Top-Down Approach in Public Policy Implementation

What are the principal lessons of the EDA’s Oakland Experiment for policy implementation?

The economic development agency experimented with policy implementation in Oakland, and a lot of lessons were learned. The policy implementation process was successful when unadorned strategies were applied effectively. This means that only relevant actions were taken as opposed to complex activities. Eventually, the program failed due to the inclusion of many people and agencies, hence, giving rise to bureaucracies in processes.

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Expected problems during the implementation of policies should be highlighted in advance to create a platform for solving them. This means that the policy should include sections that detail possible problems expected to handle them effectively. The complexity and diversity of many people involved in the process make implementation difficult. This is because different people want to push for their interests, hence, complicating the whole process.

This happens because policies cannot accommodate the wishes of everyone. This is because individual wishes may contradict each other confusing. EDA’s project was exceedingly clear because it involved setting up of resources and targets. Furthermore, it proceeded with the implementation of policies. They believed that if people are funded, they can work hard to uplift their lives, hence, contributing to the economy.

Are there reasons to believe that the prospects for policy implementation are not as dismal as suggested by Wildavsky and Pressman?

Prospects for policy implementation highlighted in the case study were dismal as suggested by Wildavsky and Pressman. This is because the prospects were not well outlined to guide the whole process effectively. For example, it was expected that the urban unemployed people will be given money to uplift their lives. This is dangerous because the majority of unemployed people lack the necessary knowledge required for running businesses.

Instead, these two authors suggested that employers should be given loans to expand their facilities, hence, creating job opportunities. This is hugely significant because if current institutions are encouraged to get loans to expand their businesses, demand for labor will be inevitable. This is tremendously beneficial because it can be used to upgrade the lives of people in urban areas by providing them with job opportunities.

What is the focus of the top-down approach to policy implementation?

The top-down approach focuses on empowering top leaders in organizations to come up with policies. This means that the rules and regulations of the organization are made by people at the top levels. Communication is enhanced throughout the hierarchy for the implementation of the policies to succeed. Skillful leaders are required to make this approach a success because top decisions are particularly beneficial. If a mistake is done when coming up with policies, implementation can be impossible. The approach focuses on coordination since different departments have to work hand in hand to make policies a success. This means that leaders should encourage the spirit of togetherness among their employees.

Identify and discuss 4 variables considered by top-down theorists to be crucial in explaining policy implementation outcomes.

Factors that top-down theorists consider in explaining policy implementation outcomes include the logical consistency of objectives. This means that the flow of events must be systematic and consistent for policy implementation to succeed. They consider compliance by implementers, as well. This means implementers have to understand the process and comply with its terms and expectations. Another factor to be considered is the availability of resources.

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Resources have to be adequate to ensure efficiency in the implementation of set policies. Sufficient time has to be allocated to the implementation process to yield satisfactory results at the end of the implementation period. Finally, social, economic, and political factors are also considered by theorists in explaining the outcomes of policy implementations. These are extremely beneficial because they influence the stability of organizations leading to the success or failure of policy implementation. For instance, if politicians decide to discredit a given policy, chances are high that its success rates tend to diminish.

Identify and discuss two shortcomings of the top-down approach

This approach is biased because it gives power to those at higher levels of administration denying other stakeholders opportunities to contribute to the policy-making process. Organizations should embrace the spirit of consulting all stakeholders in the development of policies to enhance compliance among all implementers. Top leaders within an organization may come up with policies that oppress their juniors, hence, making it impossible for them to implement.

Another shortcoming of this approach is that policies change during the implementation process. Since decision-makers do not have a direct connection with events on the ground, they may make policies that cannot be implemented. This may force implementers to make some changes to accommodate their wishes, hence, contradicting intended objectives.

What is the rationale behind the bottom-up approach to policy implementation?

The rationale behind the bottom-up approach is based on the fact that everyone in the organization has to be involved in decision making. This means that all members of staff should be actively involved in developing policies and this ensures that they understand the basis of policies. Implementation of such policies become easy as all stakeholders had their say in its design. It is guided by interactive principles, whereby, every opinion is taken seriously, hence, adding weight to the formation of useful policies. Policies made following this approach stands better chances of getting implemented without a lot of changes. This happens because everyone in the organization takes part in proposing what they think is appropriate for the organization.

Elaborate on the arguments made by two of the following authors: Barrett/Fudge (interactive approach)

Barrett and Fudge argue that an interactive approach is uncommonly beneficial for organizations because all stakeholders take part in the development of policies. They argued that policies should follow an interactive approach to avoid instances where policies are changed to accommodate views of various sections during implementation. They argue that leaders should involve all stakeholders to include views of all equally. This is noteworthy as organizations should be able to implement policies aimed at achieving their operational goals.

What are the shortcomings of the bottom-up approach to policy implementation?

This approach is faced with various shortcomings, which include difficulties in evaluating its effects. This becomes extremely hectic because implementers are involved in the development of the policy. Therefore, people should find it devilishly hard to identify their successes or failures since they want to justify whatever they formulate. People observe only areas, which they supported ignoring areas of less interest to them. Also, separating the interest of various individuals in the organization becomes difficult. This is because people with diverse reasoning tend to have diverse issues and interests to support.

Identify and discuss four lessons learned about government contracting from the case studies of the A-76 program, Superfund cleanups, FTS-2000, and/or nuclear weapons production

These case studies have several lessons for people to learn about government contracting. For instance, there is a lesson about how governments should follow ethical procedures. Ethical processes are extremely valuable in the organization as transparency is promoted, hence, leading to the acquisition of quality products at all times. If the proper tendering procedure is followed, the best suppliers are given opportunities to deliver quality products to the government. Corruption should be eliminated in government contracting because it allows the procurement of low-quality products. Lessons about how governments should contract organizations to do certain tasks are included in the case study. For instance, from the case study, one can learn different points at which various members of the government get involved in the contracting process.

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Identify and discuss 3 broad consequences that follow from increasing reliance on contractors to provide government goods and services

Increasing reliance on contractors to provide government goods and services leads to the formation of cartels within the government. This results in deteriorating the quality of goods and services because leaders in the government involved in contracting cartels seek low-quality products. They do this to maximize their profits without caring much about the services offered to the government. Another consequence of these contractors is corruption, whereby, people have to bribe leaders to be awarded contracts. This leads to contracting people without the required qualities, hence, affecting the quality of goods provided to the government.

Finally, continued contracting genuine organizations may help governments to identify the best suppliers who can be reliable. This means that they can have an opportunity to sample various products and services in search of the best. This shows that the contracting process can have both positive and negative consequences. Governments should work on promoting positive consequences and try hard to minimize actions that might lead to negative consequences.

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