Policy is a planned system of rules to guide future decisions and attain reasonable results. A policy is an unambiguous statement of purpose, which is formally implemented as a rule or procedure. Typically, policies are formally adopted by an organizational governance body within an enterprise. It is very important that such formal rules are agreed upon, since it establishes the parameters on which future changes are to be governed. In fact, formal rules may serve as mechanisms for ensuring compliance with the policies.
Prior to adoption of a policy, there are certain preparatory stages which need to be undertaken. The key functions of policy development are to prepare plans and concepts, collect information, conduct research and synthesize the available information in support of the overall purpose of the policy. Policy development activities include soliciting comments from various sources and collecting facts to support the policy. Drafting of policies may be done by writing them down, discussing them with experts and/or members of the relevant staff, consulting with other organizations that have implemented similar policies and reviewing related laws, codes and regulations. Once drafted, policies may be reviewed in terms of compliance with the legal standards set by government policies and programs.
Policy development in the public sector includes establishing an awareness in organizations of its responsibilities and roles in society. It involves the process of educating the employees on the policies. Policy development in the social sciences deals with decision making in the context of issues of community welfare and adaptation. Policy development in the public administration deals with the provision of services, regulation of prices and production, management of resources, allocation of funds and welfare programs.
Policy development in the social sciences deals primarily with issues affecting the internal processes of an agency in its relations with external agencies. It also has an impact on the internal functioning of the organization in terms of development and implementation of policies. Policy analysis in international affairs is concerned with the relationship between the domestic policies and the organization’s relation with other international organizations. It includes evaluation of policies to provide direction for the organization. This is further followed by implementation of the measures.
Policy development in the social sciences is necessary if policies are to be effective. The policies should be consistent with the values, objectives, knowledge and processes of the organization. They must be able to address the concerns, needs and issues identified. Policies developed in terms of information security are designed to secure the necessary information of an organization from threats posed by those organizations, their employees, and third parties. Security policies are governed by the laws of different countries, which may differ greatly.
Policy development in public administration refers to those processes involved in developing a policy. Public policy professionals specialize in all areas of policy analysis and drafting of documents. They deal with the various issues that require attention. Issues like the definition of public policy, designing the processes involved, drafting the policies, monitoring and controlling the implementation of the policies, monitoring the effectiveness of the policies, maintaining the political support, developing the strategy to implement the policies and developing the laws and regulations that govern the implementation of the policy. Policy development in international affairs is concerned with the relationships among nations, International political and economic situations, diplomacy, security, human rights, international economic issues, and development of international institutions. These policies are implemented through diplomacy, negotiation, diplomacy, mediation and military action.