“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”- Edmund Burke
Not everybody gets excited when they hear public policy. Some yawn and get bored, develop sudden attention deficit and look for something else that engages their fancy. Well, if you’re among the aforementioned people, wake up! Smell the coffee and take public policy seriously.
Are you asking why?
Public policy is important because policy choices and decisions made by those in power affect nearly every aspect of daily life, including education, healthcare and national security. The policies set in place by officials at all levels of government establish rules, regulations and procedures that guide the actions of citizens within their jurisdiction.
Public policy decisions are primarily made to improve the health, safety and well-being of citizens, and may set standards for educational institutions, transportation operations and housing facilities.
If you find yourself asking questions like; “why didn’t the government or any of its agencies do something about this?” Whether it be about; that a terrorist cell had been operating undetected until it struck, failing to halt the spread of a pandemic, nipping creeping social crises such as domestic violence in the bud or acting on warnings about looming economic recession, you need to keep scrolling.
You have a part to play in setting these policies and this is why you should be interested in the politics within your catchment area.
So, you want a change? Here’s how you can help make the policy favourable to you;
You can join other like-minded citizens and groups to try to influence public policy through the political process by supporting candidates and political parties that push citizen-friendly agendas. That’s one good way to make a positive impact.
Politicians and political parties come and go. Their positions on issues can change due to circumstances. They can be voted out of power as easily as they are voted in. You can join your voice to ensuring that the bad egg does not remain.
One of the best ways to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people, politicians and political parties change with them be it on climate change, monetary and fiscal matters, education, security, matters bordering around race, employment and so on. When the majority thinks in a particular direction, it will be difficult for someone with an opposing ideology to set policies that will be against them.
So, attend town hall meetings, political party forums, networking events for people in your profession or those who are passionate about the same things as you, attend rallies, write opinion pieces in the dailies, seek opportunities to speak on mass media or use your social media platforms.
If you sit by and fold your arms expecting change to fall from the sky, people with ugly agendas will have their say and their way which can result in unfavourable policy development include.
If you’re a leader note that such unfavourable policy development occurs when; there’s
- A failure to consult the people who will be affected by the policy or who will implement the policy.
- A lack of communication between persons who are involved or should be involved in the policy formulation process.
- A failure to define the problem or the essential issue(s), or an oversimplification of the issue(s).
- Policy makers are unable to reach agreement over basic facts.
- Policy makers are biased in their research for the policy formulation process.
- Policy makers take a different and conflicting position on key aspects of the policy.
- Prejudice and stereotyping by policy makers.
- A change of key players in the policy development process before it is completed.
- A lack of understanding of the importance of policies in organisation management.
So, lend your voice and your action to making your community and, by extension, the world a better place.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.