Presentation on theme: "PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process"— Presentation transcript:
1 PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process Lecture 4d – Definition: Frame the Problem
2 How to Define A Policy Problem Goal: Ability to recognize problematic conditions and to define the policy problem they present.Objective: Problem definition.Scope: Individual or collective; local or broader in impact; well known or unrecognized; widely discussed or little considered; past, present, or anticipated.
3 How to Define A Policy Problem Product:For purpose A, getting a problem on the public agenda;Written problem description with (or without) explanation of causes and with (or without) proposed solution.For purpose B, aiding policy choice;Written policy analysis with (or without) recommendation.Strategy: Provision of information necessary to your purpose.
4 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda You want to bring public attention to a problem of concern to you.Task #1. Describe the problem and identify the stakeholders.Recognize problematic conditions, characterize the problem that those conditions create, specify the individuals and collectives who have a stake in the problem or its solution.
5 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda Task #1. Describe the problem and identify the stakeholders (contd.).To increase awareness and recognize public interests, proceed in any of the following ways:Work from observation of experiences, practices, effects.Work from subjective constructions.Work from unfinished business.Work from anticipation.Work from ignorance.Work from knowledge.Work from values.
6 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda Task #2. Specify the Issues.Think about the impacts of the problem. Wh or what is affected by it?Conceive the problem narrowly then broadly. Is it individual and local or more widespread?Conceive it broadly then narrowly. Is it widely distributed or concentrated?Think about attitudes. How do different stakeholders perceive the problem? What values (ideals, beliefs, assumptions) are expressed in their definitions?Think about authority. How do stakeholders want to address the problem? Do they see government action as a solution? Do they agree or disagree on government’s role?
7 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda Task #3. Offer solutions (if you are proposing a solution.Solutions typically rely on policy instruments that governments can use.If you already have a positive and feasible solution to suggest, do so.If you need to think about it, if you want to counter with a proposed solution, or if you want to create fresh alternatives, stimulate your thinking with any of the following approaches.Review the problematic conditions with a fresh eye, looking for unnoticed solutions.Reconsider a tried-but-failed or a known-but-ignored solution to find new potential.Look at a problem from a different perspective.Assign it to a different governmental level or jurisdiction if government already addresses the problem.Consult with nonprofit groups and nongovernmental organizations that are concerned about the problem.Consider doing nothing.
8 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda Task #4. Write the document: problem description and definition.Before you write, use the method in chapter 2 to determine the rhetorical framework (audience, purpose, context, situation) for your communication.If the type of communication is given to you, use it in accordance with the rhetorical framework.Two types of documents:Letter or essay describing the problematic conditions, possible identifying the causes of the conditions.Letter or essay conveying informed opinion, possibly advocating an approach to the problem.The type of communication should reflect the needs and expectations of your audience as well as you.
9 Purpose A: Get a Problem on the Public Agenda Task #4. Write the document: problem description and definition (contd.).Problem descriptions in any form are expected to answer the following questions.What are the problematic conditions? What problem do they cause?What are the issues for policy?What is your concern? What is your intended reader’s concern?Who else is concerned (on all sides)?What are the key disagreements and agreements among those concerned?What plausible and realistic solution can you offer? (optional)
10 Purpose B: Aid Policy Choice Stakeholders recognize a problem. They will consider alternatives. You are asked to present a definition of the problem and to review the policy alternatives.Your intended audience might be policy makers, an interested community, or the general public.Follow a strategy of formal analysis using quantitative or qualitative methods.
11 Purpose B: Aid Policy Choice Task #1. Identify the problem and the stakeholders.What is the problem? What brings it to attention?Why does the problem occur? What conditions lead to it?Whose behavior is affected, or whose concerns are relevant? Who are the target beneficiaries of solutions to the problem? Who are the implementers of the policy to solve it?What stake does each (affected groups, target beneficiaries, implementers of policy) have in the problem?How does each define the problem?What ideals and values (equity, liberty, efficiency, security, loyalty) or ideologies (vision of how the world is or how it should be) are expressed in each definition?What conflicts of values or ideologies are evident among stakeholders?How does politics influence the problem?
12 Purpose B: Aid Policy Choice Task #2. Specify alternative solutions and relevant criteria for evaluating them.What are the goals/objectives of a public policy to solve this problem?What policy instruments might achieve the goals/objectives?What are at least two (alternative) policies to meet the need?What are the relevant criteria for choosing the best one? How do stakeholders weigh the criteria? How appropriate are the weights? What are the trade-offs among criteria?What would be the outcome of each alternative according to the criteria you consider relevant?
13 Purpose B: Aid Policy Choice Task #3. Recommend an alternative and explain your reasoning (if you are making a recommendation).Which policy option or instrument do you recommend? Why is it best? Why are other alternatives worse?What is the basis for your recommendation? What type of analysis supports it?How will your choice affect stakeholders?On what conditions (political, economic, organizational) does successful implementation of your choice depend?What are the constraints (political, economic, organizational) on implementing your choice?
14 Purpose B: Aid Policy Choice Task #4. Write the document: policy analysis with (or without) recommendation.Before you write, use the method in Chapter 2 to frame your communication rhetorically and to plan it.Use prescribed format. If free to choose, most common format is the policy memorandum.See USGAO website for examples –Policy analysis in any form should:Characterize a problem according to its size, scope, incidence, effects, perceptions of it, and influences on it.Identify policy choices available to address the problem.Offer perspectives to assist choice making.Specify the basis for selecting any proposed recommendation (the type of analysis performed), the effects for different groups, and the factors that will affect its implementation.