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Health Policy

Discuss the Formulation Phase of Policymaking in General Terms

The formulation phase is the first stage in policy making. The policy making process involves getting a solution to a given issue. All the ideas, information and concepts stem from this phase. It includes a lot of extensive research from different individuals, organizations and other interest groups (Battle, 2005). Its main purpose is to give a formal example of a given decision. The policy makers want to see that the policy has enough support from the community, and it effectively addresses the problem at hand. Resources required are set aside (Battle, 2005).

Professional policy analysts and the media can affect the policy formulation process, but only elected or appointed officials have the ultimate say on what proposed solutions are chosen (Strauss, 2009). Policy makers have several actions from which to choose. Once they choose the action, it has to enter a political phase that involves the authorization of policies by legitimate decision makers.

Discuss Agenda Setting as the Confluence of Three Streams of Activities

`Agenda setting is the process whereby the mass media determine what people think, worry about and view as important. Successful agenda setting is viewed as a prerequisite to policy adoption (Rogers, 2003). Three streams are involved. They include;

Problem Stream

It consists of the conditions that policy makers strive to address. The condition could be affecting the people, animals or the environment in general. For example, air pollution problem.

Policy Stream

It involves all the ideas and solutions competing to receive attention. The policy makers have to make a wise decision on which policy to adopt depending on the current situation (Rogers, 2003). Existence of a window of opportunity should be considered. A window of opportunity is an opportunity to do something that opens up only for a short time.

Politics Stream

 It consists of the national mood, pressure group campaign, and legislative or administrative turn-over. The solution found is documented and becomes legislation. Penalties are set for people who will not adhere to this law. When the legislation is finalized, it is ready for the implementation phase (Rogers, 2003).

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