the public. Public policies strive to regulate the welfare and the economy system through enhancing social equality and economic performance respectively. Since public policies have the main objective of dealing with social, political and economic issues facing the citizenry, the impact of public policies in their respective domains depends on their effectiveness and efficiency. It is evident that the enactment of public policies leads to enhanced workplace safety, cleaner environment, public safety through police protection, safe consumer goods and food, and improved national security among others. All public policies, if implemented appropriately, can increase the quality of life and enhance public safety. Henry (1989) contends that public policy can be viewed as having two distinct branches. On one side, is the substantive branch which is concerned with prescribing for public policy. The theorists associated with this branch deals with substance such as environment, welfare and energy and then on the other hand, there is the theoretical branch. The latter group concentration lies on issues such as research designs, strategic planning, programme planning and other types of policy questions that are not directly linked with substance and content. Henry suggests that the theoretical branch is more capable of sustaining the area of study and providing the understanding of the process of public policy- its formulation, execution and review. Henry also recognises to broad streams in the Public Administratiionist perspective: Descriptive approach and Prescriptive approach. The descriptive approach as posited by Henry (1989), states that the descriptive approach is concerned analysing the process of policy making. There are six models that fall within the descriptive approach: The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. System Model- proposed by David Easton (The Political System, 1953). One of the simplest and widely used models in policy making. It views policy making from a macro level. The model first looks at the various players in the policy process and the influence of these players. Next in the process is the throughput stage, where the issues go through what is termed the Black box stage. Here the executives, the legislature and the judiciary make up the institutions of the government. Finally, the legitimized policy, is interpreted and implemented by the bureaucracy and fed back to the people. The Elite/ Mass model- The policy flows downwards from the elite to the masses so the policy reflect the views of the elite. The policy making elite is able to act in an environment characterized by apathy and information distortion. Group model of policy making- also known as the Hydraulic thesis. The policy is conceived as being a system of forces and pressures acting and reacting to one another in the formulation of public policy. The Institutionalist Model- policy making is the work of various government institutions. Focus is on organizational charts of government and paying special attention to legal aspects of the government, for example, constitutional process and common law. The Neo- Institutional Model- classification of policies according to policy-making subsystems. Lowi (1964), classifies policies in four arenas namely redistributive, distributive, the constituent and the regulative. Streams and Window Model- posited by John W. Kingdon (1976 and 1979). His research was in areas such as health and transportation. He identified three streams- the problem stream- policy makers focused on specific social problems and applied a new policy to resolve. Political stream- comprises of government agenda where bargaining and The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. negotiation are key features of this stream and lastly, policy stream- where the agenda is focused on decisions and how to resolve problems. Not all policies get passed but the ones that do must be acceptable to broad social values. The participants are public administrators, academics and researchers to name a few. A consensus is reached through persuasion and reasoned argument. Kingdon concludes that when the three streams come together a public policy would materialise. The prescriptive approach to public policy analysis focuses on the outputs and the effects of public policy. Two models associated with this approach are the rational model of policy making and the incremental model. Rational decision making model is based on an approach of relating the consequences of all options to all values; and presumes that an ideal type of policy can be attained. It deals with problem identification, organization and classification of values, goals, and objectives relevant to problem, the possible ways to solve problem and to realise goals, the consequences for each policy alternative with probability of occurrence and compare consequences with previously formulated goals and objectives. Incremental decisions on the other hand dealt with smaller scale, less radical and ambitious policy measures that can be tested and adjusted as they are implemented. Lindblom (1959) argues that the more different an alternative is from the past policies, the more different it would be to predict its consequences. He contends that radical innovative polices have a larger chance of having unexpected and undesirous consequences. In this model of policy making it is believed that modesty of decisions limits possible negative consequences and there must be gradual policy changes. Decisions have limited applicability in that they are amended, adjusted, re-adopted. Policy options disappear as a result of lacking consensus rather than rational selection. Policy makers concentrate on avoiding The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. disadvantages or problematic situations rather than goal achievement. Gradual decision processes stimulate policy learning. Decision making is a constant negotiation and adjustment process. Lindblom insists that the incremental model is reflective of real life policy making and contains its own internal logic. He identifies characteristics of real-life policy making such as policies emerge as a result of interaction between actors, it is based on compromise, large policy failure is made by small policy adjustments, policy consist of a series decisions and therefore cannot be solved at one time, and that policy makers avoid situation that may precipitate conflicts. POLICY FORMULATION Policy formulation is the development of effective and acceptable courses of action for addressing what has been placed on the policy agenda which must be valid, efficient and must be authorized by the legitimate decision makers. Policy analysis is important as it