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MPA-015: Public Policy and Analysis

MPA-015: Public Policy and Analysis

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MPA-15/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MPA-015

Assignment Name: Public Policy and Analysis

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


This assignment consists of Sections I and II. There are five questions in each section. You have to answer a total of five questions in about 500 words each. It is necessary to attempt at least two questions from each section. Each question carries 20 marks.




Q1) Discuss the nature and scope of public policy.

Ans) A policy may be broad or narrow, simple, or complicated, public, or private, written, or unwritten, explicit, or implicit, flexible, or precise, qualitative, or quantitative. It may also be generic or specific, broad, or narrow, simple, or complex. In this case, the focus is on public policy, or what a government choose to use as a guide for action. A significant amount of its actions that are in line with the nation's development policy may be covered by public policy.


As a development policy or fundamental framework of objectives, socioeconomic development, equality, liberty, or self-reliance or other equivalent broad concepts of guidance for action may be embraced. A public policy may be wide, such as women's emancipation, or it may be narrow, such as child abuse prevention. A public policy may be applied to a specific group of citizens or to the entire populace of a nation.

  1. Policymaking and Decision-Making: Decision-making and policymaking go hand in hand. But it's different from making a decision. Making decisions is a necessary part of the policymaking process, although not every decision results in a policy. Decision-making frequently entails identifying a problem, carefully weighing available options, and choosing one to pursue.

  2. Policies and Goals: Goals and policies are two different things that can be separated out as means and ends. The aims for which actions are intended are referred to as goals or objectives. It is reasonable to anticipate that a policy will specify the direction in which action is desired. Policies entail the choice of purposeful activities aimed at achieving certain aims and objectives. The acts could be instructions on what to do or what not to do.

  3. Policy Analysis and Policy Advocacy: Finding viable policy solutions to your problem through policy analysis involves first comparing those solutions to determine which is the most practical, cost-effective, and effective choice. A wide range of actions that affect decision-makers are included in advocacy. Traditional advocacy tactics including legal action, lobbying, and public awareness campaigns are also included. It can also involve developing leadership skills, generating networks, and building relationships.

  4. Policy Analysis and Policy Advocacy: It is possible to distinguish between policy advocacy and analysis. Finding out how a policy will affect people is the sole purpose of policy analysis. It is a method for assessing an organization's effectiveness through an analysis and evaluation of a program's impact. It is utilised for problem assessment and monitoring, as well as for evaluation after implementation. Specifying the policies that the government should implement is different from doing a policy analysis.

  5. Policy Analysis and Policy Management: Despite some overlap between these two linked activities in practise, it is important to distinguish between policy analysis and policy management. Dror claims that policy analysis entails examining policy issues in-depth and locating preferred options, sometimes with the aid of methodical methodologies and explicit methods. The goal of policy management is to ensure that the process of creating and preparing policies produces high-quality policies.


Scope of Public Policy

The creation of scenarios and extrapolations of current developments in the public sphere make up a large portion of the study of public policy. The public sector has expanded significantly in both scope and size, particularly in emerging nations, in response to rising public requirements and expectations as well as the expanding influence of other developments including the complexity of technology, social organisation, industrialization, and urbanisation.


Q2) Examine the Lindblom’s Incremental Approach.

Ans) Charles Lindblom introduced the incremental model of the policy-making process as an alternative to the conventional rational model of decision-making. His 1959 article on the "Science of Muddling Through" earned widespread acclaim for its contribution to the growth of policy analysis as it related to the process of formulating policy. Since then, Lindblom's ideas have expanded past his original contention.


When criticising the rational model put forward by Simon and others, Lindblom criticises the notion that making decisions fundamentally involves setting goals, choosing alternatives, and weighing those options. Lindblom aims to demonstrate that complicated policy concerns cannot be solved rationally. According to Lindblom, politicians are unable to establish society goals and their effects in a logical manner due to time, intellect, cost, and political constraints. He made a contrast between the all-encompassing rationality Simon had argued for and his own series of constrained comparisons.


Strategic Policymaking

In Politics and Markets, Lindblom makes significant concessions to Etzioni's criticism of his gradual pluralism thesis. He acknowledges the bias inherent in pluralist decision-making. In incrementalism politics, not all interests and actors are created equal, some hold far more sway than others. According to his analysis, business and huge corporations play a significant role in the creation of policies. In his subsequent writings, Lindblom makes the case that significantly better strategic policymaking is necessary to enhance mutual partisan b adjustment.


The essential tenet of an incrementalism approach is the belief in one's ability to solve complex problems, and Lindblom makes this obvious in his later article, "Still Muddling Through," where he aims to provide new and improved methods of mudding through. To do this, he makes a contrast between incrementalism as a policy analysis and incrementalism as an apolitical pattern with gradual adjustments. According to him, incremental analysis might take the following three main forms:

  1. Simple Incremental Analysis: It is a type of analysis in which just those alternatives to the current policy that are hardly different from it are examined.

