3I_Framework_Paper.pdf - Understanding Policy Developments...

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Briefing Note For up-to-date knowledge relating to healthy public policy Understanding Policy Developments and Choices Through the “3-i” Framework: I nterests, I deas and I nstitutions March 2014 Ideas Interests Institutions This briefing note belongs to a series on the various models used in political science to represent public policy development processes. Each of these briefing notes begins by describing the analytical framework proposed by a given model. Then we set out to examine questions that public health actors may ask regarding public policy, while keeping in mind the perspective that this model affords. It should be noted that our aim in these notes is not to further refine existing models; nor is it to advocate for the adoption of one of them in particular. Our purpose is rather to suggest how each of these models constitutes a useful interpretive lens that can guide reflection and action leading to the production of healthy public policies. The framework summarized here brings together three of the most common factors to which the political science literature appeals for explaining public policy development processes. Commonly referred to as the “3-i” framework, this framework holds that policy developments and choices are influenced by actors’ interests and ideas , as well as by institutions (Hall, 1997; Lavis et al., 2002; Pomey et al., 2010). This framework constitutes a theoretical checklist. In the context of health policy analysis, it is “useful both retrospectively and prospectively, to understand past policy choices, and to plan for future policy implementation” (Walt et al., 2008, p. 308); this statement is equally true of the “3-i” framework when it is applied to the analysis of healthy public policies. In what follows, we will describe the “3-i”framework and provide key references for further reading. Interests The first set of factors we will consider is interests Interests refer to “agendas of societal groups, elected officials, civil servants, researchers, and policy entrepreneurs” (Pomey et al., 2010, p. 709) , defined as the “agendas of societal groups, elected officials, civil servants, researchers, and policy entrepreneurs” (Pomey et al., 2010, p. 709). This reflects a common assumption about policy developments and choices, that they are being driven by the real or perceived interests of various stakeholders (including those operating inside government), their desire to influence the policy process to achieve their own ends, and the power relationships between stakeholders and governments (Peters, 2002, p. 553). When examining the interests of different actors regarding a policy issue, two questions to ask are: (1) Who wins and who loses? – in other words, try to identify who benefits from a policy decision and who bears the costs; and (2) By how much do they win or lose? – in other words, try to assess whether the costs and benefits are likely to be concentrated within a small group of people or diffused across a larger population (Stone, 2001, pp. 222-227). It is generally expected that

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