The Study of Implementation and Delivery

… a core topic in Implementation and Delivery and Atlas107

Topic description

This topic introduces students to the major schools of thought and conceptual frameworks pertaining to implementation of public policy and delivery of programs.

Topic learning outcome

Upon completing this topic the student will recognize the existence of major schools of thought in implementation of public policy and delivery of programs, and be familiar with the definitional concepts listed below.

Core concepts associated with this topic [DRAFT]
Implementation vs. Policy Design

Implementation Theory

Pressman & Wildavsky’s Implementation Model

Bardach’s Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving

Hogwood & Gunn’s Elements for Successful Implementation

Sabatier & Muzmanian’s Framework of the Implementation Process

Bardach’s Implementation Game

Eggers & O’Leary’s Project Management Framework for Implementation

Principal-Agent Problem

Public Choice Theory

Allison’s Three Models of Government Action

Fayol’s Theory of Administration

Niskanen’s Budget Maximizing Model

Downs’ Typology of Officials

Atlas resource pages relevant to Implementation and Delivery

Beyond Policy Analysis

Open access readings for 8 hours of preparation

The Atlas pages for the concept entries noted above.

Investopedia, Principal-Agent Problem, at http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/principal-agent-problem.asp, accessed 10 May 2016.

Graham Allison (1969), Conceptual models and the Cuban Missile Crisis, American Political Science Review 63: 689-718, at http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~lorenzo/Allison%20Conceptual%20Models.pdf, accessed 19 January 2017.

Anthony Downs (1964), Inside Bureaucracy, P-2963, Rand Corporation, at https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P2963.pdf, accessed 19 January 2017.

MORE TO COME

Recommended readings in MPP and MPA courses

Toronto PPG1007 Putting Policy into Action – Strategic Implementation of Public Objectives

TO COME

Concept comprehension questions

CCQ206.09.01. Among the statements a-d pertaining to implementation vs policy design choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. It is possible to have good design and poor implementation but not good implementation with poor design since design precedes implementation.

b. A well-designed policy with good implementation is almost a definition of success – a good idea well executed.

c. Implementation and policy design are conceptually distinct, though they overlap in practice – design is the blueprint for the policy and implementation is its execution.

d. The smart designer builds considerations about implementation into the policy design from the beginning.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.02. Among the statements a-d pertaining to implementation theory choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The conventional work on implementation has tended to highlight its multidimensionality, difficulty, ambiguity, and a growing realization of its importance.

b. The factors that we consider to be important in implementation depend on the way in which we perceive governance.

c. Like much else in policymaking, the practical world of implementation has not changed in recent years.

d. Implementation can be viewed primarily as a political process of bargaining among actors who, while not necessarily equal in resources, can each affect outcomes.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.03. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Pressman and Wildavsky’s implementation model choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The Pressman-Wildavsky implementation model features a chain of statistically independent nodes or clearance points with an attached probability.

b. The implementation process is marked by a sequence of tasks that have to be completed or agreements struck before the process can move on.

c. The Pressman-Wildavsky model assumes a 99 percent probability of agreement on each clearance point in the implementation process.

d. Clearance points are not always independent; they might be packaged or bundled in ways so that one clearance ripples through several others.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.04. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Hogwood and Gunn’s elements for successful implementation choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Hogwood and Gunn enumerated the presumed requirements that are implicit in idealized models of implementation.

b. Hogwood and Gunn’s presumed requirements include agreed objectives, adequate time, and sufficient resources.

c. Hogwood and Gunn’s presumed requirements include valid theory, causal connections that are reasonable and direct, and compliance without sabotage or rebellion.

d. Hogwood and Gunn conclude that, given the unrealistic nature of the presumed requirements, perfect implementation almost never happens and that some degree of failure is almost inevitable.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.05. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Sabatier and Muzmanian’s framework of the implementation process choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Sabatier and Mazmanian include many of the same variables as Hogwood and Gunn.

b. Sabatier and Mazmanian include legislative and institutional variables, for example, the statute should be clear, and the implementing agency well resourced.

c. Sabatier and Mazmanian include socio-economic and political variables that determine the fate of implementation and these overlap in part with forces that serve to maintain the sense in the public and the political system that the problem to which the policy is being directed is important and requires attention.

d. Sabatier and Mazmanian conclude that the chances of successful implementation are maximized if there are clear objectives, sympathetic agencies, authority, resources, fidelity to statute and rules, leadership, and public support.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.06. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Bardach’s implementation game choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Bardach uses the notion of games as a way of understanding the essentially defensive nature of implementation.

