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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 3250
Tim Mau

Chapter 1: Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice  Public policies provide guidance for government officials and accountability links to citizens  Policies become visible and measurable to the public, they become key tests of the governments records at election time What is Public Policy?  The very nature of intelligent and accountable governance in a democracy demands more than mere decisions – requires decision making guided by a framework  Public policy: course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a given problem or interrelates set of problems  Framework: policies are guides to a range of related actions in a given field  Policy-maker: someone who develops these guides  Policy-taker: someone who operates within that policy framework  When a policy is changed the actions that take pace within its framework are reconfigures to yield different results o Howlett and Ramesh: said public policy is at its simplest, a choice made by government to undertake some course of action (EX. Issue of recognizing same sex marriage) o Rochefort and Cobb: note that decision making in crisis situations is synonymous with an emergency mentality that enables “quick responses but also tended to produce temporary Band-Aid solutions” to major public problems  Public policy is seen as a means of dealing with problems and sometimes opportunities; policies are largely “instrumental” (tools to tackle issues of concern to the political community o In public policy making using the “right tool” means both using the tool that is best suited and the tool that is consistent with a morally acceptable range of government behaviour  Policy development: process of shaping policy initiatives, from problem recognition to implementation and evaluation  The most important overarching value in public policy is the public interest  The fundamental value of public service is loyalty to the public interest or the public good o Taxation: at most basic level it is about generating revenue for the government o Taxes are also used as instruments that encourage or discourage certain kinds of behaviour (EX. Lower business taxes = encourages investment, higher sin taxes on alcohol and cigarettes = might discourage drinking and smoking)  Rational model: a systematic approach to problem-solving that lays out the problem, reviews options, and makes recommendations based on the intersection between goals and factual circumstances  Policy is what governments actually do, not what they intend or say  Emergent strategies: consistent patterns of behaviour that emerge or form rather than being planned  Policy Statement: defines the problem, sets the goals that are to be achieved and indicates the instruments or means whereby the problem is to be addressed and the goals achieved  Problem definition: considered the central element of a policy statement – it indicates what the problem and the issue is and some of the casual factors behind it Key Elements of a Policy:  Problems must be recognized and defined– the recognition of a problem is just a sense of something wrong, defining a problem gives it a meaning  The process of problem definition can either be exhaustive or casual  Problems usually come in clusters and so problem definitions typically operate across a range of dimensions  Problems can sometimes appear in an external form of a substantially changed context or situation, more like new realities or opportunities to which we have to adapt  All problem definitions indicate what the problem or issue is and bundle that with some indication of the factors that led to it in the first place  Policy definitions are bound to policy goals (2 branches) o General goals: policy goals that enjoy a consensus or that express the broadest objectives of the policy initiative as a whole (EX. Health care policy) o Policy-specific goals: goals related to the broader ones but more directly connected to the programs that give the policy effect (EX. Having a health care policy that is aimed at improving services for at-risk youth for things such as reduced pregnancy /substance abuse)  Policy instruments: means by which the problem is to be addressed and the goals achieved  Instrument choice can be significantly constrained by perceptions of legitimacy  Legitimacy is elastic and will change with circumstances and it is culturally contingent (such as opening safe injection sites for heroin addicts)  Instrument choice can be limited by legal restrictions (such as limits on spending programs due to high deficit levels, limits to taxation and regulatory policies in global environment )  Policy space: the wider field within which a given, single policy operates in relation to others that tackle different elements of the problem  Policies are expected to have an o Internal consistency: consistency among the 3 elements of problem definition, goals and instruments o Vertically consistent: consistency between the broad policy framework and the specific programs that implement that framework o Horizontal consistency: consistency across policy fields, not just within them; an expectation that what governments do in one field will not contradict what they do in another What Is Public Policy Analysis?  Policy analysis: defined as the disciplines application of intellect to public problems 2  It is systematic – proceeds logically through a series of clearly defined stages to come to a conclusion Core principles in the use of expert knowledge in the policy process:  Accountability, plurality, integrity, openness, participation, effectiveness, coherence, proportionality, subsidiary  Policy analysis should be disciplined and systematic – there needs to be both good and bad analysis  Has an element of interpretation and perspective, a form of practical reason, relies on good deal of judgment, experience, exploration  Unintentional bias needs to be removed: gender-based analysis was used, a process that assesses the differential impact of public policies, programs, and legislation on women and men in terms of their social and economic circumstances  Gender mainstreaming: a strategy to ensure that a gender perspective is reflected in all types of organizational activities  Policies are also