Stages of Policy - Overview.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 3400A/B
Sharon Regan

AGENDA SETTING A list of issues – recognition that a problem is worthy of attention - Non-linear - Political and technical - Complex network Actors Policy actors are individuals or groups who seek to influence the development and implementation of policy - State (government) – multiple levels - Societal – individuals, groups, organizations, researchers, media - ‘The public’ role – small but important - Influence through values, principles - Elected reps Initiation - Inside initiation - Outside initiation - Formal/ informal initiation – things that have been addressed by the gov’t vs. media - Policy communities – groups that gather around an issue & use collective power to influence it Framing – how a problem is - Multiple ways to frame defined - Dictates how problem is treated - Control the power in how and who frames the issues Policy windows - Timing is critical – opportunity for an issue to get on the agenda - 4 types o Routine o Discretionary o Random o Spill-over Challenges - Dominated by demands for responses to crisis - Until crisis, problems may not be on agenda - Political - Define to absolve responsibility - Overcrowded - Influenced by media or special interest groups Strategies - Define or frame the issue - Use windows - Forming alliances POLICY Policy development: the process of shaping policy initiatives from agenda setting to FORMATION implementation and evaluation Policy formulation: the process of generating a plausible set of policy choices for addressing problems - What can be done to address the problem? Actors - Government – direct authority for policy formulation o Cabinet ministers – e.g. Minister of health o Senior officials – e.g. Directors in the ministry of health – public managers - Other actors – indirect/direct influences on policy formulation o Societal actors – e.g. Interest groups – associations, think tanks, universities, researchers Types of Nature of the option developed and how they depart from the status quo Policy 1. Incremental alternative – policy option only marginally different from the status quo Options 2. Fundamental alternatives – policy options are a significant departure from the status quo Policy Tools to implement policy options – Instruments 1. Private instruments – rely on private resources or Tools o Little or no gov’t involvement o E.g. Businesses, family, voluntary social organizations 2. Public instruments – rely on public authority o Direct gov’t involvement o E.g. Laws, taxes, penalties (fines) Challenges - Political challenges o Political nature of policy o Lack of public support for particular options o Closed policy community - Technical challenges o How issue is framed o The potential policy options to select o The resources that must be allocated to the policy options - Institutional challenges o Constitutional issues o Electoral system o Powerful interest groups o The structures and processes in government itself Strategies - Understanding the source of the problem -root cause of the problem? “Framing” - Clarifying policy objectives - Goals and timelines - Anticipating changes - Strengths/ weaknesses of options relative to gov’t in power - Formulating policies within implementation in mind o Forward mapping – scenario analysis o Backward mapping – bottom-up policy design - Looking beyond incremental changes (at probable causes, policies elsewhere, innovations) - Leveraging policy networks – consultation with ppl who are interest in policy issue - Consolidating and screening options – reviewing all options and narrowing based on $ - Establish/participate in interagency committees – cross-department collaboration Decision A decision is made to take a course of action (or non-action), selecting from among a range of Making policy options, to deal with a policy problem - A set of decision ‘criteria’ based on goals - Some comparison of these options - Decisions about the option(s) to be implemented Actors - Government is the main decision-maker - Level of gov’t involved in health policy decisions will depend on who is responsible for the issue – federal/prov/municipal - E.g. Minister of health or a high level bureaucrat in the ministry - Others involved o Individuals within a ministry o Consultants, analysts, experts o Interest groups, lobbyists Models Processes for policy making align with models or approaches: 1. The rational model (look at pic slide 15 – week 4) o Option that maximizes the attainment of goals, values, and objectives o Systematic approach – assumed to lead to most efficient way of achieving goals o Problems:  Time constraint and lack of information may not permit the review of all policy options – less than ideal decisions are made  May focus on policy formulation – options – and less on implementation  May lead to other alternatives – Incrementalism, garbage can 2. Incrementalism o Decision making as a time and information constrained process characterized by conflict, bargaining, and compromise o Closely aligned with the status quo - Small or incremental changes o Cumulative changes over time – less disruptive 3. Mixed Scanning (com
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