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Chapter 5

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Political Science
POLS 3250
J Killingsworth

Public Policy: Prospects and Challenges Chapter 5: Policy Implementation This chapter deals with the challenges of organizing and delivering outcomes through instruments. The list of new management practices, with decentralization, partnerships, client focus, quality service standards, performance and results, commercialization, accountability and ethics is long. There is debate as to whether these new forms of policy implementation represent improvements or decline. o A well designed policy with good implementation is almost a definition of success: a good idea well executed o A good idea can also be poorly executed which can be thought of as an implementation failure o There can also be design failure: the policy is badly designed in terms of problem definition or instruments or goals, but it is executed reasonably well o Total failure occurs when the design and implementation are both flawed The study of policy implementation is crucial for the study of public administration and public policy. Implementation Theory o Successful implementation involves someone or some organization that has brains, strong planning capacity, resources, authority to act and a complete understanding of the goals Hogwood and Gunn's list of requirements o Developed from the administrator's or implementer's point of view No insurmountable Usually organizations and individuals that will not cooperate external constraints Adequate time and Time, money and people sufficient resources Required combinations Time, money and people in the right order and mix Valid theory Good design, especially cause and effect relationships Causal connections are Focus on causal variables that can realistically be addressed by public reasonable, clear and policy direct Dependency relationships Authority is not fragmented or dispersed are minimal Agreed objectives Everyone sings from the same song sheets, no disputes about ends Compliance No sabotage or rebellion Communication Clear communication and understanding Sabatier and Maxmanian Ability of statute to structure implementation: 1. Clear and consistent objectives 2. Incorporation of adequate causal theory 3. Financial resources 4. Hierarchical integration with and among implementing institutions 5. Decision rules of implementing agencies 6. Recruitment of implementing official 7. Formal access by outsiders Nonstatutory variables affecting implementation 1. Socioeconomic conditions and technology 2. Media attention to the problem 3. Public support 4. Attitudes and resources of constituency groups 5. Support from sovereigns 6. Commitment and leadership skills of implementing officials Pressman-Wildavsky implementation model o It is unrealistic to assume that actors will make only one attempt at clearance o Clearance points are not always independent o There is a bandwagon effect at times where previous clearances increase the probability of future clearances o Program reduction strategies may be used to shorten the decision chain Implementation as a game o Bardach o A way of understanding the essentially defensive nature of implementation o The idea of games directs us to look at the players, what they regard as the stakes, their strategies and tactics, their resources for playing, the rules of play, the rules of fair play, the nature of communication among players, the degree of uncertainty surrounding potential outcomes o Avoid implementation designs that rely on complex management systems, large organizations, and lots of clearances Forward mapping: begins at the top of the process, with a clear statement of intent and proceeds through a sequence of increasingly more specific steps to define what is expected of implementers at each level and finishes with what the satisfactory outcome would be measured in terms of the original intent Backward mapping: begins with a statement of the specific behavior at the lowest level of the implementation process that generates the need for a policy. After that behavior is described the analysis presumes to state an objective as a set of organization operations and then a set of effects and outcomes what would result from these operations. The analysis backs up through the structure of implementing agencies and asks what their ability to affect the behaviour that is the target of the policy and what resources do they have to do so. Implementation can be viewed as an organizational process and a political process of bargaining among actors who can each affect the outcomes. The difficulty of implementation lies in the high demands for success. Policy Management Developments: NPM and Beyond Key principles of NPM o Critical of the traditional bureaucracy viewing it as slow, rule bound, inflexible o Questions how much the government should be involved in policy areas in the first place o The mode of delivery of services should focus on nongovernmental actors as primary partners in delivery o There is greater attention to outcomes and performance o Agencies are encouraged to thi
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