Public policy

Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception [1] and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government or nonprofit organisation ,[2] in response to social issues. Beyond this broad definition, public policy has been conceptualized in a variety of ways.

A popular way of understanding and engaging in public policy is through a series of stages known as "the policy cycle". The characterization of particular stages can vary, but a basic sequence is: agenda setting – formulation – legitimation – implementation – evaluation.

Officials considered as policymakers bear responsibility to reflect the interests of a host of different stakeholders. Policy design entails conscious and deliberate effort to define policy aims and map them instrumentally. Academics and other experts in policy studies have developed a range of tools and approaches to help in this task.


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