With the improvement in international relations and organizations such as the International monetary funds, UN, USAID, UNHCR among others, there has been an evident increase in international policies (Diane, 2008). The need to set the relations between different countries such as trade relations, peace relations and international aid has increased the need for the formulation of international policies.
The increase has consequently led to new developments and requirements in the policy formulation process (Allen, 2004). More trade policies and foreign aid policies are being implemented every day. Budgetary constraints have become tighter as the number of policies requiring funding increase hence the need for setting priorities.
In the past, policy requirements were not as many as they are today. Setting priorities was easy as there were fewer policies to choose from than there are today. Political influence has also increased such that different political groups want certain policies implemented as opposed to others (Diane, 2008). This has led to the strict requirements during the formulation of policies.
The International Monetary Fund for example in the 1980s could identify countries that needed financial assistance to implement policies with ease. In the current times, IMF requires countries to write proposals for the same because the demand for funds to implement policies has increased (Allen, 2008). The US currently has numerous policies proposals that are yet to be formulated mostly international peace policies and trade policies all which need to be addressed. These cannot be compared with those in the past and the government has had to come up with new requirements for policy formulation. This applies to other countries as well.
New requirement for policy formulation are strict in that the significance of the policy has to be thoroughly proved before it can be implemented. This is more so because the number of problems to be addressed are many and the budget is not sufficient to cover for all of them (Hill and Hupe, 2002). According to Allen (2004), the budgetary constraints require that the policies are precise and that their budgets do not take a lot of resources so as to enable implementation of other policies as well.
As a result of the tight budget, only the most viable policies must be undertaken first. This selection of the most viable policy is known as prioritizing and it is a common feature in the new requirements in policy formulation (Diane, 2008). Government must set priorities on the most important policies so as to ensure the available funds reap the maximum benefits. Comparison on the possibility of alternatives must also be considered.
2. Comprehension or Understanding of formulators and implementers of international policy
Formulators of public policy are those that are directly involved in selection of the policies to be implemented from a variety of available options (Smith, 2005). Usually, formulators come up with different problems that require solutions. The causes to the various problems and their possible solutions are identified after which the formulators come up with the most viable policy to be implemented, usually one which presents urgency (Smith, 2005).
The implementers make judgments and analysis in order to come up with the goals, costs, implementation strategies and the expected results of the policy. Implementers of international policies are usually selected at the country level and more precisely from the ministry which is concerned with the issue at hand (Diane, 2008). For example, if a policy on trade is to be made between two countries, dignitaries consisting of people from the ministry of trade and finance are likely to be sent to the policy formulation meetings to represent the country.
The international policy implementers are those that act on the policy so that the objectives set out during the formulation stage can be achieved (Smith, 2005). In essence, implementers carry out the policy while following the procedures and recommendations set out by the formulators. Policy implementers may be the same people who formulated the policies but to ensure transparency international policies are implemented by other independent people. Implementation however must be done in conjunction with government officials responsible for the particular policy implementation (Smith, 2005).
3. Components of implementation as management (conceiving and implementing international public policy, political management, management of programs, management resources, and management information)
Policies are best conceived and implemented when the managers are convinced that there is need for the implementation. As a result, there is need to instill the importance of the policy and the success in implementation to the management bestowed with the responsibility of international policy implementation (Hill and Hupe, 2002). There are those components that must be taken care of and these include management of resources, program management, information management and political management.
Public policies are bound to be influenced by political factors and these may either affect the programs positively or negatively. Political influence may come in the form of politicians trying to get involved in the implementation process even when they are not supposed to or in extreme cases where the government may want to channel the funds to be used for policy implementation into other projects being undertaken by the government (Lowi, 1985).
It is proper that any policy implementation program be as free of political influence as possible. It is however important for policy formulators and implementers to note that political reasons may lead to the opposition of a policy hence the need to consider political impacts of the policy (Hill and Hupe, 2002). Political management in policy implementation would therefore involve identifying political impacts of the policy, any possible interruption by politically related actions and possible ways of dealing with the challenges (Lowi, 1985).
Management of resources refers to the proper and effective deployment of available resources to the various projects involved in the implementation of the policy (Hill and Hupe, 2002). Resources in this case may include human resources, financial resources, inventory and raw materials. Resources are the most important assets during the policy implementation process and should be handled carefully to avoid waste which could lead to incomplete programs (Hill and Hupe, 2002).
Since there is always a budget that is set for the implementation of policy recommendations, the management involved in implementation of the policy must manage the resources carefully and especially financial resources so that they do not exceed the set budget leading to incomplete projects and consequently the failure of the policy to meet its goals and objectives.
Information management refers to the organization of the process of information delivery. It consists of the structure and the processes used in the distribution of information within an organization setting (Hill and Hupe, 2002). The importance of information management in policy implementation is to ensure the coordination of activities.
The management should come up with communication procedures and channels by which information moves from the management to the subordinates to enhance the process. Information processing and decision making is highly essential during policy implementation and hence the need for information management.
Management of programs involves the coordination of interdependent projects usually suggested as solutions to certain problems during the formulation of the policy. Program management can also be used to refer to the overall management of the policy implementation because it involves making sure that all programs are run and completed according to plan (Hill and Hupe, 2002).
Program management compresses all other types of management in policy implementation that have been discussed above. This means that it encompasses reconciling resource management, time, political and information management so as to ensure that they work together in harmony and that the programs designed to meet the goals of the policies are met.
Allen, M. (2004). Policy Formulation, Analytical Frameworks, and Program Design. International Monetary Fund.
Diane, S. (2008). “Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities and their Networks”, Journal of Policy Sciences. 4(12), 121-136
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