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Home Policy Articles: Public Administration: Policy Process


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Evaluating Policy Research popular

In this paper Caroline Pestieau aims to expand understanding of research that’s undertaken to advance public policy and how can best be evaluated. In her analysis, she defines public policy very broadly to include both policy decisions and the means through which policy is developed. There are two distinct parts to this paper.

What is Policy? popular

Public policy influences our lives in many ways, for example, air and water quality, transportation, and systems of taxation. Sherri Torjman discusses the overall concept of policy and the key elements that constitute the policy development process.

Who Decides? Government in the New Millennium popular

This is a book-length publication, edited by Richard M. Bird, which contains six articles relating to public governance. Bird argues it is critical for Canadians to understand how different political institutions can affect policy; accordingly, these essays explore a number of different political institutions and processes. As Bird points out, people care about results, not just the process of getting to results. Political institutions and processes, however, have a major impact on the behaviour of politicians and the outcome that results from their conduct.

Canada in Transition: Advice to the Next Prime Minister

This report, prepared by the Public Policy Forum (PPF) immediately before the change in leadership of the federal government in late 2003, examines a number of key issues pertaining to the future of Canada; the thinking was synthesized in this paper for the benefit of the incoming Prime Minister, Paul Martin. The Public Policy Forum surveyed members of the PPF itself, as well as senior level executives across the country, in order to gather the findings included in this report.

Coordinating Interdependence: Governance and Social Policy Redesign in Britain, the European Union, and Canada

In this paper, Gertler directly addresses the three questions included in the title. She argues that we should support the development of creative cities because they play an ever more important role in enhancing the dynamism, resilience, and overall competitiveness of our national economy.

From Skepticism to Cynicism: Paradoxes of Administrative Reform

Isabelle Fortier’s paper was presented as part of the IRPP’s research program on Governance. Fortier was asked to examine the notion of cynicism (both outside and within the civil service) and to respond to the following three questions: 1) How do you define cynicism? 2) In what forms does it manifest itself? 3) What are its causes? Fortier argues that cynicism among civil servants, like that in the general public, is caused by ambivalence and paradoxes in the discourse of reform.

Government of Mauritius E-Government Master Plan: Human Resources Development and Awareness Considerations

In Government of Mauritius E-Government Master Plan, author David Brown provides recommendations on how the Government of Mauritius can move forward on implementing the e-government element of its Cyber Island Strategy. While the report may seem unorthodox given other Public Policy Forum publications, Brown explains that Mauritius requested the Commonwealth Centre for Electronic Governance assist it with the development of the plan, and the latter contracted the Public Policy Forum to provide information on the human resources elements of the Strategy.

Half Full, At Best: Challenges to the Council of the Federation

Ian Peach begins his report with background information about the Council of the Federation: it was established by Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers on December 5, 2003. Peach points out that it is far too early to determine whether the Council of the Federation will be successful in terms of influencing direction on the public policy challenges facing Canadian governments. Peach undertakes this analysis, however, to determine (from the Founding Agreement) what the advantages and disadvantages of the Council of the Federation might be.

Hell and High Water: An Assessment of Paul Martin's Record and Implications for the Future

Hell and High Water’s introduction and one chapter are available in PDF format; the entire book is available for purchase from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Edited by Todd Scarth, the book contains assessments by 10 policy experts who examine major aspects of Paul Martin’s record in key areas including: debt and deficit, taxes, the economy; social, and environmental policies; federal-provincial issues; and international affairs.

Jumping into the Political Fray: Academics and Policy-Making

Daniel Cohn analyzes the role academics can play in forging policy.

Managing for Results IV: Roundtable Summary Report

The central concern of Managing for Results IV, published by the Public Policy Forum, is how to improve the relevance of information in reports provided to Parliamentarians. The publication deals specifically with two Government of Canada reports: Canada’s Performance 2001, a discussion of Canadian quality of life issues as measured by societal indicators, and departmental reports provided by individual ministries to Parliament. To evaluate the effectiveness of these reports the Public Policy Forum engaged Members of Parliament (MPs) in a roundtable discussion; Managing for Results IV is the summary of this discussion.