complicated by cultural biases Policy analysis, is itself a specific form of inquiry  One may reason about policy in several legitimate ways: ( these are the types of reasoning) o Normative: analyzes policy in reference to basic values and ethical principles o Legal: analyzes policy in terms of jurisdiction and consistency with legislation or the charter o Logical: analyzes policy in terms of internal, vertical, and horizontal consistency ad whether it “makes sense” o Empirical: analyzes policy in relation to impacts and effects, costs and administration  Object of Analysis  Process: the various determinants of a policy, the actors and institutions that shaped it  Content: problem definition, goals, instruments  Outcomes: legislation, regulations, actual impact of effect  This breakdown and definition of policy analysis deliberately excludes some “other ways of knowing” – the system of rationalism BOX 1.1  The Rational Decisionmaking Model ( used in making rational decisions, in application to policy analysis here) o Choose Objectives: know what one wishes to do/accomplish; have a statement of the problem as well as the goals o Consider alternatives: identify the means by which the goals/objectives may be attained o Outline Impacts: every decision has a cost/benefit, positive/negative impacts – they must be measures 3 o Determine Criteria: rank al the alternatives in order of desirability – look for least cost for given objective o Apply models/scenarios: construct scenarios to help predict the potential empirical consequences of the chosen alternatives o Implement preferred option: put the preferred option into effect o Evaluate consequences: what happened, how well do real impacts fit with predicted outcomes Herbert Simon:  Acknowledged that pure rationality in decisionmaking was an impossibility and that human beings made decision under various constraints, within his model he described as bounded rationality in search of satisficing solutions o Bounded rationality: most human decisionmaking takes place under various constraints rather than idea conditions of complete information and unlimited processing capacities  Satisficing: objective in most human decisionmaking to find a workable rather than perfect solution to problems  Policy analysis often demands at a minimum: o Expertise o Reliance on western science o Deductive logic measurement o Clear and replicable steps or stages  The rational model has been challenged  First criticized by saying that “the real world is incremental, not rational” o Charles Lindblom: argued that decisions get made on the basis of successive limited comparisons  We make decisions by clarifying what we want and what we believe only through the process of concrete choices in specific situations; we also often make decisions made on the backdrop of what has been done before o “Facts” lie at the heart of the rational model, but “facts” are constructed through values and theories  it is pointed out that facts are always constructed through values and perceptions or deep theories that structure our cognition of reality o Policy analysis actually has relatively little influence on policymaking  Recommendations from policy oriented studies seemed to have little effect on either the day-to-day operations of program management or the long term direction of public policy  Breaking through the challenges thrown out at public policy there has been a strong policy capacity (institutional ability to conduct policy analysis and implement its results effectively and efficiently) 4 Chapter 2 Modern Governance: The Challenges for Policy Analysis Policy analysis was defined as the disciplined application of intellect to public problems. It has to be recognized that the scope and depth of policy analysis has to change as public problems change and become more complex. The key forces of these changes are globalization, political culture and governance. If policy analysis fails to contend with these forces then it becomes worthless. Governance Economic Globalization American journalist Thomas L. Friedman (1999) states that there is a ‘globalization system’ and that globalization itself is a ‘dynamic process of integration of markets, nation-states, and technologies.’ And the driving idea behind it is free market capitalism, which says that the more countries integrate with the world economy and allow global economic forces to influence domestic economies, the more they will prosper. Scholte (2003) identifies what he coins as the ‘four cul de sacs’ which are concepts of globalization but don’t add or increase our understanding of the term globalization because they were there long before the contemporary definition of globalization. These cul de sacs are: internationalization, liberalization, universalization, and westernization; Instead, contemporary globalization can be defined by the concept of globality, or the sense of a single social space where people conduct conversations within that space without regard for territoriality and discuss global events; Globality is complemented or complicated by disruptions in the flows and networks involved. Appadurai (1996) states that there are 5 ‘scapes’ that make up contemporary globalization: ethnoscapes (movement of people as tourists, migrants, refugees, exiles; technoscapes (Internet and transportation technologies); financescapes (unpredictable financial flows); mediascapes (all forms of global media); and ideoscapes (global flow of ideas and ideologies that generated locally but spread globally). For the majority though, contemporary globalization is more about the economic changes over the last 50 years. The first dimension of economic globalization, the development of a complex international trading system after WWII consisting of GATT or General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (This was later replaced by the WTO or World Trade Organization), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the Breton Woods agreement on currency transactions. Their purposes were to create international governing bodies to set world standards and deal with problems stemming from trade to communications, as well as break down barriers between countries that hampered these. Since the 1950s the trend of global trade has been upward despite some setbacks such as terrorism, bankruptcy, or political turmoil. And as the world’s economies become more intertwined, both economic successes and failures are felt by all. Companies used to have to adhere to its country’s policy or domestic policy but with globalization, it is now able to fragment parts of its operation to other spaces where it would be more efficient to make or procure. These networks are called ‘global supply chains’ or ‘global value chains.’ The second dimension is the formation of transnational corporations (TNCs). These are a modern interpretation of a multinational company. They are characterized by their commercial interests which are primary, they operate across the globe, and their national home base is relatively unimportant. There are 3 phases to becoming a TNC. The first is that 5 it exports to foreign markets products produced domestically. The second phase is when it establishes production facilities in these foreign markets, still depending on the parent country for supplies, services, and direction. The third phase is when it has developed a global chain for the production of the final product. This ‘global sourcing’ is where the company will shift production to the most advantageous sites for labour or expertise. The third dimension is the increase in capital flows and mobility. Large financial institutions have developed systems that are able to transfer capital, from stock to bonds and currencies, almost instantaneously. Large amounts of capital can be shifted from country to country or from one stock exchange to another. Shifts that affect this capital, such as exchange rates, interest rates, stock price fluctuations, can also be applied instantly due to new technologies. With the emergence of a global economy, come international trade agreements. As far as individual countries go, it has added another layer of constraint on their government’s abilities to protect their domestic markets. The matter then becomes domestic policy versus honoring an international one, leaving bodies such as the WTO to mediate these trade disputes. Countries would rather sign a trade agreement and pass on these disputes upwards to the international entity, believing that the greater good is being served. The concept of ‘race to the bottom’ is then introduced where countries lower and lower their standards to accommodate these agreements, a maneuver to attract foreign capital, even though these countries might have less and less capacities to fulfill their obligations to regulate, monitor, or tax. The perception is then of a weakened government or State in this era of globalization. States have to keep up with its previous duties of providing and caring for its people, despite the effects of factors outside its territories. States now have to reassume authority over its domain, become more active players in the global arena in order to pursue the interests of its people, political, environmental, financial, etc, as well as deal with global threats such as terrorism, by stimulating its state powers to involve better regulation, policing, defense and surveillance. Economic globalization does not necessarily mean the fall of government, but it just means the reconfiguration of its duties and activities, while using new instruments to tackle new challenges, competitors, and partners. Analysts like Vogel (1995) argue that concepts like the ‘California Effect’ could prevent the ‘race to the bottom’ trend. It follows the premise that trade can lead to higher environmental standards as political jurisdictions with higher standards can force foreign nations with weaker domestic standards to either design products that meet those standards or sacrifice export markets.’ In other words, make the product to our specifications or we won’t buy it. It is a stance that substandard products and services won’t be welcomed. Even though most people would like to promote globalization through free trade, multinational corporations, and free markets, there is a fair amount of fear and apprehension. Local populations feel that it threatens the environment, culture, etc. There is a fear that immigration will take jobs away or that multinational corporations will send the work elsewhere through outsourcing. A leaflet at a protest proclaimed that ‘The world shaped by the G-8 is a world of war, hunger, social divisions, environmental destruction and barriers against migrants and refuges.’ Arguments such as these help fuel the ideologies of protesters of globalization. But as of yet, there is little solid foundation for these claims. Economic globalization is largely politically driven as countries realize that it is in their best interest to integrate economies. Geo-politics now has new channels through which it can travel. 6 Cultural Globalization As globalization affects all facets of life, so too does it affect our lifestyle and ultimately our culture. Globalization to culture is equal to sameness. Just as iconic brands such as Coke, McDonald’s, Nike, etc penetrate markets and overwhelm local brands, they begin a change in cultural expectations. It begins to change what the local population sees as more socially desirable, what to want, what to buy. What one can buy in one country may be available in another due to the proliferation of the brand. Cultures influenced by the brand may display some similarities and commonalities, although each version of the brand may still have its own identity, due to a blending of the brand and local tastes. This puts more critical emphasis in the differences between the local population and other cultures. Because of this drive for conformity, it may no longer be possible for original, natural ideas, concepts, and cultural idioms to be conceived. The West, in particular, is seen by some as the one to blame for a majority of these ‘cultural invasions.’ Telecommunications and the information revolution play a big role as well in cutting through the traditional concepts of community and culture. It has the ability to globalize and localize an individual at the same time. TV and film have contributed by spreading cultural influences through mass appeal. Music and the music videos bring with it its own culture. And the internet magnifies these influences more than anything else through conduits such as streaming music and video, peer to peer downloading, etc. The internet has its own culture, and this is the ‘now’ culture, which is based on instantaneous connectivity and networking, from such sites such as Youtube, Facebook, Instant messaging, etc. This influence does not stay in the virtual world but is projected into the real world as well. The coming together of these technologies and telecommunications devices bring about the ‘death of distances,’ and that what policy makers have trouble with. These technologies ignore territories and borders, the challenge is protecting and maintaining domestic communities and upholding cultural traditions in lieu of the access to a global culture. Globalization threatens to destabilize local cultural traditions and even eliminate them altogether. Religious fundamentalism, formations of militia, eco-terrorists, etc are examples of resistances to this globalization. Governments are increasing their focus on these cultural issues to better understand the impacts of their policy making, and how to better promote them or support them. International Standards The UN was formed on October 10, 1945, and its Economic and Social Council was instrumental in drafting an international bill of rights. The UN’s Charter referred to the ‘principle of equal rights’ and the importance of universal respect for ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.’ The Council formed the Commission on Human Rights which created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was passed in December 1948. This was a document that was nothing more than a list of universally accepted rights of a human being under the most ideal of circumstances. There was no law or any method of enforcing it, but it was the beginning of awareness. It was the starting point for the creation of treaties, agreements, charters and conventions that covered social, economic, civil, political rights, discrimination and protection of women, and even rights of refugees and conditions of treatment of prisoners or punishment and torture. To say that the movement has been progressive is putting it mildly. There has been global acceptance of most of these agreements, regardless of culture or country, and enforcement of these agreements is easier due to this. So much so that domestic policy making is influenced by these international standards and rules of conduct. In today’s age of communication, it is far more difficult to 7 violate these agreements as worldwide exposure of these is usually just a click away and evidence of it can reach the rest of the planet in an instant. These standards can no longer be ignored. The Politics of Difference The Rise of Postmaterialism The development of international human rights regimes has been mirrored in some fashion on the domestic level as well. Social movements throughout the globe pressed for a shift in attitude. This set the stage for the growth in the West of what is called postmaterialism, which is the shift away from concerns of material gain, and economic issues in favor of lifestyle concerns, social and even spiritual issues. More emphasis was given on the need of freedoms, self-expression, belonging, esteem, and improvement of the quality of life. On Rights As discussions and debates over human rights, also called ‘rights talk’, became more common, ‘it seeps into them, carrying the right mentality into spheres of American society where a sense of personal responsibility and of civic obligation traditionally has been nourished,’ according to Mary Ann Glendon (1991). Alan Cairns, a prominent thinker of the Canadian equivalent on rights talk, stated several key points. a. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms should not be seen in isolation, as it reflects an international movement towards specifying and entrenching individual rights against governments; b. While the Charter in broad terms was a symptom of this development, it has several specific effects on Canadian political discourse and practice. In 1982, it helped change the focus of the Constitution from a government focused one, to a citizen focused one. It helped incorporate minority-group rights to protect from discrimination and abuse; c. It is the combination of these constitutional rights and demographic realities of ethnic, linguistic, and racial diversity in Canada that give the Charter its explosive power; d. This power is being channeled in ways that undermine the ‘old constitution’ of governments and underscore the importance of rights-based movements; The Conflict The third element of the changed political culture in industrialized democracies is the tension between individual and group rights. On the one hand, it is the push for equal treatment, where all people, regardless of group or differences are given equal rights of citizenship. This was a type of liberal individualism, where differences mattered but must be overcome. It depended upon conforming to rules and standards which dictated the treatment of all people. The modern version of this is liberal universalism, which states that differences matter and should be respected. This gives way to cultural pluralism, which is where social policy should sometimes give special treatment to groups. It is a system of rules and standards that dictated treatment of people belonging to different group affiliations (i.e. racial minorities, disabled) and in some cases different rules altogether (i.e. aboriginals). This focus on differences brings about the ‘difference perspective’ which emphasizes ‘collective identities’ as a basis for claims on public policy. It privileges cultural identity to make specific claims on behalf of individuals that belong to a specific 8 group. And this kind of system fosters the policy of multiculturalism. These ideas only cement the belief that using universal rules will only further disadvantage these groups and suppress their differences. As a subset to the Politics of difference, there is the politics of recognition, where there is a demand to be distinguished or set apart from the rest of the population due to differences that are believed to be significant enough to be of different language, culture, history, etc. (Quebec). The impact of postmaterialism, rights talk, and cultural pluralism is complex and contradictory. It has contributed to a ‘decline of deference’ with the Canadian population as well as other countries. There