Policy is a planned systematic approach to guide actions and attain reasonable outcomes. A policy is an unambiguous statement of purpose and is normally implemented as a set of rules or a process. Most policies are usually adopted by an authoritative governance body within an organisation. However, there are also many instances where a company adopts policies voluntarily.
An unintentional consequence of adopting a policy or taking an action is public policies or unintended consequences of a lack of political will. Political will refers to the ability of a political unit to pursue its goals through the use of force and the enforcement of policies. Political science suggests that the successful implementation of a policy depends on the availability of information and the sharing of that information. Both of these factors are important for creating and monitoring public policies.
There are three basic phases in the development of public policy. The initial phase encompasses the strategic decisions involved in developing the policy. It is during this stage that experts gather information to be used in formulating the policy. This information can take the form of consultations with representatives of the different stakeholder groups, public agencies, or interested parties. It is during this time that plans for implementing the policies are developed. This planning stage is known as the policy analysis phase.
Policy analysis is useful for determining the impact of public policies on the stakeholders. It is important for public policies to be based on scientific facts because it is scientifically proven that people have a wide range of views regarding many issues. Therefore, policy outcomes must be shaped based on the understanding of the broad range of views held by the stakeholders. Policy analysis thus requires researchers to collect, organize, compare, and synthesize the relevant scientific information in order to determine the likely effects of public policies on society and the environment.
Policy analysis also determines the impact that the public policy has on various types of organizations. Policy that affect business, for example, should be analyzed based on the anticipated behaviour of the business. Public policies may therefore affect business. However, business owners do not have to accept that public policies have an effect on them. Business owners are only responsible for making sure that their policies are in line with what is best for the company. Moreover, business owners have a lot of options for addressing issues associated with public policies.
Policy evaluation is necessary for the formulation and maintenance of federal public safety nets. Evaluating the policies helps the United States to determine the degree to which the existing public safety nets will reduce the future risk of injury or disease. For instance, a reduction in the national rate of childhood obesity would yield to a decrease in heart attacks, hospitalization, and other medical costs, thereby improving the quality of life of the citizens of the United States. The evaluation of policies is therefore important for determining whether to build more schools, provide technical assistance to schoolchildren, or increase the role of vocational and technical education programs in developing a healthier workforce.