Challenges of implementing and developing policies
Societal challenges are a common occurrence in every society. These challenges may stem from sectors such as political, economic, transportation, health among others. It is, for this reason, that the policy maker, an essential organ of the government, steps in policy formulation. Fundamentally, public policy is government action or proposed action directed at achieving specific desired goals or objectives. It is a problem-solving tool as it determines present and future decisions of the government, business and individuals. Policy formulation is in the form of laws and regulations created by governing bodies from the president down to the members of the City Council. In essence, these policies ensure a state of order in the society. The criteria for determining a good government is in the action or lack of thereof to deal with pertinent issues. The policy-making contains several multifaceted processes and faces numerous challenges as is quite messy and non-definitive. These challenges include and are not limited to the following (Dilliman, 1998).
It involves identifying the underlying issue that needs to be dealt with and seeking the preferable course of action. It is a complex and rigorous process and centres around conceptualisation. This process establishes the concept of policymaking. There are significant questions that need answers to problem identification such as, what is the problem at hand that requires an immediate address? Which objectives best pursue the issue? What is the alternative course of action? What is the effect of each course of action outlined? The problem is analyzed from several angles such effectiveness, equity, equality and expected impact on the society. The challenge posed in this process is the difficulty in determining all possible outcomes and consequences of the selected course of action. Inevitably, some alternatives will be superior to others regarding the valued objectives, and therefore the decision settled on should be a mix drawn from both aspects. The multi-levelled process is time-consuming and consequently a very costly affair (Jordan, 2015).
Stakeholder involvement in policymaking is vital and provides an opportunity for the fundamental understanding of main stakeholder differences. Policy recommendations should emanate from the expectations of the entire community, and therefore stakeholder’s involvement is crucial because their Input represents the values of the broader community. An ordinary citizen may find it difficult to comprehend the Policymaking jargon is it a very complicated and technical process. This is where the stakeholders’ engagement come in handy as their input in policy-making increases quality and trustworthiness of policies. Mistrust by the society the potential challenge in engaging stakeholders is in identifying key stakeholders that fairly represent the population of the interested policy. Furthermore, the selected stakeholders may have differing opinions from that of their constituents. Consequently, the selection process needs to be rigorous and transparent before settling on the individual stakeholder for the engagement. Another challenge is that stakeholders’ engagement requires resources for mobilization. Some commitments require expert knowledge and skills meaning that the stakeholders be compensated adequately. Moreover, it is crucial to determine at which point during the process of policy formulation to incorporate the experts. To achieve this time and proper planning is critical to meet the set-out objectives. Another challenge is determining how to deal with the different views and consequently ensuring sound policy formulation (WHO, 1999).
It is common knowledge that a stable political system determines the process of policy formulation. Political control, in this case, refers to the system and Crisis. Every step of the policymaking process is regulated with little change. Significant elements affecting the changes and enforcing the policy stem from the political stability, political ideology and beliefs. Moreover, in case of a crisis, implementation and enactment of the plan is immediate. Similarly, the political constraint is a challenge to policy formulation. For instance, political indifference amongst politicians may result in opposition to a policy which in fact has the best interest of the society. Relatively, there is more objectivity in policy making when there is a lack of vested interest. Government bureaucracy to a large extent determines the capabilities and success of policy implementation. Implementation of policies by unfavourably disposed bureaucrats may not be competent and may be approached unenthusiastically (Jordan, 2015).
A successful process is that which benefits all societal members. In order to mitigate the aforementioned challenges in my place of employment I will mitigate that policies be formulated and implemented efficiently and promptly. In addition, I highly recommend that resources be mobilised and allocated adequately for the same. The necessary financial, human resources should, therefore, raise an adequate budget. Before approval of any proposals, decision-makers need to establish that there are sufficient resources to carry out the programme. The source of funds for this engagement should be donor independent because investors may exert their influence or preference in the policy formulation and implementation process. Although the policy design cannot be perfect, it should represent a realistic means of achieving the objectives by testing it out extensively and rigorously before endorsing it. Moreover, the policy-makers should have a detailed and deep understanding of the situation at hand and take into consideration the credibility of evidence . politics, both internal and external is a key driving factor that intervenes in policy making. For that reason I would ensure that the committee spectrum should be diverse, rational and disenfranchised in order to shape meaningful social policies (Hill, 2008).
In conclusion, Policy formation and implementation may at times be rational or incremental. While it is helpful to consider it as a rational process, practically, the process does not adhere to a linear style because it is affected by transient, political and situational factors making stakeholders’ involvement in policymaking very crucial.
E. A., University of the Philippines., & Philippines. (2002). Management of policy formulation: The Generics Act of 1988. Diliman, Quezon City: National College of Public Administration and Governance, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, University of the Philippines.
Hill, M. J., & Hupe, P. L. (2008). Implementing public policy: An introduction to the study of operational governance.
United States. (1980). Policy formulation and implementation at the federal level: A comparative analysis of structure, functions, and staffing in ten cabinet departments.
World Health Organization., & Intercountry Consultation on Policy Formulation Implementation Processes and Implementation Methods. (1999). Policy formulation processes and implementation methods with a special focus on the development of human resources for health: Report of an intercountry consultation, 28 September-2 October 1998, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Geneva?: World Health Organization.
In Jordan, A., & In Turnpenny, J. (2015). The tools of policy formulation: Actors, capacities, venues and effects.