It employs value laden techniques of welfare, economics and other factors like rationality, power, personnel and institutions have been neglected and not shown as integral ingredients in the policy cycle (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012). In addition, McDonald, Cleary, Miller, Lai, Siggins, and Bush (2010) also states that, it is problematic in that it treats the political system as a ”black box” where a range of inputs are converted by means unknown into a range of outputs. The stages heuristic model
The stages heuristic presents policy activity as a cycle beginning with issue identification and then stepping through policy analysis, policy instruments, consultation, coordination, decision, implementation and evaluation(McDonald etal: 2010). Critique The most prominent and criticised model of the policy process, the stages heuristic (Althaus, Bridgman and David 2007; Howlett, Ramesh and Perl 2009;), draws attention to an explicit set of processes usually characterised as policy analysis.
It entails the collection of information about the nature of the problem and potential solutions, and weighing competing potential solutions against one another with the goal of producing succinct information that will assist decision-makers to make a properly-informed judgement (Althaus, Bridgman and Davis 2007; Bardach 2005). With its emphasis on analysis (that is, analysis for and in policy) as one step in the policy cycle, draws attention to the utility of evaluating the relative strengths of competing policy options (McDonald etal: 2010).
The rational/comprehensive model The rational/comprehensive model assumes that policy decisions are made rationally with the aim of maximising social gain and on the basis that all required information is available and considered(McDonald etal: 2010). According to Nayyar (2011) the rational model, will make the best decision, define the problems, establish goals and objectives, generate all possible alternatives, consider the consequences of all alternatives, evaluate all alternatives, select the best alternative, implement and evaluate the decision.
Critique It draws evaluator’s attention towards exploring the degree to which the policy being evaluated is based on an analysis which is rational (an intellectual activity relatively uncontaminated by such things as moral values and advocacy group pressures) and which is also comprehensive in the sense that all the relevant information is taken into account and systematically weighed(McDonald etal: 2010). Problems arise when put into practice since social and environ,mental values can be difficult to quantify and gather a consensus on the same.
It is not totally practical as it is based on the principle that the decision maker is aware of all facts and statistics that are to be considered in the b current situation and knows the best way to deal and take a completely rational decision (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012). The bounded rationality model The bounded rationality model posits that people engaged in policy activity act as rationally as possible within the bounds of their capacities and resources.
These bounds include lack of time, too much or too little information, the limits of people’s information processing capacity, and political imperatives (McDonald et al: 2010). The Bounded Rationality Model make a satisfactory decision, situation recognize and define the problem, analyse the difficulties, get the relevant facts, classify the problem, specify problem, establish criteria for a satisfactory solution, develop a plan of action, consider alternatives, weigh consequences of each alternative, deliberate, select course of action, initiate action plan program, communicate, monitor and appraise (Nayyar: 2011).
Critique The bounded rationality model and the related set of institutional rational choice frameworks, lead the evaluator to look below the surface to understand why particular policy choices were adopted and others rejected as ways of dealing with a particular problem. Sometimes the bounds reflect political realities (the art of the possible). On the other occasions, they reflect inadequacies in information and knowledge management, or simply the pressures of time (McDonald et al: 2010).
According to Publicadministrationtheone (2012) the bound rationality model is only goal pursuing and does not take in a very detailed account of the means to attain it. The institutional rational model The institutional rational choice framework focuses on ” how institutional rules alter the behaviour of intendedly rational individuals motivated by material self-choice” (Sabatier: 2007, p. 8).
It focuses on the traditional organization of government, describes the duties and arrangements of bureaus and departments, and considers constitutional provisions, administrative and common law, and judicial decisions. It focuses on formal arrangements such as federalism executive reorganizations, presidential commission, etc. Traditionally political science has studied government institutions–Congress, presidency, courts, political parties, etc. –that authoritatively determine, implement, and enforce public policy.
Strictly speaking, a policy is not a public policy until it is adopted, implemented and enforced by some governmental institution. Government lends legitimacy to policies, they are then legal; Government extends policies universally to cover all people in society; Government monopolizes the power to coerce obedience to policy, or to sanction violators (Summer: 2002). In the same vein, (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012) purports that certain institutions in society are seen as competent institutions for determining public policy bjectives and processes. The institutions are chosen on the basis of democratic participation, bureaucratic specification and adjudication and the functions performed by these certain institutions are the major determining factor to implement various policies. This model also specifies and suggests the relationship between various institutions and how they all work together and collectively contribute to a successful policy implementation (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012) Critique
It is possible when all institutions are studied thoroughly and the relationship it shares with other organisations and also in a developing society where one organisation provides overlapping services with another organisation then it becomes difficult to segregate and duplication occurs, wasting money and resources of the country people (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012). It has also been noted that traditional studies using the institutional approach focused on institutional structures, organization, duties and function, without investigating their impact on public policy (Summer 2002).
