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BPAC-106: Understanding Public Policy

BPAC-106: Understanding Public Policy

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPAC-106 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Understanding Public Policy, you have come to the right place. BPAC-106 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAPAH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPAC-106 / ASST /TMA / July 2021 & January 2022

Course Code: BPAC-106

Assignment Name: Understanding Public Policy

Year: 2021 -2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A

Answer the following in about 500 words each

Q1. Elucidate Vickers’ analysis of policymaking. 20

Ans) A notable contributor to the development of models for analysing the policymaking process has been Geoffrey Vickers, a British theorist. Vickers' Model views policymaking as a complex process in which values and reality judgments are amended and adjusted, and problems are never solved in the sense that goal-setting conceptualizations suggest. His work combines psychological, cybernetic, and political principles to emphasise the significance of analysing the interaction of value judgments and reality judgments. Vickers argues that studying human regulations is an activity that must be based on the idea that "mental activity and social process are inseparable."

Vickers' paradigm for analysing the decision-making process emphasises the necessity of understanding how 'appreciation' constructs 'reality' and 'value' and provides the context within which action judgments are made in light of reality and value judgments. Action judgments are decisions on what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and with what and by whom. They are the result of an interplay between reality and value appraisal. Vickers believes that judgments about the results of acts are necessary, given how unobjective 'objective' tests and standards are. Because "the appraisal of judgement is an act of judgement in and of itself." Any objective test, in particular, is logically incapable of validating judgments. They can only be accepted as correct or rejected as incorrect based on the application of another value judgement. Vickers clearly breaks from the assumption that decision-making is about 'goal setting' or judging decision-making in terms of how goals have been reached, as evidenced by this argument.

Vickers’ Framework for Policy Analysis

Vickers' approaches use four analytical contexts or aspects to help people make better decisions: mental, institutional, situational, and ecological:

  1. Mental Activity: The initial step is to map out the appreciating system that is involved in the decision. Understanding how the network frames the ‘mental' artefact, which is a key dimension of the policymaker, is an important part of the process analysis.

  2. Institutional Setting: The institutional setting of the appreciative system is examined in this phase.

  3. Putting Decisions in Their Situational Context: The next step is to put decisions in their situational context, or in the context of ideas and events.

  4. The ultimate Vickerian analysis: It can be seen as a process of situating the policy decision within a larger network of communication/ecological setting. In genuine case study materials, these four contexts or dimensions may be used.

In summary, the Vickers framework can be viewed as a method of assessing policy decisions by focusing first on the psychological dimension of policy, then on the Context of Public Policy, and last on the ecological context.

Vickers' approach treats policymaking as a multivalued, complicated activity, and he emphasises the importance of recognising that policy decisions involve numerous values. Vickers' book The Art of Judgment is still considered a landmark work in the field of policy and decision-making. His work could be widely recognised for the study of public policy in the twenty-first century, given the growing interest in the role of values in the policy process.

Q2. Discuss the techniques of policy monitoring and analysis. 20

Ans) A number of technical activities that are involved in policy delivery must be monitored and controlled using specific methodologies in order to meet the intended objectives. Here's a rundown of several key techniques:

Activity Team as Monitor: First and foremost, the duty of monitoring should be assigned to the activity team, which is most directly accountable for doing the work that leads to the deliverable. The monitoring team must be delegated to the operational levels of policy delivery in order to be effective.

Activity Bar Chart: An Activity Bar Chart is a crucial tool for tracking the policy's technical performance. Each technical activity is scheduled according to time and deliverables using the Activity Bar Chart. Deliverables play an essential role in policy management in this situation. They are observable outcomes that reflect performance. Sometimes they're only written summaries of accomplished activities and their outcomes. At other times, a planning document can be created to display a Staff Allocation Matrix, which can be used to determine how available programme workers should be assigned.

Proportion – Completed Measures: Other methods of policy management, according to some monitoring experts, could employ proportion-completed measures to track technical performance. The planning phase is where monitoring begins. The activity team predicts its rate of achievement on a scale at that point. The activity team can then determine the actual proportion of road built at the end of, say, one month of this policy initiative. It becomes a very reliable tool for government activity teams when it is tied to the policy deliverables method.

Policy Evaluation Peer Review: The term 'peer' simply refers to a group of persons who are technically qualified, such as judges, doctors, and engineers. When more objective metrics of technical performance are unavailable, peers are utilised. The ability of the group to estimate the degree of technical completeness at any point in time determines the technique for measuring technical performance of policy delivery. The technical peers assess the policy program's goal and relevance, as well as the technical issues that have arisen and the path to completion. The success of peer review is determined by the peers' knowledge, capacity, and attitude.

