Public policy - Essay Example

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Public policies are very important part of administrative processes that are intended to improve and improvise welfare programs of government in various areas of public interests. The major aim of the public policy is to solve the problems of the people that have significant…
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Public policies are very important part of administrative processes that are intended to improve and improvise welfare programs of government in various areas of public interests. The major aim of the public policy is to solve the problems of the people that have significant impact on the quality of their lives (Dye, 2008). In the last several years, American system of government has used public opinion and their actions and reactions on salient issues of public interest to evolve or reform policies. The reforms in labor laws and recognition to labor unions, tax reforms, healthcare, outsourcing, immigration etc. have been important issues that were addressed by American government in response to massive public outcry. The public policy undergoes several stages before it is established and enacted by the government through proper laws. They are: agenda building; formulation and adoption of agenda; implementation; evaluation and termination.
The first step to the development of public policy is to set agenda by identifying the problem that influences the lives of people. In recent times, the outsourcing of jobs to foreign agencies was a major issue in America as it had serious implications on the employment of the people which had gone down drastically. The issues are identified when it is raised by various interest groups who represent people who are affected by them. The citizen associations, business bodies and voluntary agencies often start the movement at local and state levels and thereby generate greater support nationally. These interest groups have not only the support of the public but also of eminent people like politician, social worker, Congress members etc. which lends credibility to the issue.
Paul Sabatier (2007) says that advocacy coalition framework for policies in different areas of public interests are very strong tools for enacting public policies. They take into considerations the interests of wide range of stakeholders whose lives are impacted by the problems. The coalition comprises of people from different areas media; interest groups; local and state council, researchers and analysts etc. Their feedbacks and opinions become critical part of government mechanism to develop proper agenda for the issue so that it can be taken up by the Congress for discussion. Formulation and adoption of agenda module takes place after the issue is researched and analyzed. The policy formation goes to Congress as a bill rules are drafted. When the draft is adopted, Congress passes the legislation to make policy regulations final so that it can be implemented.
The evaluation of public policy is hugely important because it gives important information about the extent of its success in addressing the specific problems. Cost benefit analysis helps to understand the efficacy of the policy. Government spends huge amount of money on the implementation of public policy and therefore, it become essential to know if the benefits from it are worth the effort in terms of time and money that are spent on it. If and when the policy becomes redundant, it is terminated by the authority to reduce government expenditure. Indeed, public policies are intrinsic part of democratic processes that empower the public to create alternative political resources for the wider interests of the citizens.
Dye, Thomas. Understanding Public Policy, 12th edition. NY: Prentice Hall, 2008.
Sabatier, Paul A. Theories of the Policy Process, 2nd edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2007. Read More
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