Public policy is a process that evolves from a coalition of actors

Government and parliamentary structures as well as the different branches of government all play very important roles in the making of laws and policies. Below is an explanation of the stages of making policies and laws, using a specific example of compulsory education.

Ayee Chapter 3: Politicians and Bureaucrats as Generators of Public Policy in Ghana Joseph R.A.

This 14 page paper begins with an explanation of what public administration is and then provides a history public administration in America beginning with Woodrow Wilson's article, "The Study of Administration," published in 1887. Wilson wanted to make a clear distinction between administration and politics and had a number of followers. This essay traces the evolution of public administration from that time to the present, including the conflicts and controversies. The writer then discuses the evolution of three specializations in the field: federalism and intergovernmental relations; civil servants and human resource management; and public budgeting and finance. This essay concludes with possible trends in some areas of public administration. Bibliography lists 10 sources.

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Founding Editor, African Journal of Public Administration and Management

“It will benefit policymakers and governments alike in their decision-making efforts.


It is the responsibility of the executive branch of government to develop new policies and laws. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch (Parliament) to approve policies and pass new laws to give legal effect to the policies. But this is a long and slow process during which the policy or law proposed by the ruling party is debated and negotiated with various stakeholders, such as opposition parties, the public, non-government organisations, etc. This can take many years to complete.

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During this time, the government ministries will draft discussion documents, called Green Papers and White Papers on the policy or law to allow for debate and comment. Public service Senior Management Service members are often used as resource people for this process. Various parliamentary and select committees in national Parliament and in the National Council of Provinces, as well as portfolio committees in Provincial Legislatures provide opportunities for public participation in debating the proposed policy or law.

as actors in the public sector in Ghana for ..

In its 57 years of nationhood, Ghana witnessed 22 years of military rule, 6 years of one-party government and 29 years of democratic reign. Policy making under the one-party and military regimes was exclusionary with the rulers alone making public policies. Because the military and one-party regimes’ approach to policy making was elitist and exclusionary this: left stakeholders with little or no opportunity to make input; failed to consider important constituencies and points of view; created implementation difficulties and raised questions surrounding the legitimacy of public decisions. In contrast, constitutional rule democratizes policy making; increases problem solution options; smoothens policy implementation; and legitimizes public decisions. Two cases: the Review of the 1992 Constitution and the Reform to the Social Security System are used to test this supposition. The evidence shows that a consensual approach to policy-making has emerged since Ghana’s return to democratic rule in 1993. This paradigm shift has improved the design and implementation of public policies and programs in Ghana. Nevertheless, the situation is far from satisfactory because marginalized and unorganized groups still suffer alienation; official actors still have a stronger urge over non authoritative players in participatory episodes; and elected and appointed participants still have informational advantage over their non state counterparts. Together these minutiae adversely affect the quality and effectiveness of participation and this throws into question the legitimacy of the democratic governance project in Ghana.

The public social policy and programme decisions that ..

Stage three of the process is when the policy is finalised by the relevant Department and Ministry. Once a policy has been properly debated the Department and Ministry look at the issues and options and draw up a final policy which is published as a White Paper. The White Paper is a statement of intent and a detailed policy plan which often forms the basis of legislation. It is debated and adopted by Parliament and approved by Cabinet.