Public Managers have to participate in the policy making process. Previously, according to scholars, “policy process” was considered “decision making” (Wu, Ramesh, Howlett, & Fritzen, 2010). Under such pretense, public managers considered their role merely with policy implementation. However the recent theories that define public policy, have demarcated public policy as an activity that involves a broad range of activities ranging from defining problems, ensuring the defined problems to make it to agenda, developing alternative solutions of addressing these issues, implementing the results and evaluating the outcomes.
Public Managers are uniquely positioned to positively affect policy process due to their tenure, job security, absence of political pressure and expanded role in the society. The authors mention that transformed meanings of the “politics-administration dichotomy” has strengthened the roles of a public manager (Wu, Ramesh, Howlett, & Fritzen, 2010). Public Managers help the policy process from its inception stage of identifying the problem to the last stages of implementing the solution arrived as a result of the policy process. In doing so, public managers have lengthened their roles in the policy process and can further influence the policy outcomes by getting involved with policy discussions and debates. A public manager’s position as civil servants protects them from any political influence that affects the congressmen or senators as they do not have to worry about their jobs ...
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...placing issues on the agenda. The absence of private means to create solutions to delivery of public goods and services enables the issue to be on the agenda. Finally, the technology plays a vital role in influencing the inclusion of the issue in agenda. If the problem does not have technology to resolve it, then it will not be placed on the agenda (Peters, 2013).
In conclusion, it is true that “mere existence of a problem” does not ensure attention to the issue. The framing and definition of a problem plays a vital role and unless the problem gets on the agenda, it will not attract any attention from policy makers.
Peters, B. G. (2013). American Public Policy: Promise and Performance (9th Edition). Washington DC: Sage/CQ Press.
Wu, X., Ramesh, M., Howlett, M., & Fritzen, S. (2010). The Public Policy Primer: Managing the policy process. London: Routledge.
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