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AFRO-NETS> The Policy Processes

The Policy Processes
Jos Mooij, Veronica de Vos: Policy Processes
Working Paper 221 - July 2003, ODI, London
Available online as Adobe PDF file at:
Policy processes are always formulated and implemented in particular 
social and historical contexts, and these contexts do matter - in 
terms of which issues are put on the policy, the shape the policy 
will take, the institutions that will be involved, and the final 
budget allocated for the implementation process. In short, context 
influences the outcome of policies.
Policies are thus no pre-determined prescriptions resulting from of a 
'rational process of problem identification by a benevolent agency 
(usually the state)'. The 'policy as prescription' approach is still 
way too prevalent; the process dimensions of policy are more impor-
tant and are not to be skipped.
Policies are not 'natural phenomena' or 'automatic solutions' flowing 
from the 'objective analysis' of particular social problems and they 
do not privilege the state as an actor fundamentally different from, 
or superior to, other social actors. The why, how and by whom ques-
tions can only be answered by concrete empirical research with the 
participation of potential beneficiaries. 
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