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Stages of Policy Making

1. What is Policy?
• Policy is a written or unwritten guidelines that governments, organizations and institutions,
communities, or individuals use when responding to issues and situations. It is a result of
authoritatively ascertained, legitimized, enforced and evaluated by the government and its agencies
or institutions like Congress, Executive, Judicial Branch and other local elective officials and Local
legislative bodies and entities.
• As defined under Collins Dictionary, a policy is a set of ideas or plans that is used as a basis for making
decisions, especially in politics, economics, or business to achieve long term goals. This term, as
applied to a law, ordinance, or rule of law, denotes its general purpose or principle which a
government is guided in its management of public affairs, or the legislature in its measures. (Black's
Law Dictionary:

2. Stages of Policy Process

◦ Agenda Setting (Problem Structuring)
- This stage refers to the process through which a policy and the problem it is intended to address
are acknowledged to be of public interest.
- In this stage, the policy makers discuss and spot the issues to be addressed. propose solutions, and
engage in activities that influence the government and pressure it to intervene, including identifying
groups that can play an active role in addressing the problem (Ripley, 1985, in McCool, 1995, p. 159)
Also, once they come up with the specific list of issues, they will decide as to what policy must be
made to help or guide them to its creation and enforcement.

◦ Policy Formulation (Proposal Stage)

▪ After identifying the issues involving public interest, the public administration or policy makers,
by interpreting and understanding the problems, will come up into possible solutions and
options to be considered. They will make list of priorities as to the degree of urgency that the
identified issues must be resolved. In this stage, the government administration will come up to
guidelines, strategies and methods to be used for its implementation in the future.

◦ Policy Adoption (or decision making)

▪ After the decision be made at the governmental level, the resulting decision will now be
forwarded to agencies of the government and other entities for its implementation.

◦ Policy Implementation (Monitoring)

▪ Under this stage, the policy’s implementation parameters are established, which can directly
affect the eventual outcome of the policy. In the implementation, the complexity, magnitude,
human and financial resource, administrative structures and regulations are considered. As to
what agency will enforce the said policy, as to its coverage or scope, as to its timeline, as to its
subject, as to its object, as to its expenses, and as to its sanctions if violated or not followed, are
also factors to be considered.

◦ Policy Evaluation
▪ At this stage, a policy is evaluated, to verify whether its implementation and its effects are
aligned with the objectives that were explicitly or implicitly set out. This evaluation can be
carried out by the government agency, by consultants or by civil society in general (Howlett &
Ramesh, 2003)

3. General Guidelines for Changing Policies and Choosing Tactics

Changing and choosing the policies can be a crucial strategy in implementing community
interventions by the policy makers, local officials, government corporations and entities. The
following are the guidelines to be considered:

• In changing policies:
◦ Determine the kind of policy that must be modified. It is necessary that the measures used are
effective and efficient in accomplishing the goal.
◦ Develop a new or revised requisite or standards, as such policies must affect not only the quality but
also reach a high standard of living for the community as part of the public interest.
◦ The policies may not solve the problem, so better have a coping mechanism to modify and alter the
methods used for it to become more effective.
◦ Advocate your proposed modifications so that the individuals, organizations, and entities’ programs
and facilities must follow the ethical rules and standards and modification.
◦ Even if modified, continue to develop, monitor and evaluate the process until it will fit perfectly to
the desired goal.
◦ The programs must be feasible and properly set and have safeguards for those who will be affected.
Once the policy is evaluated and there are some areas which would be prejudicial to any individual
or entity, it must be modified to serve their best interest and of the public.

 In choosing tactics:
o Learn the things about the existing written or spoken policies.
o Decide whether such policy would fit to your desired goal.
o People who are implementing the policy must be well-versed, if not, is familiar with the methods
and goals of the policies.
o The people or individuals must be competent and have sense of professionalism in their tasks.
o The methods that must be used in implementing the policies must fit to the goal of the policy and
acquire certification and licensure to accommodate even the minimum standard required, must also
be considered in the tactics.
o The staffs are also considered in and are one of the key persons in the implementation of the
policies, they must be licensed, certified and obtain the requisites as provided by the policies or be
based on competence in the volume of workload needed.