is less trust in governments and politicians than before. The people demand a different kind of policy making process. They prefer to be consulted and want to participate more than before, more than these, they want to be heard. It is believed that politicians create policies that will advance their careers rather than ones that respond to what their voters want. As such, voter turn outs during a particular election year could be affected by things such as campaign promises or party platform or doubts of public image. The people want a representative who will represent their values and beliefs and ultimately is willing to defend them as well. Another impact is where a renewed focus on identity and politics of recognition. The ever increasing diversity, social tolerance, and dynamics itself serves to be the thrust into a situation of policy with 2 challenges. The first being, social fragmentation, or a scattered collection of mutually exclusive groups, which works against the polar opposite, which is social cohesion, where there is a sense of belonging to a community that shares values and a sense of purpose and commitment. The second, is dealing with touchy subjects such as ‘ways of life’ and collective rights. Whether preserving it, promoting it, or protecting it, ways of life are harder to negotiate when it comes to policy making (i.e. Quebec’s issue of ‘reasonable accommodation’ for minorities and their cultural attire and behaviour, funding of faith-based schools in Ontario). Some disputes with policy have even ended up in courts, and leaving it to them to make a ruling on policy. There are always dangers of overstating or exaggerating claims, so the courts have to be weary of this. The role of the courts in policy making is only one dimension, there is also policy enforcement. They have the responsibility to uphold the law as well as the Charter, and to operate within them as well. There are 3 elements at play here, the Charter, the willingness and ability to bring the cases to court, and the readiness of the courts to make brave decisions. Governance and Public Management Ideas about governance have several operational levels. The most general is the view of the proper scope and nature of government activity. To what extent should government intervene in what are basically private sector interests? Another level is about the tools that government has and can use for policy development and deployment. To what extent can these tools be used? And when should they be used? The last is about management practices. What strategy to use? How quickly and efficiently can action be taken? The ideas about governance and public management have been changing radically in the last two decades. The pattern seen in most of the prominent countries is that change in public administration and management was led by the left wing parties. Out of the left and the right wings came believers in the new paradigm of smaller government, balanced budgets, reduced public debt, and other new management processes, collectively called new public management (NPM). 9 Weller (2003): “the term refers to a focus on management, not policy, and on performance appraisal and efficiency; decentralizing public bureaucracy into agencies which deal with each other on a user pay basis; the use of quasi-markets and of contracting out to foster competition; cost-cutting; and a style of management that emphasizes, among other things, output targets, limited term contracts, monetary incentives and freedom to manage…” The traditional system of public administration is close accountability, and therefore has close scrutiny and a minimum of bureaucratic discretion. This is very often costly, and inefficient, and is driven more by rules than by results. Creativity is suppressed, problem- solving is discouraged in favor of routine, and large amounts of resources are dedicated just to manage people in the system, rather than achieving policy goals. David Osborne and Ted Gaebler (1992) derived 10 principles of reinventing government.  Promote competition between service providers;  Empower citizens by cutting out control from bureaucracy;  Being results-focused;  Driven by missions, redefines clients as customers;  Prevents problems before they come;  Directs energies into earning money and not spending it;  Decentralizes authority and encourages participatory management  Prefers market mechanisms rather than bureaucratic mechanisms  Catalyzes all sectors – public, private, and voluntary – into action to solve problems. Kenneth Kernaghan (2000) provided a list of contrast between bureaucratic and post- bureaucratic organizations. Bureaucratic Organization Post-bureaucratic Organization Policy and Management Culture Organization-centred Citizen-centred - Emphasis on needs of the organization - Quality service to citizens (and itself clients/stakeholders) Position power Participative leadership - Control, command and compliance - Shared values and participative decision making Rule-centred People-centred - Rules, procedures and constraints - An empowering and caring milieu for employees Independent action Collective action - Little consultation, cooperation or - Consultation, cooperation and coordination coordination Status quo-oriented Change-oriented - Avoiding risks and mistakes - Innovation, risk taking and continuous improvement 10 Process oriented Results oriented - Accountability for process - Accountability for results Structure Centralized Decentralized - Hierarchy and central controls - Decentralization of authority and control Departmental form Non-departmental form - Most programmes delivered by operating - Programmes delivered by wide variety of departments mechanisms Market Orientation Budget driven Revenue driven - Programmes financed largely from - Programmes financed as far as possible on appropriations cost recovery basis Monopolistic Competitive - Government has monopoly on programme - Competition with private sector for delivery programme delivery A brief history US  March 1993, the Clinton administration launched a National Performance Review headed by VP Al Gore;  its first report contained 384 recommendations that eventually led to some changes in government culture, procurement practices and cuts to some government agencies;  In the second Clinton-Gore term, the effort had