What makes good policy
Public policy describes the role of government from local level (city council) to federal (U.S. Supreme Court) developing laws and regulations as well as allocating resources. Non government entities like individuals or groups contribute to the development of policy through education, advocacy, or interest groups. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines policy as “ a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions”.
There are three forms of policy that can operate at any level:
– Legislative Policies: created by elected officials
– Regulatory policies: add specificity to policies developed by a legislative body
– litigation: public policy created through judicial opinions
However, not all public policy is enacted by law. In many cases these policies serve moreso as guidance by administrative entities.
Health equity should always be considered in public policy: conditions of where people are born, live, work, learn.
– Importance of public policy
Public policy influences systems that contribute to the wellbeing of a population. From birth to death, all aspects of our lives are impacted by public policy. For example, at some point, every citizen will receive money from the government whether it be student loans, unemployment compensation, Medicare, Medicaid. Decisions on these resources are made by elected officials. Due to the complexity of current social issues, cross sector approaches are necessary and achieved through public policy.
– Example of good public policy
Good policy is when the policy produces a measurable and positive outcome. There are nine steps to successful public policy:
Factors to consider for whether a policy is “good policy”:
– Does the policy solve the problem?
– Does the policy use government? If so, at what level? Is that level appropriate?
– Is the policy constitutional?
– Is the policy realistic?
– Is there enough public support?
– What are the costs associated with the policy?
– Will the policy be passed?
Characteristics of Successful Public Policy: https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/masters/public-administration/resources/infographics/characteristics-of-successful-public-policy
Definitions of Public Policy and the Law: https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/policy/definition.shtml
The Importance of Policy Change for Addressing Public Health Problems: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0033354918788880
Overview of Policy Evaluation: https://www.cdc.gov/injury/pdfs/policy/Brief%201-a.pdf
Public Policy: Perspectives and Choices: https://www.rienner.com/uploads/53aae610dd33a.pdf
How to shape and move policy
We all have a role to play in shaping and moving policy. These steps will help with influencing policy
Take the time to get familiar with the legislative process at the city and/or county of where you live, state and federal levels. Remember that every policy begins as an idea.
At the federal level the process of a bill becoming a law begins with a constituent sharing their idea with an elected official. The official introduces the bill and the bill goes to committee. After committee, congress debates and votes. If the bill passes in congress then its is sent to the President. If the president approves the bill then the bill becomes a law.
How Laws are made and how to Research Them: https://www.usa.gov/how-laws-are-made
Influencing Policy Development: https://ctb.ku.edu/en/influencing-policy-development