The incrementalism model The incrementalism model argues that people engaged in policy activity build on their existing information, particularly their knowledge of what worked (or failed) in the past, rather than seek out and attend carefully to new information(McDonald etal: 2010). The Incremental Model: Successive Limited Comparison Charles Lindblom describes the way most decisions are made as the process of muddling through. A small and limited set of options are considered. Options are only marginally different from existing situation. Options are considered by comparing actual consequences.
Try the option and then observe consequences. If consequences are fine, then a little more. If consequences are negative, then back off and try something different. Focus is on outcomes and trial and error ( Nayyar: 2011). The incrementalism model assists evaluators to understand the nature and origin of some policy changes. It leads the policy evaluator to look carefully at the situation before a new policy is developed and implemented. If significant change appeared to be needed but did not occur, the evaluator could apply this model to assess the extent to which decision-makers perated in an incremental mode. They might look for conservative, incremental mind-sets in individual policy actors, or seek to determine if the policy environment was not conducive to paradigms shifts (McDonald et al: 2010). It only looks at immediate problems and short term solutions by taking one step at a time and leaves behind the overall issue for which the root has to be pulled out otherwise whatever little ework is done will be undone very soon. It also gives way to steps that enter quietly and were never thought of in the first place which may not be useful ( Publicadministrationtheone: 2012). . GROUP MODEL Public policy results from a system of forces and pressures acting on and reacting to one another. Usually focuses on the legislature, but the executive is also pressured by interest groups. Agencies may be captured by the groups they are meant to regulate, and administrators become increasingly unable to distinguish between policies that will benefit the general public and policies that will benefit the groups being regulated. Interaction among groups is the central fact of politics. Individuals with common interests band together to press their demands (formal or informally) on government.
Individuals are important in politics only when they act as part of or on behalf of group interests. The group is the bridge between the individual and the government. The task of the political system is to establish the rules of the game, arrange compromises and balance interests, enact compromises in public policy and enforce these compromises( Summer: 2011). It is also called equilibrium theory, as in physics. Influence is determined by numbers, wealth, and organizational strength, leadership, access to decision makers and internal cohesion.
Policy makers respond to group pressure by bargaining, negotiating, and compromising among competing demands. Executives, legislators, and agency heads all put together coalitions from their consistencies to push programs through. Political parties are coalitions of groups. The Democrats have traditionally been central city, labour, ethnics/immigrants, the poor, Catholics, liberals, intellectuals, blacks, and Southern blue collar workers. Republicans have been wealthy, rural, small town, whites, suburbanites, white collar workers, conservatives, and middle class.
The entire system assumes a ‘latent’ group supports the rules of the game, there is overlapping group membership which keeps groups from moving too far out of the political mainstream and there are checks and balances on groups competition(Summer: 2011) Critique It states that a few groups and lobbies who have stronghold on organised agitation and means to influence bureaucracy and legislature get their way in view of lack of other organised opposition. . ELITE-MASS MODEL A policy-making elite acts in an environment characterized by apathy and information distortion, and governs a largely passive mass.
Policy flows downward from the elite to the mass. Society is divided into those who have power and those who do not. Elites share values that differentiate them from the mass. The prevailing public policies reflect elite values, which generally preserve the status quo. Elites have hither income, more education, and higher status than the mass. Public policy may be viewed as the values and preferences of a governing elite. The elites shape mass opinion more than vice versa. Public officials and administrators merely carry out policies decided on by the elite, which flows ‘down’ to the mass.
It assumes that 1)society is divided into the powerful few and the powerless many; only the few allocate values (the mass do not decide public policy). 2)The few are not typical of the mass; elites are drawn disproportionately from the upper strata (Summer: 2002). 3)There must be slow and continuous movement of non? elites into elite positions, but only after they accept elite values, in order to maintain stability and avoid revolution. 4) All elites agree on basic social system and preservation values, i. e. , private property, limited government, and individual liberty. )Changes in public policy will be incremental rather than revolutionary, reflecting changes in elite values (not mass demands). 6)Active elites are subject to little influence from apathetic masses. Implications are that the responsibility for the state of things rests with the elites, including the welfare of the mass. The mass is apathetic and ill-informed; mass sentiments are manipulated by the elite; the mass has only an indirect influence on decisions and policy. As communication flows only downward, democratic popular elections are symbolic in that they tie the mass to the system through a political party and occasional voting.
Policies may change incrementally but the elites are conservative and won’t change the basic system. Only policy alternatives that fall within the range of elite value consensus will be given serious consideration. Competition centers around a narrow range of issues, and elites agree more than they disagree; there is always agreement on constitutional government, democratic procedures, majority rule, freedom of speech and of the press, freedom to form political parties and run for office, equality of opportunity, private property, individual initiative and reward, and the legitimacy of free enterprise and capitalism.
The masses cannot be relied on to support these values consistently, thus the elite must support them (Summer: 2002). Critique The model states that only a few people who are referred to as elite, who are the public administrators and politicians are the only ones who possess the knowledge to make policies and hence no need to interact with others who are not equipped in this matter. It does not take into account the importance of civil society, organisations and other non-profit and voluntary associations possessing grass root knowledge of issues and solutions to the same (Publicadministrationtheone: 2012).