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government relies on data formulation of policies.

Governance data

The government relies on large volumes of data the formulation of policies. The government utilizes census data to determine both the current and emerging needs of the population. The government relies on the data provided by the private sector to determine the economic performance of the country. In addition, the government uses official records such as immigration data and other records from its institutions to understand different phenomena in the country. It also uses data from international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which have a lot of experience in the management of public data. They play an important role in ensuring that the government is able to make informed choices about the needs of its population. The political leaders rely on public opinion to measure the feelings of a majority of the population on relevant issues. Consequently, the policies that are implemented in a country are a function of both the needs of the society as highlighted by public data, public opinion and the aspirations of key stakeholders in the society.

Actors and processes in policymaking

Different countries across the world are facing a wide range of challenges that require effective policy responses. The challenges may have social, economic and environmental effects on the society. Policy is one of the tools that are used by governments at different levels to address the challenges that people may be facing. Policy is a purposive set of actions that are intended to achieve a desirable outcome in a target population (Anderson, 1979). It is chosen from the available alternatives in response to the set of challenges that the people are facing.

Public policy comprises of a series of interconnected smaller processes. It involves formulation, implementation and evaluation to determine its effects on the society. Policy actors can be categorized into two key players; official and non-official ones (Ikelegbe, 2006). Unofficial policy makers do not have to hold political positions. Instead, they enjoy a lot of influence over the actors who are directly involved in the public policy formulation process. For instance, donors and interest groups can influence the positions that politicians hold on key policy positions because of the influence that they have (Tantivees & Walt, 2008). In contrast, official policy makers possess the legal authority to formulate the policies.

Official policy makers can be further subdivided into primary policy makers and supplementary policy makers (Poopola, 2016). Primary policy makers have the constitutional authority to engage in the policy making process. They have a responsibility of formulating policies such as Congress. Supplementary policy makers receive their authority to enact policies from the primary policy makers (Poopola, 2016). They include agencies and institutions such as the Environmental Protection Authority that have the authority to design policies in their sectors.

The executive plays a crucial and integral role in the public policy formulation process. The term ‘executive centered era’ is used to refer to the influence and leadership of the Executive in the public policy formulation process. The Executive determines the rules and laws that are implemented in the country. The priorities of the Executive determine the policies that are implemented. The increasing power of the Executive in the modern age requires that all policies that are implemented should reflect the will and spirit of the head of state and government.

The Legislative is used in the deliberation of policies to ensure that they reflect the will of the people. The Judiciary plays an important role in the interpretation of laws to determine if they are consistent with the national constitution and international human rights. Administrators are tasked with the implementation of policies. They ensure that the enacted policies are implemented within their jurisdiction.Unofficialjurisdiction. Unofficial policy makers include individual citizens whose participation is integral in ensuring that the process yields desirable outcomes and meets constitutional provisions. In addition, public parties hold values and ideologies that determine their position on proposed policies. Interest groups have an important role in ensuring that the proposed policies address the concerns of the stakeholders who will be affected by them.