Do you have a Direct or Indirect Impact?
o Initial Situation Analysis ( what policies already exist, values, priorities)
o Nature of your Involvement ( degree of control, amount of influence, ability to
participate and bring awareness)
o What is the most appropriate posture for the government to take in responding
to the situation.
Reactive: responsive to issues arising in the external environment;
minimal planning; narrow view; limited resources; court decision.
Preactive: we scan, predict, and prepare for issues, factors, and
trends. We attempt to identify potential risk in advance, mitigate
where we can and implement contingency plans where we cannot.
We look for potential unanticipated consequences.
Proactive: developing and pursuing a vision; leading from values
o Are the changes in policy driven by the Government or Community? If at
the government level, what level? If at the community level, how is
community being defined (geographic, interest groups)?
o Are there links to major desired system changes/pressures?
o Inclusion/exclusion, determinants of health, citizen
o Who may care or be affected by this? (issues of allocation too)
These are some general questions you need to understand before figuring out
what is going on in a situation. You need to define a problem before you solve it
in the world of public policy this may be the difficult part of the process.
o There are usually multiple stakeholders. The most effective way to do this
is to define the problem in a way where all stakeholders can see their own
POLICY PROCESS – to describe the purpose of public policy we need to
consider the origins and the types of public policies and the key factors in policy
development. Then we look at hoe public policy is developed and outline a
comprehensive 6 step process. The conclude by discussing some neglected
areas that represent emerging views on essential aspects of policy development
such as implementation, alignment, and transfer.
DEFINTION OF PUBLIC POLICY – there are a bunch of definitions. One
definition public policy is a choice or decision made by government that guides
subsequent actions in similar circumstances.
UNDERSTANDING POLICY (PERSONAL APPROACH) – Individual, Families,
Organizations, Governments. All of these have policies and there are reasons
why these policies are created.
ORIGINS OF PUBLIC POLICY – Policy issues can be separated into two
categories: 1) those already on the public policy agenda 2) those that are not. If it
is already on the agenda it is already in a high priority, if it isn’t then it is the job of the community and the stakeholders to inform and educate to get it on the
o Gerston suggests for an issue to be on the public agenda it must meet 3
criteria: 1) sufficient scope ( a significant number of people or communities
are affected) 2) Intensity (the magnitude of the impact is high) 3) time (it
has been an issue over a long period)
Policy development is reactive when it responds to issues and factors that emerge,
sometimes with little warning, from the internal or external environments by:
resolving problems and issues
meeting stakeholder/public concerns
reacting to decisions by other governments, other levels of government, or other
departments with intersecting or interrelated mandates
allocating fiscal resources, natural resources, etc.
reacting to media attention (generally adverse)
reacting to crises or emergencies
Policy development is preactive when it responds to triggers that are recognized
because we are scanning the operating environment, identifying potential issues
and factors that could affect us,and predicting and preparing for mitigation and/or
It is very rare that formal policy development is genuinely proactive.
In practice the nature of policy development is that such that the majority of policy
decisions reflect only minor changes to the status quo.
The challenges associated with developing integrated policy requires a big picture,
the whole system perspective that can identify and address root causes as well
as symptoms. This may offer the best opportunity for proactive policy
development. At this point however proactive policy seems more like a vision
then a reality.
Policy can be driven by political leaders, departments, intersectoral bureaucratic
committees, a very powerful stakeholder such as an industrial lobby group, or by the
TYPES OF PUBLIC POLICY – There are 2 types of public policy: 1) Vertical Policy –
developed within an organization that has authority and resources for
implementation. 2) Horizontal policy – sometimes referred to as integrated policy, is
developed by two or more organizations each of which has authority or the ability to
deal with only part of the situation
o Vertical Policy – we think this is the normal traditional way in which policy
decisions are made. Developed within a single organizational structure and generally
starts with a broad overarching policy, sometimes called ‘corporate’
or ‘framework’ policy.
Decisions are made at the head office. At the regional level we may
develop a strategic policy, which translates the national decisions to
the regional levels. Then the regional policy is made specific
enough to guide operational decision making.
The challenge for many organizations today is thus to maintain
enough central policy direction to ensure consistency and equity,
while at the same time giving .field staff. enough autonomy to
ensure that operational policy is responsive to local needs and
reflective of local values. Another way to view traditional, vertical
policy is as a set of nesting wooden dolls. The large outer doll
opens to reveal a smaller doll inside. That one also opens, and so
on until finally you 12 reach a small, solid doll at the centre. This
doll is the core or pattern from which the others are developed.
Because of its size, its costume does not have the same level of
detail as that of the outer dolls . in fact, the larger the do