Public Policy Formulation-1: Definition, Types, & Components

  1. Different Formats
  1. Distributive: These types of policies are generally formulated in response to a specific issue and affect only a select group of people in society although their impact could be far-reaching. For example, regulations passed and directions issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in a country regarding levels of carbon emissions in vehicles will affect car manufacturers more than other kinds of businesses. Although these regulations applied to one group of manufacturers but their benefits could be enjoyed by everyone in the form of improved air quality.
  2. Redistributive: On the other hand, redistributive policies affect the majority. For example, the compulsory pension contributions for the employees affect any business hiring an employee.
  3. Regulative: These policies are often applied to businesses and corporations to impose good business practices.
  4. Constituent: Any policy converted into proper legislation is a constituent public policy.
  1. Awareness Creation
  1. Preamble: Outlining the context of the policy being promulgated, the preamble, usually a short one or two-paragraph statement, explains why there is a need to formulate the policy, particularly the intent that led to the creation of the policy, and what its desired effects or outcomes.
  2. Definitions: Important terms and concepts used in the policy document are clearly and unambiguously defined to obviate the possibility of their multiple interpretations.
  3. Scope: Here the policy document describes the segments of people, regions of the country, and organisations that will be affected by this policy. It may include certain groups, areas, or organisations for preferential treatment or exclude certain people, organizations, or actions from the policy requirements.
  4. Date of Application: This section indicates when the policy will come into force. Normally policies are applicable with effect from a future date but in exceptional cases, a policy can have retroactive application for a very valid reason.
  5. Policy Directions: This is the meat of any policy document, indicating the specific regulations, requirements, or modifications that the policy intends to promulgate. General in nature, these statements give broad directions to those implementing them regarding the actions to be taken. Based on these statements, a strategy or set of strategies will be prepared by those responsible for its execution
  6. Institutional Mechanism: Every policy has a home, the ministry, or the organisation which is responsible for its formulation and implementation. However, the policy will clearly delineate the agencies, existing or to be created, and parties and organizations responsible for carrying out individual policy statements are designated.
  7. Repeal Clause: Every policy must repeal any similar policy or its certain clauses affected by the new policy issued in the past


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  1. Public Policy Formulation-2: Process & Challenges



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