Unlocking the Concept of Policy Paradigm [column]

As stated in my last article, the policy making process involves a number of inherent components, among which is policy paradigm. In this regard, I would try to proffer some few hints on what I think is referred to as policy paradigm. Policy paradigm in my view, is the initial stage of the policy making process.

As an initial stage of policy making process, policy paradigm commences with a mental silhouette that involves a range of impalpable policy issues. Policy paradigm may therefore be perceived as a dream, theory, assumption, imagination, prediction, forecasting and frame of reference about what policy to formulate in order to pursue certain goals and objectives.

Policy paradigm as illustrated above is very complex and difficult to understand, shape and formulate. That is so because policy paradigm starts with a single mind of a policy maker. That single mind of a policy maker will further be expanded into multiple minds of experts who will then interpret and transform all those impalpable issues into the actual policy issues. The other complex part of policy paradigm is that all the issues mentioned above may mean different things to different people as individuals will in most case perceive, interpret, translate and understand things differently.

But more importantly, policy paradigm once correctly interpreted and translated shall give birth to a clear policy vision. Vision may be understood as a launching vehicle that puts an organisation into motion. However, vision is just a mere statement that gives direction to where an organisation intends to go. In a subsequent process, vision must be transformed into a mission if an organisation is to accomplish what it is dreaming about. By implication, policy paradigm precedes vision which will be evolved into a mission. In this context, in order to ensure that an organisation is propelled towards its final destination, there is need to avoid an ambiguous vision and mission.

It is therefore, extremely vital and important to underscore that policy paradigm be well digested, correctly interpreted and translated and shall serve as a better way to uncover and select goals and objectives an organisation wishes to accomplish.

Policy paradigm is also the best instrument which once applied proficiently will help policy makers to choose the best and workable alternative among many available alternatives for the accomplishment of the selected goals and objectives.

By and large, policy paradigm as an integral part and parcel of policy making process is an effective tool that is useful to map out and measure what is wanted against what is possible. It is at this stage where scarce resources must feature prominently by way of painstakingly analysing all relevant issues that must include both external and internal factors that are likely to have an influence on the policy formulation and implementation.

Naturally, human beings are reactive. By being so reactive, they will overlook relevant aspects that may have influence on their decisions. As such, more often than not, human beings would drift into solutions forced on them by circumstances and take action before they are even clear on what the actual problem is.

Because of human beings’ quick reaction to crisis, in the process they may end up creating yet another crisis that may be more complex and difficult to solve.

Against this backdrop, policy paradigm must be understood as hypothetic, subjective and vague by its nature. It is a process that is full of deficiencies caused by lack of empirical information.

However, regardless of its complexity, policy paradigm remains fundamental that must be well-conceptualised as its ill-conceptualisation shall lead to futile and failure of the policy making process.

In other words, policy paradigm as an initial stage of policy making process must therefore be considered as a linchpin and clearing house if an organisation is to achieve its intended aim. The driving force towards a successful policy making process, shall therefore, be made possible by synthesising all what is necessary at the initial phase of policy paradigm or else, the policy making process will fail before it gets off the ground.

Source : New Era