I was shocked to hear Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of information make a claim of not using the word *”REVIEW”* but rather the phrase *”TO LOOK AT”* in relation to Government’s decision to review its flagship policies.
Any experienced Policy Analyst will find it difficult to agree with the semantics arrogantly used by the NPP appointees to confuse Ghanaians.
It is common knowledge that, *A POLICY IS WHAT A GOVERNMENT OR DECISION MAKER*
*CHOOSES TO DO OR NOT Do*
In Public Policy, there is nothing like *TO LOOK AT POLICY* again! Generally, the Policy Cycle is made of:
*1. AGENDA SETTING*
*2. POLICY FORMULATION*,
*3. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION*,
*4. MONITORING AND EVALUATION*
*5. POLICY REVIEW*
*6. POLICY CANCELLATION, AMENDMENT OR CONTINUATION*
At no stage in the Policy cycle do we have *TO LOOK AT A POLICY* as part of the policy cycle.
The Agenda Setting stage is when people identify a problem and agitate for a solution. For example, a community with no sports facility can agitate through communal action or mass action to attract media attention for Government to be made aware.
The Policy Formulation stage is when agitation through protest gets the attention of Government or Policy maker, and a decision is made to solve the problem. It is at this stage that Experts, Government Representatives, and those agitating come together to present a policy document on a problem and propose solutions.
The Policy Implementation stage is when a policy is implemented. At this stage those who agitate have seen the problem being tackled or solution being provided, for example, seeing the building of a sports facility in a district without any sports facility.
The Monitoring and Evaluation stage is when a policy implemented is evaluated to know its effectiveness and efficiency. At this stage, a Policy Analyst or Expert monitors and evaluates the effectiveness or efficiency of the policy to determine whether there is value for money in the Policy which has been implemented, as well as the estimated number of people that benefit from the policy.
The Policy Review stage is when a policy is reviewed for a decision to be made at the last stage of the policy cycle. A working strategy may be adopted or changed, a plan or modus operandi of the policy can be changed. Experts can be brought in to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of the policy. The type of policy which has been implemented can also be changed to either favour a number of people to achieve a purpose.
The final stage of the policy cycle has to do with Cancellation or Continuation of Policy. Depending on the recommendations in a Report presented by a Committee tasked to review the Policy, a final decision is taken by Government. At this stage, Government will either cancel or continue with the Policy.
So, there is no point in time that we have anything like a policy which needs to be *LOOKED AT*.
The NPP must eat humble pie and admit to their early misconception of saying REVIEW means CANCELLATION.
In the Policy Cycle, the review stage is not the same as the stage of cancellation.
I welcome the call by the NPP Government to review their flagship programmes, because in the Policy cycle a review of policy is always a positive action to take when a policy is not yielding expected results.
God bless our homeland Ghana.
*24TH MARCH, 2022*