involves the systematic evaluation of the technical and political implications of alternatives proposed. The implementation of policies is not an easy task as these policies may not have clear starting points or clear endings, it is a “moving object” (Hill & Hupe, 2009). Implementation may not be rationally organized, since conditions may change; Policy monitoring aids in the improvement of policy information, enables stakeholders to work together, evaluation of technique with the assistance of policy makers from feedback given will determine whether or not the policy requires modification or whether it has been properly implemented or should a new policy be implemented instead. During implementation, policy analysis serves the role of a performance measurement and management tool. It does so by doing a strength and weakness analysis of the implemented policies. Policy analysis hence provides a tool for corrective action by identifying the facets which require revisions. The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. Policy formulation is essentially a critical phase of the policy process which also is a definite subject of policy design. The public policy formulation is an integral part of the predecision phase of policy making. This assignment involves identifying and crafting a set of public policy alternatives to address a problem that a prepared set of solutions is completed for the final solutions for the subsequent stage, from which decision makers actually choose by judging the feasibility, political acceptance, costs and benefits. According to Cochran and Malone (1996), policy formulation is to address the problem, goals and priorities, solution options for the accomplishment of policy objectives, cost benefit analysis, negative and positive externalities that are related to each alternative. These stages are rooted into the policy cycle which has become well known in developing world. The attention of policy formulation is also entrenched in work on subsystem, advocacy coalition, networks, and policy communities (Weible and Sabatier). Moreover, policy formulation is engaged in the agenda setting works in some researchers in 1995 to 1998 (Kingdon and Birkland) yet, the policy formulation is the exertion of the policy communities and policy networks (Howlett and Ramesh, 2002). As such, by recognizing the four (4) policy actors, understanding their beliefs and motivations, their judgments of feasibility, and their perceptions of the political context is pertinent for developing world (Kingdon and Birkland). POLICY IMPLEMENTATION Public policy implementation is referred by some expert as the building stage. To understand and appreciate public implementation policies one must first grasp the concept of public policy. Policy implementation is defined as “what happens after a policy is adopted. Basically it refers to all that needs to be done to carry out what the Government has decided to do. Implementation constitutes the action part of the adopted policy and is a critical to policy outcomes. Actors in the implementation process include: Administrative agencies, Pressure The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. groups, Legislative oversight, Judiciary through law enforcements m non-compliance and Community organizations. Public policy implementation is the stage of the policy making between the establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for whom it affects. A school of thought in public policy implementation is that it should be done incrementally or in small stages. The reason for such is that of people’s responses to changes. Change good or bad is treated with caution, scepticism and in some cases suspicion. When people feel comfortable with what they know it would be very difficult to try to sell something new to them so in such instances implementation process can be faced with steep resistance and rejection by members of the public which can result in failure of the process. Implementation process would also involve the court or judicial system. Any new policy that is created would go through careful scrutiny to ensure that such policy is not in contravention or violation of current laws. In addition, some policies because of the significant changes that they would bring about, would need the approval of legislators or parliamentarians to give their seal of approval. Another aspect of the implementation process is the need by the relevant authorities to communicate those changes effectively. A change in education policy should be conveyed by the ministry of education who must ensure that the information is passed on to the curriculum officers, teachers and finally parents. In short all stake holders must be clear on the content and all aspects of the policy to be implemented. In implementing public polices the terminology must be written as simply an explicit as possible so that the ordinary citizen should be able to understand the terminology; in other words, it should be written in layman’s term so that it would not be misinterpreted by the public and cause alarm or confusion. The key to policy implementation is patience and regular reviews to ensure that if there are any loopholes or problems to be fixed. The Contributions of Public Policy Analysis to policy formulation and implementation in the public sector. CONCLUSION The formulation and implementation of public policy in any country is usually accompanied by bargaining, negotiation and sometimes conflict. Public policies as we have seen, is concerned with creating beneficial circumstances to one group rather than another. Understanding of the process will enrich the citizenry and should provoke active participation. Every stage of the process is important and policies may succeed or fail. It has been suggested that there is sometimes unwillingness to agree and many decision-makers will refer the matters to the higher levels to avoid having to take the risks involved. History has shown that once policies are implemented, they are often difficult to terminate. When they are overturned, it is usually because the policy became outdated, clearly did not work, or lost its support among the interest groups and elected officials that placed it on the agenda in the first place. Nevertheless, the effects of policies are solid changes categorized as economic, social, and environmental. It is the expectation that any impact that results would be the intention and desire however, this would not always be the case and some adverse impacts can be the outcome. Most policy decisions or amendments are relatively minor modifications of past policies, a phenomenon called policy succession or incrementalism. 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