b. Bardach’s strategies include avoiding implementation designs that rely on complex management systems, large organizations, and multiple clearances.

c. Bardach’s strategies include avoiding implementation designs that work through the market because the dynamics of the public and private spheres are fundamentally at odds.

d. Bardach’s strategies include engaging in scenario-writing to work out different possible consequences of a string of actions and interactions.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.07. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Eggers and O’Leary’s project management framework for implementation choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Eggers and O’Leary propose that implementers adopt a project management mindset or discipline.

b. Eggers and O’Leary’s recommendations include setting goals and timelines and breaking large projects and initiatives into more manageable chunks that are less complex and less risky.

c. Eggers and O’Leary’s recommendations include identifying stakeholders and their needs and expectations and developing a change management strategy to increase support.

d. Eggers and O’Leary’s recommend seeking out leading edge technology to stay ahead of the implementation curve.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.08. Among the statements a-d pertaining to principal-agent problem choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The principal-agent problem is what develops when a principal creates an environment in which an agent’s incentives don’t align with its own.

b. Much of the principal-agent problem has to do with information asymmetry and incentives.

c. The onus is on the agent to create incentives for the principal to ensure they act as the agent wants.

d. An example of the principle-agent problem is when the agent knows more than the typical principle, and the agent has the ability to charge at their own discretion.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.09. Among the statements a-d pertaining to public choice theory choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Public choice transfers the rational actor model of economic theory to the realm of politics.

b. Public choice theory tries to determine the behavioural choice of the public if the public behaved as a rational actor.

c. Public choice, like the economic model of rational behavior on which it rests, assumes that people are guided chiefly by their own self-interests.

d. Public choice theory is the application of the theories and methods of economics to the analysis of political behavior.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.10. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Allison’s three models of government action choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. In his classic 1969 article, Conceptual models and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Graham Allison set out three models or lenses for analyzing government action.

b. Model 1 suggests that the state acts as a unitary rational actor to make decisions.

c. Model 2 suggests that the sub-units of the state act according to pre-determined procedures to produce an output and the government can only dictate policy options that are already in the standard operating procedures.

d. Model 3 suggests that those in charge of various state responsibilities make predictable arguments based on their present position with policy outcomes being the result of negotiations among these leaders.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.11. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Fayol’s theory of administration choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The administrative theory expounded by Henri Fayol (1841-1925) encompassed five functions of management – planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, controlling – and was summarized in 14 principles of management.

b. Fayol’s principles of management included division of work, authority and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, subordination, and centralization.

c. Fayol’s principles of management included fair remuneration, equity, initiative, and esprit de corps.

d. Fayol’s principles of management included technological innovation, transparency, and accountability.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.12. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Niskanen’s budget maximizing model choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The budget maximizing model developed by William Niskanen in the 1970s argued that rational bureaucrats will always and everywhere seek to increase their budgets in order to increase their own power, thereby contributing strongly to state growth and potentially reducing social efficiency.

b. The model contemplates a bureaucrat who heads a public administration department, and who will try to maximize the department’s budget, thus increasing its salary and prestige.

c. The legislature, or Government, defines the department’s budget, depending on the quantity which it supplies, and the more services the department supplies, the higher will its budget be.

d. Niskanen’s model says that, as in a typical private-sector utility maximizing model, the department would expand services (and budgets) to the point that the marginal cost and marginal benefits are equated.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.13. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Downs’ typology of officials choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. In his classic 1964 article, Inside Bureaucracy, Anthony Downs sets out five types of government officials.

b. Downs’ five types of government officials include climbers, conservers, and advocates.

c. Downs’ five types of government officials include zealots and statesmen.

d. Downs suggested three key determinants of an official’s type: psychological predispositions; the nature of the position occupied by the official; and the probability that an official actually attain the goals associated with the particular type toward which he is psychologically inclined.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.09.14. Among the statements a-d pertaining to Pal’s good governance benchmarks choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Leslie Pal concludes his book, Beyond Policy Analysis, with a set of suggested benchmarks of good governance that he believes will not guarantee good policy design but will certainly contribute to it.

b. Pal’s benchmarks include training of policy development staff, well-organized information and research resources, and a balance of scanning and service orientations.

c. Pal’s benchmarks include horizontal coordination, rigour and honesty, and transparency and consultation.

d. Pal concludes that if the benchmarks in b. and c. are in place then there will be little need for a challenge function.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 22 May 2017.

Image: Local Government Utopia, at https://localgovernmentutopia.com/tag/books/, accessed 21 March 2017.