Rosenbaum, Allan, Gajdosova
State Modernization and Decentralization.
Implications for Education and Training in Public Administration: Selected Central European and Global
TOWARDS INTEGRATED POLICY MAKING:
REMEDYING THE PUBLIC ACTION DICHOTOMY THROUGH
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AND
Director, United Nations Thessaloniki Centre
for Public Service Professionalism
Public action becomes concrete through policy making. The totality of the outputs and
outcomes resulting from the functioning of administrative agencies are, or are
supposed to be, parts of broader frameworks setting and following goals for specific
fields of social and economic activity. The rationale of the establishment and
development of public organizations resides precisely in the obtaining of deliberate,
concrete and tangible results within given policy fields.
Each and every aspect of public organizations – strategies, structures, procedures,
human resources and relations, communications etc- becomes meaningful only by
becoming a part of ongoing
policy making and implementation processes.
Although public action, in order to be effective, has to be conceived and developed as
an integrated system from top to bottom, a dichotomy concerning policymaking
occurs habitually on both practical and theoretical grounds. This dichotomy reflects
on all dimensions of public policy making: actors, driving values, processes,
evaluation criteria etc.
Policy analysis and design
remains essentially a
political -or highly politicized- personnel (elected officials, political appointees,
advisors, high ranking career officers etc.). It is outcome oriented and operated on the
basis of general criteria such as mission and vision concepts, organizational and
environmental values and strategies, political priorities etc.
On the contrary,
is basically a
middle management and low-level personnel. Implementation activities are mainly
guided by intra-organizational priorities and day-to-day management requirements
and restrictions. They are short-term output oriented with only vague references to the
“big picture” and loose links to the organization’s long-term objectives and strategic
priorities and goals.