The Policy Process

What Policy Process?

New policies and policy decisions can arise in, and are handled in, a multitude of different way and can be driven by many different economic, social and political pressures.  Mark Turner and David Hulme were spot on when they said that 'What must be banished is any lingering idea that policy is some highly rational process in which expert technicians are firmly in control using highly tuned instruments to achieve easily predicted outcomes. Such an image is inappropriate for OECD countries let alone the developing world...'

Policy is made by human agents who will have multiple, often conflicting and sometimes changing policy goals.  And they may enter and exit the policy process at different stages.  Policy is also about decisions ...  and decisions are about power.  The IfG's Catherine Haddon notes that 'Policy-making is not a linear process. It involves extremely complex interactions between influencers, decision-makes, and implementers of policy'.

But ...  policy makers can maximise their chances of success by undertaking research, carrying out robust consultation, and deploying effective communication. They can also avoid re-inventing any wheels by learning lessons from the many reports that have been written by their predecessors.  Follow the links below to access this advice.

Further Reading

Policy Making - Useful Checklists & Reports (1)

Here are four very useful checklists and sets of questions which should be thought about before embarking on, and whilst designing, significant new policies or changes of direction:

And, although aimed at a military audience, The Good Operation offers great advice and checklists for those involved in operational policy-making.

Miscellaneous Advice

The best policy makers know how to speak truth to power. 

Policy managers need to develop strategies, aims and objectives which inspire those who work for them.  Leading and Managing Policy Teams brings together a wide range of practical leadership and management advice from experienced policy professionals.

Civil servants may need to consider these issues, for which advice will be found by following these links.

How to Influence Policy Makers

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