As for a good authorities, the valuable public policy, which refers to the authorities action or inactivity to cover with peculiar issues, can be regarded as one of the rating standards. Therefore, it seems that the procedure of policy devising, turning the authorities political vision into the existent plans and actions in the existent universe ( Cabinet Office, 1999 ) , becomes important which should be put on much more accent. Particularly, “ good quality policy doing depends on high quality information, derived from a assortment of sources-expert cognition ; bing domestic and international research ; bing statistics ; stakeholder audience ; rating of old policies and new research ” ( Cabinet Office, 1999 ) . The “ high quality information ” here chiefly refers to “ grounds ” which becomes more and more of import portion for the policy devising. Even more, the increasing usage of assorted sorts of grounds by authorities has determined the cardinal function of grounds in policy devising for twenty-first century. The term “ evidence-based policymaking ” of course comes up at the same clip.
Actually, the rise function of grounds in policy devising does hold its ain grounds. As the development of modern society, the growing of knowing and intelligent public cast their involvement to the exact information provided by the authorities and inquire why. Therefore in certain distance, it facilitates the authorities to research the precise informations of all types with the aid of developed information engineering ( Davies, Nutley and Smith, 2000 ) . What ‘s more, an increasing demand on answerability in authorities goads on the significance of grounds in a democratic society. Due to the above grounds, in UK the Blair Government, who was elected on the footing of “ What matters is what works ” , announced that “ to bring forth policies that truly cover with jobs, that are advanced and shaped by grounds instead than a response to short-run force per unit area, that tackles causes ; non symptoms ” ( Modernizing Government, 1999 White Paper ) , and demonstrated that it was a good clip for the new authorities to get down grounds based- attack to public policy ( Gary Banks AO, 2009 ) , At the same clip, they built a new relationship between societal scientific discipline and authorities every bit good as pointed out that public policy had to be driven by grounds.
So, what precisely does “ grounds ” mean? UK Cabinet office defines it as “ analysis of the result of audience, costings of policy options and the consequences of economic or statistical mold ” ( Cabinet Office, 1999 ) Harmonizing to Chambers Dictionary, grounds consists of consequences of “ systematic probe towards increasing the amount of cognition ” ( Davies, Nutley and Smith, 2000 ) . Both two definitions can be divided into four sorts functioning for policy devising: descriptive informations, analytic findings, appraising grounds, and policy analytic prognosiss ( Carol Hirschon Weiss, 2001 ) . Descriptive information is a tool to demo objects ‘ status, location, relation and way of alteration. See, for case, before the Hong Kong Government introduced the environmental levy strategy on plastic shopping bags, sum of informations are collected to demo the increasing danger brought by the plastic bags. 3-the mean figure of plastic bags is used by Hong Kong people per twenty-four hours. 13,503-the figure of dozenss of solid waste is disposed of at landfills per twenty-four hours ( EPD Hong Kong, 2009 ) . 20 to 1000-the old ages are needed to break up the plastic bag. From the exact informations, authorities could clearly see the negative environmental affect caused by the plastic bag. Thus, authorities ‘s policy is made on the footing of big and comprehensive informations. The 2nd sort is analytic findings which refer to the identified information conducted by an academic research and analysis system, detecting the relationship between factors and current state of affairss ( Carol Hirschon Weiss, 2001 ) . Besides in the same policy-the environmental levy strategy on plastic shopping bags, after academic analysis, we can reason that the low environmental consciousness of public endangers the state of affairs of indiscriminate usage of plastic bags. The analytic findings are the way for seeking positive solutions in the procedure of policy devising. Evaluation serves for straight analyzing the bing policies in other states or topographic points, and so selectively taking for ain usage. Taiwan, as one of the innovators in environmental protection, provides valuable experience for the Hong Kong Government ordaining the plastic bag levy strategy. After measuring positive and negative sides of Taiwan ‘s “ Restricted Use Policy on Plastic Shopping Bags and Disposable Plastic Tableware ” ( Our Group ‘s Essay on Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags, 2009 ) , the HK Government adopts the same policy of restricted usage of plastic shopping bags while temporarily abandons the unavailable policy on plastic tableware. The last one is policy analytic prognosiss. In common state of affairss, analyst will cipher and foretell the possible cost and benefits of the coming policy. The study of anticipation will act upon the concluding release of the new policy ( Carol Hirschon Weiss, 2001 ) . In short, these four sorts of grounds are used as the footing of the authorities policy devising.
However, no affair how of import grounds is, in the procedure of policy devising, its nature has several restrictions and troubles. Harmonizing to Gary Banks ‘ research on evidence-based policy devising, methodology the authorities choose, informations lack or overload, grounds transparence, people who research and analyze grounds, and the limited clip to make the information aggregation are all the possible factors to act upon the effectivity of grounds used in policy devising ( Gary Banks AO, 2009 ) . Sometimes, quantitative informations could be collected, but that does non intend they are the existent valuable informations needed. The addition usage of plastic shopping bags has no necessary correlativity with the heavy air pollution job. Therefore, the grounds for air pollution should straight from auto emanation, industrial emanation, waste deposition, etc. Peoples with diverse political value or involvement could be non loath to accept the grounds which obeys their involvement. What ‘s more, even for the policy shapers, they would wish to put the manner of policy foremost and so look for verification grounds. In this sense, grounds merely can be regarded as one of the important factors in policy devising. It will be much more appropriate to name that “ evidence-influenced policy devising ” ( H.K. Wong ‘s talk note ) .
