NOUN Pol 317 Public Policy Analysis 2016 Past Question

National Open University of Nigeria

Department of Political Sciences

October/November, 2016_2 Examination

Course Code: Pol 317

Course Title: Public Policy Analysis

Instructions: Answer Any Three

Q.1. Illustrate with examples the environmental factors affecting policy formulation in many African countries (23 marks)

Q.2. Discuss the role of nay four of the following theories in the study of public policy analysis (23 marks).

1. System Theory

2. Elite Theory

3. Institutional Theory

4. Group Theory

5. Process Theory

Q.3. Discuss the major stakeholders in policy making in Nigeria. (23 marks)

Q.4. Explain the necessary conditions for planning to achieve its goals in developing countries. (23 marks)

Q.5. Itemize the stages of policy making and the challenges of implementation in Nigeria. (23 marks)

Answers to NOUN Pol 317 Public Policy Analysis 2016 Past Question

Environmental factors affecting policy formulation in many African countries include;

political factors, socio-economic factors, and other environmental factors. Let us examine each factor in detail.


Every ociety has a culture that differentiates the values and lifestyles of its members from those of other societies. The anthropologist Clyde Klockhohn (1963:24) has defined culture as “the total life way of a people, the social legacy the individual acquires from his group. Or culture can be regarded as that part of the environment that is the creation of man” (1965). Most social scientists seem agreed that culture shapes or nfluences social ction, but that it does not fully determine it. It is only one of many factors that may affect human behavior. The portion of the general culture that can be designated as a political culture are widely held values, beliefs, and attitudes concerning what governments should try to do and how they should operate, and the relationship between the citizen and government. Political culture is transmitted from one generation to another by a socialization process in which the individual through many experiences with parents, friends, teachers, political leaders, and others, learns politically relevant values, beliefs, and attitudes. Political culture, they are acquired by the individual becomes a part of his psychological makeup, and is manifested in his behavior. Within a given society, variations among regions and groups may result in distinctive subcultures. In the United States, there are noticeable variations in political culture between North and Douth, black and white, young and old. David J. Elazar (1966) in his book, American Federalism contends there are three individualistic and traditionalistic and mutations thereof scattered hroughout the United States. Where such variations exist, they clearly ompound he asks f description and analyses. A well-known sociologist, Robin W. Williams, has identified a number of “major value orientations” in American society. These include individual freedom, equality, progress, efficiency, and practicality, values uch s these- and others, such as democrat, individualism, and human Italianism-clearly have significance for policymaking. For example, the general approach of American to the regulation of economic activity has been practical or pragmatic, emphasizing particular solutions to present problems rather than long-range planning or ideological consistency. Moreover, concern with individual freedom as a created general presumption against the restriction of rivate activity n favor of the broadest scope possible for private ction. Stress n individualism and private property find expression in the notion that a person should generally be free to use his property as he sees fit. Differences in public policy nd policy-making n various countries a be explained at least partially in terms of political-cultural variations e.g. Public medical care programs are of long-standing and more numerous and extensive in western European countries than in United State because there has been greater public expectation and acceptance of such programs in estern Europe. Again few people in Great Britain disapprove of government ownership of the business, whereas few in the United States approve of it. Karl Deutch suggests hat the time orientation of people- their view of thee relative importance of the past, the present, and the uture- has mplications for policy formation. A political culture-oriented more to the past than to the present or future may better encourage the preservation of monuments than the making of innovations. It may enact legislation on old-age pension years before expanding ublic higher education. Thus, Great Britain passed an old-age pension law in 1980, but it did not significantly expand public higher education until after 1960. In contrast, Deutch notes that the United States, with a more future-oriented culture, adopted legislation in 1862 providing for land-grant colleges and in 1935 for social security.

