Birkland Chp 9 - Policy Implementation Failure and Learning
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The process by which policies enacted by government are put into effect by the relevant agencies.
Relies on the behavior of the implementers and the policy targets.
Way of studying policy design and implementation that considers the goals of the highest-level policy designers and traces the design and implementation of the policy through the lowest-level implementers.
Characteristics of a Top-Down Approach
Policies contain clearly defined goals against which performance can be measured.
Clearly defined policy tools.
Existence of a single statute or other authoritative statement of policy.
Policy designers have good knowledge of the capacity and commitment of the implementer.
Creating the proper structures and controls to encourage or compel compliance with the goals set at the top.
Problems with Top-Down Approach
Emphasis on clear objectives or goals. Without a clear consensus on what program goals are it is hard to set a benchmark for program success and failure.
Assumption that there is a single national government that can successfully structure policy implementation and provide for direct delivery of services.
Strong central government assumes unitary method of decision-making that ignores competing or overlapping agencies and their staffs and the interest groups that have an interest in these agencies' work.
subvert original goals
Assumes single statement, doesn't allow for "health policy" as a larger encompassing policy
Slow implementation in order to develop ways to adapt the program to local needs or to provide more funding or other incentives.
Bottom up approach
A way of studying policy design and implementation that considers the abilities and motivations of the lowest level implementers and tracks policy design from that level to the highest levels of government.
Problems with Bottom-Up Approach
Overemphasizes the ability of street-level bureaucrats to frustrate the goals of the top policy makers
Overstates the extent to which local implementers will resist policies handed down from above or want to follow.
Assumes that groups are active participants in the process.
Fails to take into account the power differences of the target groups.
Instrumental Policy Learning
Learning about the effectiveness of policy tools and interventions.
Learning about the social causes of problems and the possible interventions to solve thos problems.