The Art of Policymaking

Syed Mansoor Ahmed

Policy formulation is the standing dealing of the modern era. It assembles the vast and scattered narrative of the masses about the basic demands of social and political life. Every modern state around the globe invites and selects the growing policy scientists in the field of public policy. Policy formulation is a crucial process that brings a specific problem into the discussion for a qualified solution. The government officials, state institutions, departments, political stakeholders, and the public are the deciding players to form an invaluable policy.

Policy formulation is a social knowledge-oriented strategy, which means that the contributors must be well aware of the problem. It enables all the stakeholders to frame a valuable policy through proper diagnosis of a certain problem, which could address the need of the public, through a confident conclusion by and large. Before going to the formulation phase, it is integral to comprehend the problem through the lens of policy science.

In policy science, the main provisions for policy formulation are:-

  1. The policy must be problem-oriented; the phase sole emphasis is on an identification of the oddities of the problem, to form the accurate strategies
  2.  The policy must be normative or valued based; the policy must follow the human and environmental standards
  3.  There must be public participation during the formulation phase; it might enhance the domain of policy by encouraging the diversity of knowledge through the mean of public participation.

While addressing such peculiar needs, the policymakers must conscious of human behaviour and the requisite of the environment. There is a natural tendency that human behaviour is the prisoner of the existing environment. The slight change in the environment by any means directly influences the way man’s dealing. The order of the policymaking always approaches for the alternatives, which can rescue the one end of the policy by providing another side. So, keeping in mind, these all could possible through the art of pure knowledge of policymaking.

More importantly, the technical aspects of the policy formulation, the role of philosophy also is a supporting function in the policymaking process. Philosophy is the bedrock of the noble discourse of human behaviour. It is curious about the problems of man and the paradox of knowledge. Human behaviour and social formation are the subsequent outcomes of philosophy.  It gives us a deep understanding of the conflict goals of humans and the limitations of public policy.

Furthermore, the virtues and the difficulties of feminism, communism, socialism, aristocracy, democracy, ethics, politics, economics, and psychology can only be understood under the frame of philosophy. The limitless philosophical scope could be provided with logical arguments. It might assist the policy analyst to analyse the social issue with direct attention. It also allows the policymaker to investigate the conceptual nature of the problem.

Even more prominently, the need for every policy formulation is to explore the questions of demand before. These demands must be treated in all feasible aspects of the policymaking process before real formulation and implementation.

The implementation phase is the lifeline of the actual policy. In this stage, the genuine stakeholders work in a close formation with all-sufficient tools and terms to ground hit the objectives of the policy. Last but not the least, the policy elevation phase looks for that how the policy is working, how much it has delivered the goals of the policy, and does it solve the problem of society and the public.

But above all, policy formulation is a forward-looking approach, where all the actors work with the aid of collective efforts and collaborative intentions. So, here it is important to take a bird eye view that the national and local based policies of Pakistan are touching the sense of the real process? Are our policy makers are possessing the vast mind of the contemporary global politics, economic, and social refinement? What is the standard of our limited policy makers? Why there are voids in the policy implementation and elevation? It still a pending question for many decades.

The writer is a student at the University of Management and Technology Lahore and a Public Policy Analyst based in Quetta.

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