Almond and Verba (1966) have differentiated between parochial, subject, and participant political culture, citizens ave little awareness of, or orientation toward, wither the political system as a whole, the input process, the output process, or the citizen as a political participant. The parochial expect nothing from the system. It is suggested that some African chiefdoms and kingdoms and tribal societies, and modern-day Italy, are llustrative of paraochial political cultures. In a subject political culture, like that of Germany, the citizen has oriented toward the political system nd the output process; yet, he has little awareness of input processes or himself as a participant. He is aware of governmental authority, he may like or dislike it, but he is essentially passive. He is, as the term implies, a subject. In the participant, political culture, which Almond and Verba (1966) found he United States o be citizens have a high level of political awareness and information nd have explicit orientations towards the political system as a whole, its input and output processes, and meaningful citizens participation in politics. Include in this orientation is an understanding of how dividuals and groups can influence decision-making. Some of the implications of these differences in political culture for policy formation seem readily apparent. Obviously, citizens’ participation n policy ormation in a parochial political culture may believe that he a do little to influence public policy whether he likes it or not. This may lead to passive acceptance of governmental action that may be rather authoritarian in style. In some instances, frustration amends resentment may build until redress or change is sought through violence. In the participant political ulture, individuals may organize into groups and otherwise seek to influence government action to rectify their grievances. Governments and public policy are viewed as controllable by citizens. Also, one can assume that more demands will be made on the government in a participant political culture than in either a parochial or a subject culture. Thus, political culture helps shape political behavior; it is related to the frequency and probability of various kinds of behavior and not their rigid determination.


Question 2

This is similar in some ways to the systems theory. But instead of looking at policy outputs as consequences of environmental inputs, it focuses on the process or procedure of policy formulation. There are identifiable patterns of olitical ctivities or rocesses that often ulminate in the formulation of public policies. The policy processes are as follows:

Policy formation
Agenda setting
Policy formulation
Policy enactment
Policy implementation and
Policy evaluation The approach is cyclical. However, it should be noted that a change in the process of policymaking may not bring about changes in the content of policies. It appears that social, political, economic and technological constraints on policymakers in developing countries are so many that changing either the formal or informal processes of decision making may or may not change the content of the public policy.


According to the group theory of politics, public policy is the product of the group struggle. As one writer states: “what may be called public policy is the equilibrium research in this (group) struggle at any given moment, and it represents a balance which the contending factors or groups constantly strive to weight in their favor”. Group theory rests on the contention that interaction and struggle among groups in the central fact of political life. A group is a collection of individuals that may, on the basis of shared attitudes r interests, make claims another group it becomes a political interest group “when makes a claim through or upon of the institutions of government. And of course, many groups do just that. The individual is significant politics only as its a participant in or a representative of groups. It is through groups that ndividuals seek to secure heir political preferences. Public policy, at any given time, will reflect the interest of dominant groups. As groups gain and lose power and influence, public policy will e altered in favor of the interests of those losing influence. Group theory, while focusing tattentionon one of the major dynamic lements in policy formation, especially pluralist societies, such as the United States, seems both to overstate the importance of groups and to understate e independent and creative role that public officials play in the policy process. Indeed, many groups have been generated by public policy. The American farm bureau federation, which eveloped around the agricultural extension programis a notable example, as is the National welfare rights organization. Public officials also may acquire a stake in particular programs and act as an interest group in support of their continuance. Finally, we should note that it is rather misleading and inefficient to try to explain politics or policy formation in terms of group struggle without giving attention to the many other factors for example, ideas and institutions that abound. This sort of reductionist explanation should be avoided.


The study of government institutions is one of the oldest of political science. The approach focuses on the formal or structural aspects of an institution and can be adopted in policy analysis. An institution is a set of regularized patterns of human behavior that persist over time. Some people, unsophisticated, of course, seem to equate institutions with the physical structures in which they exist. It is their differing sets of behavior, which we often call rules, structures, and the like, that can affect decision-making and the content of public olicy. Rules and structural arrangements are usually not neutral in their mpact, rather, they tend to favor some interests in society over others, some policy results rather than thers. The public policy s formulated, implemented, and enforced by overnment institutions. Government nstitutions ive legal authority to policies and can legally impose sanctions on violators of its policies. As such, there is a close relationship between public policy and governmental institutions. It s not surprising, then, that political scientists would focus on the study f governmental tructures nd institutions. Institutionalism, with ts ocus n the legal and structural aspects can be applied in policy analysis. The structures and institutions and their arrangements and can have a significant impact on public policy. Traditionally, the focus of the study was the escription of government structures and institutions. The study of the linkage etween overnment structures and policy outcomes remained largely unanalyzed and neglected. The value of the institutional approach to policy analysis lies in asking what relationships xist etween institutional arrangements and the content of public policy and lso in investigating these relationships in a comparative manner. It would not be correct to assume hat a particular change in institutional structure would bring about changes in public policy. Without investigating the actual relationship between structure and policy, it is difficult to assess the impact of institutional arrangements on public policies.

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