Third Party Technical Review: A third party does the monitoring in the case of third-party technical assessment. The third-party technical review functions similarly to peer review, but the persons who participate are largely unknown to those who are most active in the policy initiative. Occasionally, programme sponsors, donors, or members of the Steering Committee desire technical performance to be monitored by parties that have no interest or involvement in the policy programme. This strategy is sometimes used at times of crisis in the programme. However, in vast and complicated policy programmes such as forestry, health, and education, they can be scheduled to occur at specific times, allowing for better policy control. The key benefit is that a third party may add objectivity and knowledge to the programme. It's even more effective if it's done as part of a continuous project management process.

When the five strategies stated above are used to monitor technical performance, they are more potent when used together.

Assignment B

Answer the following in about 250 words each

Q3. Explain the ideas of ‘public’ and ‘policy’. 10

Ans) The Idea of ‘Public’

The concept of public policy assumes that there is a part of existence that is neither private nor totally individual, but rather shared. The term "public dimension" refers to "public ownership" or "public control" for a "public purpose." The public refers to any aspect of human activity that is deemed to require government intervention or collective action.

The public sector has ten major key differences from the private sector:

  1. The public sector faces more complex and ambiguous tasks;

  2. It has more problems in implementing its decisions;

  3. It employs more people with a wider range of motivation;

  4. It is more concerned with securing opportunities or capacities;

  5. It is more concerned with compensating for market failure;

  6. It engages in activities with greater symbolic significance;

  7. It is held to stricter standards of commitment and legality;

  8. It has a greater opportunity to respond to issues of fairness and justice;

  9. It must operate or appear to operate in the public interest; and

  10. It must maintain minimal levels of public support above than what is required in private industry.

The Idea of ‘Policy’

Like the idea of ‘public’, the concept of ‘policy’ is not very precise. Policy denotes, among other elements, guidance for action. It may take the form of:

  1. A declaration of goals;

  2. A declaration of course of action;

  3. A declaration of general purpose; and

  4. An authoritative decision.

Birkland has discerned the following key attributes of public policy:

  1. “Policy is made in response to some sort of problem that requires attention.

  2. Policy is made on the behalf of ‘public’.

  3. Policy is oriented toward a goal or desired state, such as the solution of a problem.

  4. Policy is ultimately made by governments, even if the ideas come from outside government or through the interaction of government and nongovernmental actors.

  5. Policy is interpreted and implemented by public and private actors who have different interpretations of problems, solutions, and their own motivations.

  6. Policy is what the government chooses to do or not to do”.

Q4. Elaborate the impact of political ideology on public policy. 10

Ans) Political ideology appears to be important in directing specific policy decisions, particularly in the State economy-government connection, the government's role in regulating relationships between persons, corporations, and the state. A more leftist worldview, for example, implies a desire for government intervention and policies that are more in line with worker demands, such as employment protection. Liberal/right ideology, on the other hand, takes the opposing viewpoint. Even when confronted with the same challenges, various ideologies produce diverse policy approaches.

Individual-level ideology can be collected into political ideology, and it also expresses itself through voting in elections, where citizens' ideology is legally expressed in the partisan makeup of government. Then administrations with a certain ideological bent implement policy, such as increased government intervention in the market in the case of left-leaning governments. On the input side, different beliefs will translate into different policy inputs, and possibly even political results. Shifts in citizen ideology should come before changes in elected government policies.

Individual political ideologies may have an impact on policy without going through the election process. According to Anthony Downs' median voter theory, policies implemented by both left- and right-wing governments tend towards the median. So, regardless of their political ideology name, their policies may not differ that much in the end. Regardless of which party is in power, if the electorate goes to the left, we will see a more left–leaning policy. This is true not only in two-party systems, but also in systems in which a coalition of parties, a left and a right block, struggle for political office.

Q5. Trace the genesis of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). 10

Ans) Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, and Shankar Singh created the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in the village of Devdungari, Rajasthan, on May 1, 1990. The movement was the consequence of a lengthy battle by Rajasthan's underprivileged people against exploitation.

