2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange: Naomi Alboim - Policy Workshop


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2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange: Naomi Alboim - Policy Workshop

  1. 1. Making Change Happen: Building a Policy Agenda Naomi Alboim 2010 ALLIES Learning Exchange May 7, 2010 Halifax
  2. 2. Session Overview • Introduction • What is Public Policy? • The Policy Development Cycle • Who’s Responsible for What? • Federal/Provincial Government Structures and Decision Making • Public Policy Instruments and Processes • Over to you… 2
  3. 3. Introduction • Objective: – to enhance participants’ understanding about how governments make public policy decisions so that you can participate more effectively in the public policy process; • Continuum of involvement in policy process from being informed, being consulted, initiating, collaborating, to participating in decision making 3
  4. 4. Assumptions • Public Policy matters • Legitimate but not exclusive Government role • Civil Society involvement improves policy • Better understanding of how governments make policy= more influence • Better policy proposals = better advocacy • Cross sectoral collaboration recognizes interconnectivity of policy issues and strengthens impact • Increased NGO policy capacity strengthens democracy 4
  5. 5. What is Public Policy? • A public policy is a deliberate decision made by government(s) that addresses identified objectives and concerns for the public good. – End may be clear but means to get there may be hotly contested – Range of possible actions need to be identified and analyzed against number of factors before considered choice is made about the most appropriate and workable means to a desired end – Always trade-offs, compromise , different “publics” effected – Increasingly complex, interconnected, horizontal 5
  6. 6. …What is Public Policy? • Public policies best expressed as vision and goals, associated strategic objectives, workplan, activities, resources and leadership to achieve that choice • Public policy sets out the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of something that is to be done and may be expressed through a variety of policy instruments (eg laws, regulations, programs, procedures, expenditures, etc) 6
  7. 7. The Policy Development Cycle • identifying the issue • research and consultation • developing policy options and recommendations • influencing government decisions • implementation, monitoring and evaluation 7
  8. 8. Policy Development Cycle PU BL IC POL IC Y D EVELOPM EN T: K EY ELEME NTS Id e nt ify I ssue (s ) Co n du ct M o n ito r an d R esea r ch & Eva lu a te C o n su lta tion Im p le m en t (o r D e ve lo p Opt io ns In flu e nce & Im p le m e nt at ion) R eco m m en d at io n In flu e nce th e D e cisio n 8
  9. 9. Policy Development Cycle • Organic vs linear/cyclical • Iterative, parallel vs sequential processes • Can be quick but generally not • Role for community at every stage • Earlier the better for full impact 9
  10. 10. Issue Identification, Recognition and Agenda Setting • Most important to get the issue right • Must be recognized by the government as an issue that needs to be addressed in the broad public interest: both demand and support present • Issues can be identified internally and externally: you have competition! • Remember your added value: emerging trends from the ground, direct experience • Must fit the government agenda • Issue refinement may be ongoing 10
  11. 11. Timing and Context are Everything • International and domestic context • Constitution and jurisdiction • State of the economy • Fiscal Situation • Competing demands • Political culture • Public opinion • Stage of mandate • Players 11
  12. 12. Research and Consultation • Have the facts • Primary and/or secondary research • Play to your strengths • Use your networks and beyond: Who’s effected? Who can help? • Keep it simple • Collect evidence re the problem: stories and data • Collect ideas re possible solutions:What’s worked where, how, why 12
  13. 13. Option Development, Analysis and Recommendation • Always more than one option to achieve objective • Don’t narrow too soon • Analyze from variety of perspectives: eg. maximum impact, least harm, speed, cost, resources, doability, support, sustainability, legality, ‘saleability”, etc • Be prepared for incrementalism, compromise 13
  14. 14. Influencing Decisions • Building and maintaining relationships • Know what you want • Demonstrate demand and broad support • Tell your story well: use the evidence • Go to the right people • Use variety of tactics 14
  15. 15. Implementation • Implementation is key to good policy • Often range of implementation options can be influenced • Delivery experience, knowledge of communities: your added value • Pros and cons of community delivery • Program design, resources, accountability framework, values and mandate compatibility 15