  2. Strategic Analysis: According to Lindblom, an analyst should adopt a middle ground that is informed, deliberate, and uses procedures to help them make better decisions because completion of analysis is not possible due to numerous limits. Trial-and-error learning, systems analysis, operations research, management by objectives, and programme evaluation and review approach are some of these techniques.

  3. Disjointed Incrementalism: An analytical approach called "disjointed incrementalism" entails focusing on and simplifying issues utilising the following six techniques:

a) The restriction of. Search for a few well-known options.

b) Combining a problem's empirical examination with values and policy objectives.

c) Putting more emphasis on problems that need fixing than on objectives to pursue.

d) Bid-and-error education

e) Examining the effects of a small number of options.

f) Fragmentation of analytical labour among numerous party policymakers.


Partisan Mutual Adjustment

According to Lindblom's thesis in "The Intelligence of Democracy," decision-making is a process of adjustment and compromise that makes agreement and coordination possible. He points out that the democratic and workable alternative to centralised hierarchical controls is partisan mutual adjustment. In his most recent presentation, Lindblom makes the case that the relationships between all of the bureaucrats, elected officials, interest group representatives, and other actors are intricate and reciprocal.


Since Lindblom originally promoted gradual decision-making in 1959, his positions had seemingly changed. In 1977 and 1979, Lindblom criticises the concept of pluralism, gives a radical critique of the industry, and asserts that a variety of policy areas require drastic radical transformation, and that the entire world requires more than just gradual change. However, civilizations don't seem to be able to act more audaciously than in small steps outside of emergencies. He has serious worries about the likelihood of a significant change in policy because of the restrictions on decision-making and the way that objectives are narrowly constructed.

Q3) Explain the national policy agenda in a global context.

Ans) The external environment influences public policies everywhere. The external environmental elements cannot be separated since they always have an impact on political processes and policy outcomes. The impact that organisations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the European Policy Forum, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and others have on a nation's socioeconomic issues is crucial in determining the direction of that nation's policies. The international community now plays a significant role in supplying developing nations with technology and cash because they are so exposed to global events and activities.


The ability of national governments to set their own agendas is correspondingly diminished as multinational firms and international organisations start to exert a significant amount of influence. The transnational economic framework must be taken into consideration when formulating national policies on labour, the environment, drugs, customs and excise taxes, subsidies for commodity taxes, or trade-related issues. There is more opportunity for engagement between a nation state and other countries as a result of globalisation. This implies that, although the policy aim may be global, national policymaking and implementation continue to be the norm.

  1. Environment: Air and water pollution, deforestation, and the loss of rich soil are severe issues that are having a serious impact on productivity in food production, health, and possibly even the ability of the earth to sustain human life. Since the 1980s, environmental protection and improvement have gained international attention. The mounting environmental stress on the planet puts constant pressure on national leaders to alter their stances.

  2. Poverty and Population Growth: Population growth and poverty issues in developing nations are becoming more and more significant. Despite stronger economic growth, more people are now living in poverty, primarily as a result of population growth in developing nations. Additionally, it has led to unequal development and a rise in wealth concentration.

  3. AIDS: AIDS is a contagious illness that has drawn significant attention from the international community. More than 20 million people have already died from AIDS, and there are currently 40 million individuals living with the disease, 23 million of them are in Africa. An additional 15,000 people contract the disease daily.

  4. Drugs: Drug abuse has expanded to become a global issue. Prior to that, it was seen as a social issue, and national policy promotion was the main goal.

  5. Trade and Industry: Industry has changed as a result of movements and changes in the global economy. Transnational firms, which organise production on a global scale, national government regulations, and production, communication, and transportation enabling technology are the main drivers of global shift.

  6. Privatisation Policies: There was a clear tendency toward privatisation in the 1990s. The emphasis on privatisation and competition has been reemphasized globally in place of government control. Most governments, both in developed and developing nations, have policies in place to transfer government-controlled businesses to the private sector and open up a wide range of industries to the private sector in order to promote competition.

  7. Terrorism: Another worldwide issue that is growing like a cancer is terrorism. Examples of terrorist organisations operating in India include the People's War Group in Andhra Pradesh, the Maoist Communist Centre in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul-Mujahideen, and Jaish-e-Mohammed in Jammu Kashmir. Tamil extremist groups like the LTTE, which have amassed a powerful network spanning nations in South-East Asia, Europe, and North America, are responsible for the destruction of Sri Lanka. The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in the United States on September 11, 2001, and the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, are two significant occasions that helped the entire world recognise the threat that terrorism posed to international cooperation.





Q1) Describe the significance of policy monitoring and suggest remedial measures for effective monitoring.

Ans) The importance of monitoring public policy is found in ensuring that desired outcomes are obtained through the effective use of resources. System design and implementation for processes that provide just the correct level of detail for effective control of policy execution are aided by monitoring. Experience has taught us that efficient monitoring can guarantee accurate policy implementation with expected outcomes in the shortest amount of time.