Lal Singh lived in Sohangarh village, which Jagirdaar Hari Singh used to his advantage. He had illegally seized control of the village's common land. If villagers' animals grazed on it or gathered firewood from it, he used to levy a fine. Aruna Roy was alerted to the situation by Lal Singh, who pushed the villagers to fight for their rights. Hari Singh's illegal authority over a 25-hectare plot of land was challenged by Aruna Roy and her team. The patwari of that village, to their good fortune, furnished them with all relevant information, including plot number and other facts. This 25-hectare plot of land was given to locals. This initial victory taught Aruna Roy and her colleagues the value of information access in their fight against corruption.

Aruna Roy began receiving complaints about workers not being paid minimum wages. When Aruna Roy's team looked into the problem, they discovered that the work measurement method was broken. Despite the fact that individuals were given separate tasks, they were paid as a group. Officers used to add fictitious names to the list, and payments were made at a fraction of the minimum salary. All 140 workers there went on strike after MKSS intervened. They realised that they wouldn't be able to get their minimal salaries unless they banded together to fight corruption. On Labour Day of 1990, MKSS was founded as a result of this realisation. MKSS was founded in a gathering of 1000 people from 27 villages with the goal of organising a collective struggle against non-payment of minimum wages.

Assignment C

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q6. Discuss the meaning of interest groups. 6

Ans) Interest groups are gatherings of people or organisations who share common interests or concerns. They are non-political in nature and attempt to sway public policy in favour of their shared interests. They have certain policy goals in mind. These interest groups come in a variety of sizes and types. They are all, however, focused on attaining the goals of their members. Some have a huge membership base, while others have a small membership base.

Interest groups may aim to influence government policy directly, for example, by meeting with government officials, participating in public hearings, and giving draught reports to members of government, or indirectly, for example, through consultants/lawyers. The rise of interest groups and their efforts to influence public policy is now becoming more widely recognised.

Q7. Write a short note on Nehruvian vision of education. 6

Ans) Nehru was a firm believer in scientific knowledge and promoted logic and reasoning as the foundation of all learning. Nehru thought that education's importance in a person's life extended beyond academics to include one's economic aspirations and social contributions. One of his famous comments is, "Unless you generate the quantity you consume, you are a burden to society."

Important higher education institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and others were established as a result of Nehru's vision for the country's youth. In his five-year plans, Nehru also stated his commitment to providing children with free and obligatory primary education.

Q8. Explain the concept of social movements. 6

Ans) A loose collaboration of groups and organisations with common interests makes up a social movement. Social movements are non-hierarchical and inventive. A big number of individuals acting together has a significant political impact.

Concept of Social movements are:

  1. Social Movements want to bring change, either partially or fully in the prevailing policies, values, structures, norms etc;

  2. Social movements are planned and deliberate upon to achieve the desired change;

  3. Social Movement are not individual efforts, but an effort of community at large scale;

  4. Social movements have active and voluntary participation of a large number of people; and

  5. Social movements also have some structures, however loose or informal.

Q9. What is the purpose of policy evaluation? 6

Ans) The basic goal of policy evaluation is to reduce the difficulty of policy implementation. Policy evaluation is commonly used for one or more of the following three reasons.

  1. Check to see if government policy is working as intended (efficiency assessment);

  2. Assess the public policy's implications (impact assessment); and

  3. Determine if the public policy should be continued, amended, or scrapped (future action assessment).

For starters, it gives accurate data on policy performance. The primary goal of evaluation is to determine how policies affect society.

Second, it is a tool whose primary function is to assess the effectiveness of a policy programme and provide feedback to individuals participating in the policy cycle's early stages.

Finally, examination may lead to attempts to restructure policy issues.

Fourth, policy evaluation is frequently conducted to placate policymakers or advisory bodies urging a government agency or department to be more accountable.

Q10. Bring out the different types of policy analysis. 6

Ans) Policy analysis can be divided into three categories:

Ex-ante Analysis and Ex-post Analysis

Ex-ante analysis is when a decision or analysis is made before it is made. Policy analysis, on the other hand, is an ex-post analysis that occurs after a decision to assess or evaluate policy has been taken. Prospective and retrospective policy analyses are other terms for ex-ante and ex-post policy analyses.

Scientific and Pragmatic Approaches Analysis

At one extreme of the spectrum, supporters like Stokey and Zeckhauser urge for a very scientific and positivist understanding of what policy analysis is and may be. On the other hand, a more pragmatic and politically informed approach, which acknowledges rationality's limitations while recognising the need to improve public decision-making.

Prescriptive and Descriptive Policy Analysis

Prescriptive policy analysis suggests activities that produce a certain effect, whereas descriptive policy analysis examines prior policies in a historical or retrospective manner.

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