Mandate for Leadership for the New Prime Minister

This publication was created by the Fraser Institute in anticipation of the Liberal Party’s selection of a new leader, in November 2003; the leader would also become Canada’s new Prime Minister. The purpose of this document: to convey to the new Prime Minister, and his government, policy recommendations in crucial areas of federal jurisdiction. The authors of these recommendations are experts in their fields.

Mapping Legislative Accountabilities

In this paper, Susan Zimmerman examines the question of “who is responsible for what” in Canadian health care legislation. While she addresses provincial, territorial, and federal legislation as it relates to health, she focuses on the provincial and territorial jurisdictions. The reason for this focus: to map how we frame accountability relationships within the health care system.

Members of Parliament and Government Relations Representatives: Defining a New Relationship

The Public Policy Forum has published Defining a New Relationship in an effort to determine how public institutions can adapt and become more transparent and accountable in the face of declining public trust. The report summarizes a series of interviews and a roundtable discussion conducted with Members of Parliament (MPs) and government relations representatives (GRs) in order to develop an understanding of the role the two groups play in policy development. The report concludes that while the relationship between the two is often positive, problems do exist that undermine the common ground that MPs and GRs share.

Occasional Papers on Parliamentary Government: Building Better Relations

In Building Better Relations, Peter C. Dobell and Martin Ulrich of The Parliamentary Centre examine the nature of the relationship between Members of Parliament and senior level public service officials. The authors draw upon a report completed by the Public Policy Forum – Community Building: Comprehensive Reporting and the Parliamentary Committee/Department Relationship – in order to propose improvements to a relationship that is currently, according to the authors’ consultations with MPs and bureaucrats, far from positive.

Policy Dialogue

This policy paper supports Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) a national, pan-Canadian initiative that focused on improving the quality of life in five cities across Canada: Halifax (Nova Scotia), Thunder Bay (Ontario), Toronto (Ontario), Regina (Saskatchewan), and Surrey (British Columbia). In this paper, Sherri Torjman focuses on dialogue as a means of addressing concerns related to relevant policy issues and administrative processes.

Regional Approaches to Services in the West:  Health, Social Services and Education

In Regional Approaches to Services in the West: Health, Social Services and Education, Evan Jones and Susan McFarlane, of the Canada West Foundation, examine different approaches to regional service delivery in the four Western provinces.

The Forum on the Implementation of the Accord Between the Voluntary Sector and the Government of Canada

The purpose of the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) is to strengthen the relationship between the Canadian government and Canada’s voluntary sector, while also providing a tool to bolster volunteerism in Canada. To meet this objective, the federal government retained the Public Policy Forum to organize discussions on the VSI in hopes of reaching agreement on key issues.

Transforming Health Research in Canada: The Making of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

In 1999, then Minister of Finance Paul Martin announced the creation of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). With $65 million in funding in its first year, and an investment of an additional $175 million earmarked for the following year, the CIHR represented a significant investment of public funds in a new government agency. Transforming Health Research in Canada, by Robert Plamondon of the Public Policy Forum, looks at the beginning of the CIHR from the perspective of various stakeholders involved in its development. Plamondon considers the question ‘what led to the creation of this new agency?’ by interviewing individuals involved in the process.

Trends in Public Consultation in Canada

This brief paper was set up in anticipation of a tour to be made by Chinese officials interested in citizen consultation methods. The Paper focuses on Canada's regulatory policy which requires federal agencies to demonstrate that Canadians have effectively been consulted and had an opportunity to contribute to regulations prior to them being approved. Also, the paper touches on the subjects of decentralized power, the policy making lifecycle, range of participation and challenges to meaningful participation.

Where Does the Buck Stop? Accounting and Joint Initiatives

In this discussion paper, Graham Fox and Don Lenihan delve into the issue of government accountability in Canadian policy-making.