shifted to reinvention as part of permanent government agency mandates. NPR was renamed as National Partnership for Reinvention in Government; Its goals were better service delivery, partnerships, and efficiency with focuses on better customer satisfaction and increasing online services;  A new direction was taken when Bush was elected in 2000; his focus was more on efficiency and smaller government and more community based delivery of public services and programs; Bush created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives;  The 9/11 terrorist attack completely changed the Bush administration’s direction on public sector management; It was transformed into a champion of strong, robust, and anything that helped identify his government with an image of secure, muscular, interventionist government;  His administration had a pre-9/11 management agenda that laid out five management priorities: human capital development, competitive sourcing, improved financial management, e-government, and integration of budget and performance information; emphasis was put on performance reporting with the executive agencies having to file reports quarterly; UK 11  The Next Steps program, which started in the Financial management Initiative of 1982, during PM Margaret Thatcher’s term, whose goal was to decentralize government by converting many agencies into ‘departmental executive agencies’ that would be run as businesses delivering public services with virtual autonomy; these agencies no longer need to follow general gov’t guidelines on expenditures, they can set their own salaries and classify jobs as they see fit; o by 1998, there were 138 Next Steps agencies with 377, 500 civil servants; the direction of Next Steps shifted from creation and formation of agencies to performance improvement; o Its main contribution was the decentralization of government agencies;  And the Citizen’s Charter, was introduced by PM John Major in 1991 with the goal of altering bureaucratic practices to improve the quality of public services;  There was also a Charter Mark program which was to judge public sector organizations on their performances with customers and clients; It was phased out in 2006 in favor of higher performance measure standards of self-assessment;  PM Tony Blair’s “New Labour” win in 1997 pushed the agenda forward with more force;  By 2002, his government’s new framework on social services delivery put more emphasis and more importantly the tailoring of services to clients/customers; the main goal was customer satisfaction with the quality and variety of more personalized services; This was premised on 4 key principles (national standards, devolution to the front line, flexibility to deliver divers services, expanded choice for customers)  In 2008, PM Gordon Brown renewed the direction in tailoring services to the individual needs of people; Canada  In the 1990s, Ontario and Alberta led the way to a rethinking of government through deep spending cuts to dramatically reduce deficits. Quebec and British Columbia were beginning to implement NPM principle and other provinces were already beginning to engage in downsizing, delayering and focusing on service quality;  At the federal level, the Program Review exercise was started in 1994; It was guided by 6 tests or questions: serving the public interest, necessity of government involvement, appropriate federal role, scope for public sector/private sector partnerships, scope for increased efficiency; affordability; These tests were linked with budget deficit strategies;  The Getting Government Right program was started in 1997 by the Treasury Board to look for wide-ranging reforms to achieve a more effective and efficient governance; This had several key themes: o Modernizing program delivery (service clustering, transparency of regulatory procedures, cost-recovery where appropriate); o Alternative service delivery; o Partnering with other levels of government and the private sector; o Greater strategic oversight for central agencies like the Treasury Board; o Better accountability to Parliament and to the public;  The next stage of management reform from the Treasury Board was a report entitled Results for Canadians in 2000, which highlighted a management framework that was guided by a 4 step agenda: 12 o Recognize that the federal government must build a ‘citizen focus’ into all its activities and services; o Highlight the importance of public service values; o Focus on achieving results for Canadians; and promote ‘discipline, due diligence and value for money in the use of public funds;  From the Results for Canadians report, there was a new emphasis on values and democratic accountability, more focus on results, and greater efforts were taken into developing indicators of program performance and reporting on them;  The Federal Accountability Act (FAA) was legislation put forward to change both political and public management practices in the Canadian federal government; o This involved new restrictions on party financing (a complete ban on contributions by unions, corporations, and other organization; an annual limit of $1000 in donations by individuals); o Tougher conflict of interest guidelines (embodied by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner); o A new independent Commissioner on Lobbyists, coupled with tougher standards on disclosure of contacts between lobbyists and decision-makers; o A new Parliamentary Budget Office to give objective analysis to Parliament on the nations’ finances and economic trends, with the power to demand data from departments; o A new Public Appointment Commission to oversee the selection process for government boards, commissions, agencies, and Crown corporations; o Tighter government procurement provisions; o Enhanced powers for the Auditor general to ‘follow the money’; o And new whistleblowers provisions through the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Action, with access to a more independent Public Service Integrity Commissioner as an officer of Parliament; o Designation of deputy heads of departments as ‘accounting officers’;  The Management Accountability Framework (MAF) was developed in 2002 and lays out the Treasury Board’s expectations of senior public service managers for good public service management; It is centred around 10 key items: o