When we talk about the fundamentals of public policy, the foremost aspect is to discover the key concepts and perspectives which bring up the field of public policymaking. Considering relevant principles of social science and humanities, it aims at restructuring a systematic methodology while interfacing between theory and practice. Nowadays, the policy environment is marked by limitless complications. The modern nation-state is further diluted through globalization. The process of policy-making is shared between non-state actors and governments.
In general, the two essential categories of public policy include knowledge and action. A theoretical paradigm-change is on-gong which calls for fundamental concepts and categories in the public domain. The dynamic process involves the incorporation of incongruent contributions and e-governance along with information society. Here are the six important steps involved in the policy-making process.
1 Agenda Setting
In the very first phase of the policy-making cycle, agenda-setting helps in determining the underlying concerns. The four common types of agendas include:
- Systemic agenda include multiple issues worth noticing.
- Institutional agenda is developed from the content of the systemic agenda. Policymakers evaluate the core problems and come up with proposed solutions on time.
- Discretionary agenda involve addressing concerns highlighted by legislators.
- The decision agenda is the final list of problems that move to the next phase of the policy-making process.
2 Policy Formation
In this step, solutions to problems are discussed and shaped. The phase involves detailed negotiation and consultation between parties. Some of the common concerns include financial restraints and personal or political limitations. The process continues after initial legislation is approved. Learners interested in this domain can look forward to a career in public administration.
3 Policy Legitimation
Legitimacy refers to administration and legal actions. The policy must be passed through the legislative process. Once done, it can be implemented and recognized as the law of the land. The legitimacy of a policy highly depends on the readiness of people to accept it. It might be possible that the policy is rejected for some valid reason.
4 Policy Implementation
The policy is framed into action. There is a shift of responsibility from policymakers to policy executors. A well-written policy with sub-standard execution may end up in failure.
5 Policy Evaluation
Policymakers carry out an in-depth evaluation to figure out whether the policy is moving forward progressively towards the pre-determined goals. The procedure of evaluation takes place either during implementation and once the policy in question has ended.
6 Policy Maintenance, Sequence or Dissolution
Once the policy is implemented, certain incidents may occur that result in shifting objectives, values, or primacies. With emerging issues, the policy-making cycle begins once again assisting the administration and successfully address important challenges.