Monday, February 26, 2024

Factors Influencing Public Policy Today

Many factors influence public policies, and these influences can determine whether a policy is enacted. Decision-makers can no longer make public policy only within a local context. Instead, they must be willing to consider global factors in their public policy analysis.  

Public policy stakeholders 

Key stakeholders influencing public policy include but are not limited to the general public, interest groups, and lobbyists. Lobbyists include: private enterprises, charitable NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations) and international non-governmental and lobbying organisations, which are becoming increasingly influential on local policy decisions. 

Policy-makers must also take into consideration the current economic conditions, as well as changes in technology when conducting their public policy analysis. This experience has heightened a global call for governments to build frameworks that allow them to respond to crises agilely, using technology and information to accelerate decision-making.  

Public policy analysis professionals worldwide have had to wrestle with many decisions for the past three years during the COVID-19 pandemic, including: 

  • Whether or not to lock down their countries or cities.
  • Whether or not to implement vaccination mandates. 
  • How to communicate and disseminate information. 
  • How to handle mistrust in an era of fake news and misinformation. 
  • How to handle the economic and public health consequences of these decisions. 

Social pressure, political influence, economic interests, and institutional factors are vital considerations in public policy decision-making. 

Social pressure 

Citizens of democratic countries, such as the UK, have a right to peaceful protest. They can also petition the government about a public policy matter that concerns them. By gathering the support of others surrounding an issue, citizens can apply significant pressure on policy-makers to make much-needed changes. 

Political influence: 

Sometimes, members of Parliament or politicians are called upon to support their constituents in questioning public policy decisions that have wide-reaching implications. 

On August 26, 2022, the UK government was questioned by ‘The Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee about the ‘halting of CO2 production at a CF Fertiliser plant in the northeast.’ The CF fertiliser plant is a significant player in UK ammonia production. Therefore, this decision to halt production can present a serious risk to food production, security, and animal welfare. In the background of a global food crisis, this is a matter that requires immediate attention and careful public policy analysis. 

Economic interests: 

The UK government announced that it would support its largest car manufacturers to transition to hybrid vehicles. This decision came about because of the lobbying prowess of the auto manufacturers and concerns arising from a policy decision to end selling combustion engine vehicles by 2030. They claim that this decision would impact the viability of their operations. These economic interests in policy decisions can play a vital role in how policy is enacted. 

A Responsive Public Policy Analysis Course 

Creating public policy is becoming increasingly challenging due to many of these influences. 

The London School of Economics and Political Science has launched a solution to these growing challenges. The Public Policy Analysis online certificate course will help you gain practical skills and analytical frameworks for analysing, evaluating, and communicating public policy. This LSE public policy analysis online certificate course aims to equip you with the knowledge and experience you will need to make effective policy decisions. 

References: 

  1. David Miller and William Dinan, « Corridors of Power: Lobbying in the UK », Observatoire de la société britannique [Online], 6 | 2008, Online since February 01, 2011, connection on August 27, 2022. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/osb/409; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/osb.409 
  1. Allain-Dupré, D., Chatry, I., Kornprobst, A. and Michalun, M., 2022. The territorial impact of COVID-19: Managing the crisis across levels of government. [online] OECD. Available at: <https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/the-territorial-impact-of-covid-19-managing-the-crisis-across-levels-of-government-d3e314e1/> 
  1. Elmi, :., Broekaert, K. and Engtoft Larsen, A., 2022. [online] Www3.weforum.org. Available at: <https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Agile_Governance_Reimagining_Policy-making_4IR_report.pdf>
  1. Unknown, A., 2022. COVID-19 Brief: Impact on Democracy Around the World – USGLC. [online] USGLC. Available at: <https://www.usglc.org/coronavirus/democracy/>

5. Rt Hon Sir Robert Goodwill MP, a., 2022. [online] Available at: <https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/28463/documents/171356/default/> 

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://www.abcmoney.co.uk
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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