Risk Management; o Policy and Programs; o Accountability; o Governance and Strategic o Results and Performance; Directions; o Citizen-Focused Service; o Public Service Values; o Stewardship; o Learning, Innovation and o People Change Management;  NPM has 2 new developments: o A new public regime with an unusually forceful emphasis on ethics and accountability; o A fresh emphasis on public sector renewal, particularly in human resources to help attract, manage and retain talent; The quality of government has come to be recognized as a key instrument in domestic stability and prosperity, as well as international competitiveness (i.e. survival in recession, pandemics, terrorist attacks); There are greater pressures on performance, accountability service, and probity than ever before; Forms and process of governance have changed, as have the problems they tackle and the means at their disposal. This changed context for policy making does not mean the end of choices, simply different constraints, and different choices within those constraints. 13 Chapter 3: Problem Definition in Policy Analysis Introduction  Policy making is largely about trying to solve problems and so the nature of the problems is critical  Triad of a Public Policy: Definition, goals, and instruments o There is a general consensus that definition does need to come first o Dunn, “problem structuring is a central guidance system or steering mechanism that affects the success of all subsequent phases of policy analysis.” o You have to know there is a problem and what kind of problem it is before you go on to try and solve it (will have much better success if there is definition) o EX: before, obesity in the western world was seen as a personal issue. Only after organizations like the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined its role as potential number one leading cause of preventable death (overtaking smoking), did it become a policy problem. o Even if there is a general agreement over the problem of an issue, solutions are not as easily acquired  As per Stone (2002), “a problem definition is a statement of a goal and the discrepancy between it and the status quo.” o However, everyone has different opinions and perceptions on problems and solutions  Governments need to make decisions because they do have finite time and resources. They ask themselves the following: o 1. By what political and intellectual processes are problems defined o 2. What are the generic elements of a problem definition o 3. How are some problems chosen to be on the political/policy agenda while other languish in obscurity o 4. What impact does problem definition have on subsequent stages of the policy process o “It all depends”- not systematic and has a strong socio-psychological dimension Problem Definition- Key Issues  What is a problem? o A substantial discrepancy between what is and what should be (not what could be). There needs to be some realistic opportunity though. o Unrealized needs, values, or opportunities for improvement o Three components to these definitions:  Reality (what is, the unrealized needs or values)  A desired state of affairs ( what should be, the improvement)  The gap between them (the discrepancy)  The recognition of a problem depends on the attention it has and the attention it has depends on its relevance to society or certain groups of people  There are indicators to these problems such as STATS can, research groups etc.  There are also “Focusing Events” which are sudden events/crisis that grab attention (ex: SARS)  Problem definition is the proves of taking some indicator that a problem exists and answering the following: 14 o 1. Looking at the indicator and its relation to the phenomenon it is representing o 2. Why did it happen and how? What matrix of cause and effect is at work? o 3. What action to take in the event that there is a “real” problem at stake? If this a problem that can be solved and who should solve it? Is this a problem the government should solve? (public, private, etc) o Experts on the matter (ie: economists for economic issues, etc) will be able to answer these questions more fully o The object however, is to address and if possible solve the problem in some practical way  Problem Structuring: a key way in determining these questions and developing answers to them (as per Dunn) o Problems can be well structured (small set of alternatives and decision makers) or ill structures (uncertainty, competing objectives/alternatives) o Use the techniques (box 3.1/3.2)  Policy Images: a mixture of empirical information and emotive appears that explain the issue and justify the public policy response o Don’t have time to think of the techniques all the time o Give a sense of the tone of the problem/policy according to positive/negative  Problem Definition (box 3.2): process of shaping a persuasive argument about the nature of the problem and of course, the solution. o It is really important to look at causation o The causal images we use can differ in their emphasis on individual responsibility or systemic sources o Novelty, proximity, and crisis can help look at the urgency o Severity really helps look at what kind of policy/how fast things need to be done BOX 3.1: Methods of Problem Structuring In Box 3.1 there are various methods as well as descriptions listed for problem solving. Some of these include the following:  Boundary Analysis: It incorporates the whole range of current definitions for a given problem and has three parts (1.saturation sampling, 2. problem representations, 3. boundary estimation)  Classification Analysis: Breaking the problem into categories (ex: gender, race, age, etc) in order to get a better sense of causal factors at work. Things also look very different to different groups.  Hierarchical Analysis: Three classes are used to identify the possible causes of a problem: o Possible causes (however remote, have some baring on the problem) o Plausible causes (more conventionally highlighted in the research or debates on the issue) o Actionable causes (addressed by government) 15  Synectics: Relies on the use of analogies to see if new policy problems have similar characteristics to older ones, hence potentially finding previous definitions and solutions.  