Cost savings, time savings, and efficient resource use are all aided by competent policy monitoring. The main challenge in monitoring is to provide an information system that provides decision-makers and policy implementers with the data they need to make informed choices and develop strategies that will keep policy programme performance as close as feasible to the policy's objectives.


Remedial Measures for Effective Monitoring

  1. Designing the Monitoring System: The goal of monitoring is to ensure that the policy programme or its related activities are completed on schedule and within the authorised budget. To make this possible, it is vital to carefully specify the precise technical, financial, and time criteria upon which performance should be controlled. Technical, time, and cost performance aberrations must all be closely monitored; simply keeping an eye on cost or scheduling performance is not adequate.

  2. Communicating about Performance: Routine conversations play a crucial influence in the effectiveness of policies. Key elements of policy communications include policy progression, deviations from expected progress, corrections, and plans for completion. Each participant in the policy programme needs constant communication at different levels of detail. The state of policy execution must be summarised in reports that are frequently given to higher level management.

  3. Monitoring Progress: The goal of monitoring and controlling is to make sure that resources are used as effectively as possible to achieve high-quality policy outcomes during the process of implementing a policy. The budget, timeline, and tasks outlined in the policy programmed must be compared to the time, cost, and technical performance of the policy.

  4. Improving Capacity of the Monitoring Staff: The capacity, dedication, and attitude of the monitoring staff are key factors in effective monitoring. People who are highly skilled in the process must put up some effort in the monitoring process. Along with normal management abilities, it necessitates planning and accounting capabilities.

  5. Talking Corrective Actions: When there are any variations from the anticipated results, the policy monitoring and control system should assist in taking or recommending remedial action through its reports and meetings. There are typically three different types of actions that can be started or carried out:

a) Correction and Improvement: A corrective action often comprises resource reallocation when the policy programme continues to show merit.

b) Replanning: The policy programme may need to be replanned in order to change its staffing levels, financial constraints, or timetable. Replanting entails altering the public's expectations of the outcomes of policy.

c) Cancellation: The very last option is cancellation. It implies that the entire policy programme will be cancelled. This is sometimes advised, especially in situations of severe crises.


Q3) What are the major problem areas in policy evaluation?

Ans) In the whole process of making policies, policy evaluation is comparatively underappreciated. It has a variety of issues, difficulties, and conundrums. Several authors have pointed out various issues with policy evaluation, including Stuart Nagel, James Coleman, Guy Peters, and Robert Glombiewski. According to Peters, the assessment process is highly difficult in the public eye despite appearing to be straightforward policy from the beginning stage of goal setting to that of performance measurement. Those attempting to provide such evaluations face a number of obstacles. The following is a basic explanation of these issues:

  1. Goal Specification: Even the basic step of goal identification involves evaluation. Legislation and other policy tools frequently use confusing language and ill-defined objectives. Policy specifics are not stated; frequently, they are lofty aspirational remarks. Even certain policies do not receive enough financial backing. Another common occurrence is the diversion of funds or the non-release of payments. Divertissements are frequently created to fulfil the political or hidden agendas of individuals in positions of power. Merton refers to it as a process of aim displacement.

  2. Measurement: It might be challenging to gauge output or performance in the public sector. The lack of ready tools for evaluating the worth of what is produced, such as in the areas of welfare, health, or defence, is one fundamental issue that restricts the efficiency and effectiveness of government. There could be a multitude of variables, and occasionally new diseases, social issues, or adversaries could appear.

  3. Targets: Target accomplishments and goal fulfilment are related. Knowing not only what you intend to do, but also to whom you intend to do it, is crucial in this situation. Programs with strict admission requirements may choose clients who genuinely need less assistance rather than those with the highest need. The success of such policies is therefore deceptive.

  4. Efficiency and Effectiveness: It is frequently challenging to attribute costs to specific results, even when those results are measurable, similar to how challenging it is to measure results. The measurement of efficacy may provide similar challenges for the same reason. Evaluation of procedural efficiency is a key component of performance evaluation in government.

  5. Values and Evaluation: It is challenging to accurately estimate the outcomes of a programme due to issues with policy evaluators' attitudes and perceptions. This is particularly true if there are major unforeseen repercussions that must be evaluated against the program's planned outcomes.

  6. Information and Data: Accurate, extensive, and comparable data are required for any objective study. In fact, what kind of data is needed and how it may be obtained must be determined before the evaluation process can begin. Data gathering is a difficult task that requires the evaluation agency to have a lot of time, expertise, money, and energy.

  7. Methodological Problems: In addition to issues with data availability and gathering, issues with the procedures and methods used for evaluation may also arise. The capacity of policy analysts or agencies participating in evaluation is significant in this regard.

  8. Problem of Resources: The lack of human, financial, and physical resources is a prevalent issue in government, especially in developing nations. While the need for evaluation is growing, neither the Indian government nor its universities and research institutes have made a proportionate investment in the evaluation resource base.

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