INTRODUCTION Governments across the globe are facing multitudes of problem
Governments across the globe are facing multitudes of problem. Such problems are noticed through political matters, economic status, social, environmental factors, cultural as well as religious difference. Decisions to handle such difficulties are either reactive or proactive in nature. So Governments and other actors play a major role to eliminate those problems by using a unique and strong mechanism, which is called a policy (De Bruijn & ten Heuvelhof 2008). A word policy derives from a French word policie which refers to civil administration, via Latin from Greek politeia refers to citizenship,’ from polit?s which refers to citizen (Young 2013). And this assertion is going to demonstrate what public policy is all about within a global system.
Firstly, the paper will establish a tool that has been used by many Governments in all aspects of life whether economic, political, culture and environmental matters. Policy is one of the multifaceted concepts and there is no any agreed universal definition, so in its simplest refers to pathway to pursuit the desired goals within a precise setting based on decisions made whether institution or individuals. Policy acts as a bench mark to Governments when developing guidelines, procedures, standards even regulations to be used when addressing problems in the societies and issues that are of public concern for example the Malawi National HIV Policy of 2003, Malawi Decentralization Policy of 1998 and the Bush Doctrine of 2002 (Pal 2005). A policy has chains of decisions tight together into a logical order.
Secondly, this subsection aims at showing the link between the public and the policy. Being one of the contested fields as far as contemporary policy studies is concerned and developed after the World War II in 1950s and 1960s (Heinemann et al 1997). Due to the convolution there are many definitions by different scholars based on their views and interpretations. Lasswell (1958) stated that public policy refers “who gets what, when, and how”. Another scholar Dean Kilpatrick came with a different view from his book Definitions Of Public Policy And the Law defines Public Policy as ” a system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives”. Dye (1972) defines public policy as “what government chooses to do or not to do”. Therefore in a nutshell public policy is a decision made by the government after an activity has been made in order to achieve a proposed goal or objectives by creating a smooth link with citizens and basically this is done by political maestros.
Additionally, the discussion will come up with the main forms in which a public policy can be demonstrated which are formal and informal policies. Egonmwan (1991) stated that formal public policy is the planned document produced by those that have legal authority, which includes legislators, the executive, the bureaucrats and the judiciary. some of them are after thoroughly discussion, reviewed, approved and also published by a body which is entitled to do so especially government institution, for example Malawi land policy. Whereas informal public policy it is a general but temporary in nature, unwritten but a practice should be accepted by individuals or an organization hence an action need to follow. This is done mostly by those people who have an influence to the government although they do not possess legal authority as far as policy making is concerned; some of them are interest groups, political parties and individual citizens (Anderson 1979).
Fourthly, this paragraph will try to present a valid link that is mostly realized between the political elites and public policy making. The political system model basically pointed at the power of political elites when they are presenting their authoritative decisions through identified government institutions in developing countries with an aim to achieve an output which is a policy (Easton 1965). The pluralism model also tries to show the link between power of politician and public policy. The model emphasizes that, the presence of battle from different groups that influence the public policy whereby the political elites have an upper hand as compared to other groups for example the passing of Malawi land bill Act in 2017 by the parliament without considering views from other groups (Schattschneider 19960). Another link is seen by the Elite model which has a view that public policy as the only way the preferences and values of the power elite. And it has been noted that when public policies are made, the elites do influence much by putting their priorities first while others to follow
When a policy process starts, nobody knows who gets ‘What, When and How’ (Lasswell, 1958) or what line of action will eventually be implemented. Where a policy is made and implemented in multi-actor contexts, the various stakeholders frequently view problems and solutions differently and some will try to influence the aim and direction of a policy all the way through the policy process.
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