Brainstorming: Used to generate ideas, goal, strategies (more informal, scenario writing, etc)  Multiple Perspective Analysis: Uses three perspectives to analyze: o 1. Technical perspective (cost-benefit analysis, econometrics, etc), o 2. Organizational perspective (focus on institutional rules, processes, and following standard operating procedures) o 3. Personal Perspective (view things from individual perceptions and values)  Assumptional Analysis: Developing a synthesis of the different assumptions that stakeholders have about the issue or problem  Argument Mapping: Mapping the different policy arguments made by stakeholders. BOX 3.2- Aspects of Policy Arguments and Problem Definition  Causality: What kinds of causal factors lie behind the problem (versus systemic causes, intentional versus accidental, causes due to nature of value, complex versus simple agents)  Severity: How bad is the problem and how bad is it likely to get? (usually measured against past context, what is considered normal, etc)  Incidence: What is the scope and impact of the problem? (who is effected, subgroups, etc)  Novelty: Is this new? (Is it unexpected?)  Proximity: How close is the problem? (How does it hit home? What is home?)  Crisis: How pressing is the problem? (usually rhetorical to identify severity and proximity)  Problem Populations: Who will be targeted in the policy response? (potential targets, who will need assistance, sympathetic vs. deviant definitions of groups)  Instrumental vs. Expressive Orientations: How important is the process of solving the problem in comparison to the solution itself? (focusing on ends and means)  Solutions: What can be done? (Can precede the problem and shape it, are they even available?)  There is no clear process, but what is for sure is that a lot of the time the process of problem recognition and definition is one of making arguments and persuading others.  Constructivists emphasis that there can be no absolute conclusive proof of anything outside a shared paradigm of understandings o There can be something that is “more true” however  Boundary Analysis: People set boundaries there are still different weights to the criteria and interpretation but there is still a foundation of commonly agreed criteria (pg 122 for example)  Two dimensions to issue framing/problem definition o 1. Analytical and emphasizes the logical elements that make up an argument or claim 16  Ex: Policy-relevant information (data/evidence), Policy claim (conclusion of argument- recommendations, etc), Warrant (assumption), Backings (support for warrants), Qualifiers (degree of confidence to claim)  See page 122 for example o 2. Rhetoric  The analytical statements are less important than structural elements of language that stimulate almost unconscious reactions to the argument  Looking at things framed as narratives or stories  Tell an issue as a certain narrative depending on what the vibe is o Ex: the recovering recession would be a reward story rather than when we were in recession where the narrative was more of weakness, temptation, and punishment.  Labels: Summary words that convey subtle but powerful meanings o Usually the first way people are acquainted with policy issues o ex: sex worked vs. prostitute o Use metaphors as well  Agenda Setting o Need to look at the importance of the issue and its place in the public sphere o Look at ideas and their potential  National Mood: people in and around government sense a national mood. They are comfortable discussing its content, and believe that they know when the mood shifts. o A rather large number of people out in the country are thinking along certain common lines, changes from one time or another, have important impacts on policy agendas and outcomes.  There are different patterns that follow how policy is looked at and discussed between civilians o Punctuated equilibrium: long, stable period followed by a burst of change o Issue attention cycle o Windows can often open unexpectedly to solve policy problems (called policy windows)  The way policy is defined often has major impact on how it is solved. There are differences however: o Problems are not so easily defined (and hence the less likely solutions will be unique) o It is not always feasible to deal with root causes (sometimes band-aid solutions are all we have) o There is no science to a definition and it can often deal with various solutions (decisions will have to be up to the government about what to place emphasis on, etc)  The Emerging Policy Agenda o Policy definition and solutions are different now because of globalization. We are dealing with things beyond our borders. o Globalization is not a new thing however, when it comes to policy definition. It’s more the intensity and indirect links with other areas 17 o Things like globalization, technology, and terrorism seem to be on the forefront of people’s minds o Policy Research Initiative- current agenda looks at what is considered important within the Gov. of Canada  Improving measuring and reporting of the impacts of federal science and technology  International regulatory cooperation, as part of a broader international initiative to improve the quality of regulation  The environment and broad demographics of the Canadian population o Multiculturalism is a big issue in Canada as well  The public mood/ideas in good currency is important to look at because it determines if policy is going to have a good chance at being a priority o Policy entrepreneurs need to examine this to carefully time-out their agendas o Things should “sound right” to people when they first hear it o National security for example was a bit issue for the public after 9/11 o Other things like national identity, social justices, rights and freedoms, etc have seen periods in time that are more strong than others o Pg 132-136 gives various other examples for policy changes and ideas in Canada (looking at things like the environment, debt, etc) o Things have changed in the last decade and even in the last year o Things have also taken on new outlooks (like globalization) due to recent events and there are new problems all together (ex: the aging population) o The nature of the issues are closely connected (ex: globalization and technology)  A more horizontal look at things (cutting across all areas) o You cannot think of everything all at once howe
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