Sometimes, understanding public policy and its effect on the people becomes challenging. Often, many people seem to complain about the impacts of the policy document without actually understanding its provisions. This makes it difficult for them to have an overview of the implications of the policy.
Therefore, this research paper focuses on the importance of policy analysis, during its development and implementation stages. It also discusses the social impact of policies and the limitations on government power.
The Importance of Public Policy Analysis
During the development and implementation stages of public policy, it is of great importance for the people to analyze the public policy paper properly, so that their input might be reflected in the final draft (Hardee et al., 2004). Notably, analyzing the provisions of the policy to be implemented would help the public policymakers include some important contributions, which the policy experts might have left out erroneously.
It also enables the public to criticize certain provisions, which they believe might have adverse effects on their well-being. Often, open participation in scrutinizing the content of a public policy makes it generally accepted by the people. This makes them understand the basic intention that the planners wanted the policy to achieve (Dye, 2010).
It is basic and primarily important for the people to raise concern on the provisions, which need amendments before the document is signed to become a law.
This is important because the public experience is tapped and incorporated during the process of public policymaking and implementation (Hardee et al., 2004). In addition, it helps the government and the policymakers avoid future problems, which might arise during implementation.
The Social Impacts of Policies
Socially, the public policies lead to fairness, equity, justice, and consistency. On the fairness, the public policy that is generally accepted has provisions that are fair to all the people affected by its application. In addition, it guarantees equitable access to the resources without any barrier since it reflects the people’s wishes.
Concerning justice, it is significant since the public policy that pledges social justice would improve the social integration of the people, regardless of the person’s class (Dye, 2010). Finally, the public policy that is consistent with the societal needs and addresses the ethnic and racial balance would create an opportunity for social growth and development of the people.
When the public policy focuses on other social amenities such as recreational facilities and cultural practices among the diverse groups of people, it will encourage and enhance the level of interaction and cultural identity respectively (Hardee et al., 2004). As a result, it reduces the chances of community tension and subsequent conflicts among the different people and cultures, thereby promoting peace and integration.
There are chances that the public policy might eradicate discrimination of the people, based on one’s social status (Dye, 2010). This could be achieved through the recognition of the person’s ability and contribution to the societal development. Apparently, this might act as a motivation for the person to continue with his/her development effort, for the good of the society.
The other social impact of the public policy is that it recognizes the historical developments of the society, thereby encourages most of the efforts, which the inhabitants make to improve their living standards (Smith, 2003). This results in the overall growth of the socio-cultural practices and attributes of the people.
This is possible because the policy provides the opportunity for all citizens to have a voice on matters relating to economic and social welfare (Dye, 2010). Notably, the society can only grow and become credible if the public policies encourage the public goods, not the private goods.
The Limitations of the Policies on the Government Power
There are various limitations that the public policies have on government power. For example, the provisions of the policy bind all the authorities in the country. Therefore, it would bar the government from taking intentional actions, which contravene the law (Hardee et al., 2004). The implication is that it limits the government’s ability to exercise authority over the people.
Sometimes, implementing the provisions of the public policy might need huge financial input that the government may not provide. Consequently, it forces the government to seek domestic and external sources of funding, thus raising the amount of its domestic or foreign debt (Smith, 2003).
This might interfere with the country’s financial stability. In such a situation, the government may be forced to develop good public policy by reviewing the provisions and recommending for some possible adjustments, which would not incapacitate its operations.
The other limitation is that the public policy does not foster social integration, and this might lead to internal conflicts, which destabilize the government operations (Dye, 2010). Notably, the increased insecurity would raise government expenditure for restoring peace, thereby paralyzing other important domestic operations.
In summary, there is a need for the people to analyze the public policy during its development and implementation stages, because the policies have social impacts and the limitations on the government power. The people’s participation in the process of formulating a policy makes the outcome generally acceptable.
Dye, T. R. (2010). Understanding Public Policy (13th Ed.). Longman: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Hardee, K., et al., (2004). The Policy Cycle. Journal of Policy Working Paper Series, 11, 7-34.
Smith, B. L. (2003). Public Policy and Public Participation: Engaging Citizens and Community in the Development of Public Policy. New York, NY: Routledge.