  16. 16. Monitoring and Evaluation • Measurable inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes identified at outset • Community role in identifying performance measures, formal and informal monitoring and evaluation, identifying unintended impacts • Reporting burden vs gathering the evidence • Feedback/input loop 16
  17. 17. Who or what kicks off the action in Ottawa/Provincial capitals? Policy initiatives are triggered by a variety of forces such as: • Party commitments • Caucus and constituent concerns • Opposition pressure • Priorities of other levels of government • Lobbying by interested organizations (individual/coalition) • Media coverage of domestic and international events • Public opinion (polling) • Success stories (other jurisdictions, other sectors, communities) • Policy analysis (internal/external: civil servants, think tanks, academics, task forces) • Individual ‘champions' 17
  18. 18. Who should we influence? Who’s responsible for what? • What level of government? • Who in government? • Who are the influencers? 18
  19. 19. Constitutional Division of Powers: Who’s Responsible for What? • Jurisdiction quintessential Canadian issue • Division of powers murkier given federal spending power • Complexity of issues/ changing roles • Interest of all levels of government but different powers, resources and levers to effect change • Subsidiarity vs national programs • Asymmetrical federalism • Role of Municipalities as “Creatures of the Province” 19
  20. 20. Labour Market Integration of Skilled Immigrants: Whose responsibility? • Federal departments: – CIC – HRSDC – Service Canada – Industry Canada – Regional Development Agencies • Provincial ministries: – Immigration – Training – PSE – Labour – Economic development • Cities • Existing agreements don’t necessarily work: LMDA, LMA, Immigration 20
  21. 21. Government Hierarchy Political Party Prime Minister/ Government Premier caucus Public Service Political Staff Clerk of Privy Council/Secretary Principal Secretary of Cabinet Ministers Privy Council/ Deputy Prime Minister's/ Ministers' Staff Cabinet Office Ministers Premier's Office Secretaries of State/ Parliamentary Assistants Departments/ Ministries 21
  22. 22. Who influences decision-making? First Minister Parliamentary/ & Cabinet Legislative Political Parliamentary Committees Assistants Secretaries Munic/Provs/ Caucus Committees Territories MP/ Coalitions, Advocacy POLICY MPPs/ Groups, Sena- tors NGOs Senior Officials Public Opinion Firms (i.e. Clerk/Secretary, /Think Tanks Media Mid-level Deputy Ministers, Officials (i.e. ADMs) directors, policy analysts, researchers) 22
  23. 23. The Main Events – What are the key decision-making points in government? • Party Platform • Speech from the Throne • Budget • Cabinet Decisions and Minutes • Treasury Board/Management Board Submissions 23
  24. 24. Public Policy Instruments and Processes • Federal and provincial governments have variety of levers available to effect change – legislation (Parliament) – regulation (Cabinet) – tax and fiscal policy (Finance) – spending: transfers to individuals,organizations, institutions,governments (Departments, Finance, Treasury Board) – capital expenditures – programs and services: deliver, contract, privatize (Departments, TB) – public education and information (Departments) – research and knowledge transfer (Departments) – coordination and leadership capital 24
  25. 25. …Public Policy Instruments and Processes • Not all instruments necessary or equally effective for different issues • Pros and cons of different instruments from different perspectives • Jurisdictional and political constraints 25
  26. 26. Why does the community voice matter? • Early warning system and first to respond in a crisis • Creative solutions to intractable problems • Better results; realize that one size fits all policy prescriptions don’t usually work • Key partners in delivering on governments’ agendas; both on policy, and program and service delivery • ESSENTIAL to the democratic process 26
  27. 27. Now over to you… • What are some policy issues you think need to be addressed to expedite labour market integration for skilled immigrants? – What’s the problem to be addressed? – What do we know and need to know about the problem? – Who needs to be consulted? Involved? – What are some options/instruments to deal with the issue: • Is legislative or regulatory change needed? • Program criteria changes? • Funding enhancements? • New program(s)? • New processes? – What are the pros and cons of each? – What’s your recommendation? – How can it be implemented? – Which department in which level of government is responsible? – Who in and out of government are the key players to influence? – How do we get our message across? – What would be an indicator of success? 27