Policy Cycle

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Policy Cycle

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Policy can be define as a principle or rule that facilitates in taking decisions and achieve goals. Policies are generally made by the people at the top either in the organization or government. Policies help in subjective decision making deals with the issue like work-life balance that is subjective in nature; while, it is hard to test it objectively, but such policies assist upper management to take accurate and timely decisions. On the other hand, the policies that facilitates in taking objective decision making can be evaluate objectively because the nature is operational.

The concept of the policy cycle is developed to analyze, examine and scrutinize the policy, and it is based on a clear understanding of the problem, steps, process. Furthermore, the steps in the policy cycle are set in a logical manner to facilitate the process of policy making process. In other words, the policy cycle provide a description of policy lifespan, which begin with the formulation and ends with review (Howlett & Ramesh, 1995, pp. 11-292).

Policy cycle in political science can be defined as a tool used for the analyzing of the policy item development. Charles O. Jones (1984, pp. 50-270) elaborated policy cycle by providing a logical order of recurring occurrences, as well as provided a systematic model. Jones introduced the phase of analysis in the policy cycle at each phase. The policy cycle consists of four stages that are agenda setting, decision making, implementation and evaluation.


The first stage of the policy cycle is setting agendas. Policies are developed to solve a current perceive problem or an opportunity that creates vacuum or gap. For instance, this gap can be identified by the results of public polls to address public concern or problems. When problem identify then there is a need to set an agenda that addresses the issues like who will solve the problem, tools essential to carry out a policy response, and timescale. When setting an agenda, there is a need to provide a clear definition of the problem, which includes identification of agreement on the problem, addressing pubic policy, seeing a problem in a different way, examining whether the problem is fully understood, and identify the relationship between factors to make problem quantifiable.

Public agenda assists to solve tough problems of the nation and communities. The difference among problem, issue and question of a policy is that the problem of a policy can be solve, whereas an issue will continue to become an issue until it is being answered, and policy question emphasize on "what should we do." Issues are very complex in nature and time consuming. The problem has a clear answer, but the issue might cause debate. Question of policy focus on the concept of the plan and justify, such as what we should do to combat the problem of drugs (Skok, 1995, pp.325-332).

Agenda setting is a political process that is conflicting and competitive. The process of agenda setting is depend on the policy ...
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