In add-on, other three chief factors-political, economic and societal factors, besides have a intensive power to impact the complex procedure of policy devising.
Politicss here concerns with political system and crisis. On one manus, as we know, the stable political system determines the usual manner of the authorities policy doing. From the first beginning of policy proposal to the audience and to the concluding policy devising, every measure complies with a certain regulate with minor alteration. Furthermore, the same as the steady political system, political political orientation and beliefs besides become the major elements to coerce the policy made ( Philip Davies, 2004 ) . On the other manus, crisis detonation becomes the direct primacord to press the authorities to ordain and implement a new policy in the immediate clip. After the detonation of the planetary fiscal crisis, one time the economic state of affairs in Hong Kong got worse quickly, and the Hong Kong Government carried out series of policy to excite the recovery and development of economic system. In the 2009-2010 Budget, the authorities introduced several steps “ to guarantee the stableness of fiscal establishments and the market to bolster public assurance in our fiscal systems ” , including “ the proviso of liquidness aid to the banking system and the constitution of a Contingent Bank Capital Facility ” ( The 2009-2010 Budget of Hong Kong ) . Meanwhile, in order to diminish the unemployment rate caused by the fiscal crisis, the Hong Kong Government besides sustained the proviso of more than 60000 employment opportunities, increased the enlisting of civil retainers, and closely cooperated with Guangdong Province to make more occupations ( The 2009-2010 Budget of Hong Kong ) . Therefore, it seems that in some certain state of affairss, political factors are more available than grounds which needs clip to roll up and analyse.
The economic system is frequently closely connected with the political relations. The long-standing development of economic system should establish on valuable policies. In every twelvemonth ‘s policy reference, economic policy is the most of import 1. Harmonizing to the specific economic state of affairss, the authorities have emphasised their policy on different facets. For case, when the Hong Kong market was to a great extent hit by the fiscal tsunami, the policy accent are placed on how to get by with it and how to retrieve this twelvemonth. This is why the authorities make great attempt to “ stabilise the fiscal system, support endeavors and continue employment ” ( 2009-2010 Policy Address ) . Comparing to the old twelvemonth, there was no fiscal tsunami ‘s striking, the Hong Kong Government focused more on 10 large-scale Infrastructure Projects which aimed to “ better Hong Kong ‘s transit and associate up socio-cultural and concern activities with more efficient transit systems ” ( 2007-2008 Policy Address ) . When speaking about economic factors, we should detect that every policy is restricted within the authorities finance. As we know, if the budget of a policy is mostly beyond the authorities ‘s fiscal endurance after exact computation and the cost effectiveness/efficiency system, the policy will be cut off.
Social factors here include experience and opinion of policy shapers, wont and tradition, force per unit area groups and advisers ( Philip Davies, 2004 ) . Normally, the experience and opinion of policy shapers are cherished decision on the footing on the old policy success or failure, incarnating rational capital and tacit cognition ( Philip Davies, 2004 ) . They are see as an influence factor. Actually, the usage of experience and opinion frequently appears in the status where the grounds is uncomplete or non-existent ( Grimshaw, et Al, 2003 ) . It can be regarded as a complement for grounds in the procedure of policy devising. Habit and tradition constitutes another societal factor impacting policy devising. Some establishments stagnate due to the unchanging wont and tradition. They refuse to do and implement new policy to excite the development of themselves. To a certain extent, “ Changing traditional and accustomed ways of making things to suit the forces of reason and modernness presents a major challenge for policy devising ” ( Philip Davies, 2004 ) . The last societal factor-pressure groups and advisers, progressively act upon the policy devising in the current yearss. The fast development of think armored combat vehicles in society, they have already profoundly penetrated into the political relations. Particularly when a policy contradicts with think-tanks and force per unit area groups ‘ involvement, their sentiments are powerful plenty to impact the policy devising.
In a word, all the above factors come together to act upon the procedure of policy devising. Evidence, political, economic and societal factors supplement with each other, fixing for the to the full consideration of policy devising. However, “ factors come together ” here does non intend that every factor should go one necessary portion in a policy. In most conditions, there are merely two or three factors influence the policy devising. Now, I will analyse how these factors come together to impact policy doing within one instance.
Small Class Teaching in Hong Kong is a typical instance which could turn out many elements come together to influence policy devising. As the development of modern knowledge-based society, more and more demands are raised on instruction system and method. Particularly, for the comprehensive development of younger coevals, it is normally supposed that “ little category ” with smaller figure of pupils per category is much more helpful than the normal “ big category ” in primary and secondary school. As for the instructors in little category, they could cut down their heavy work load, pay more attending to every single pupil and so learn pupils harmonizing to their ability. For the pupil, in little category they would hold more chances to pass on with instructors and schoolmates, participant in category activities and acquire more immediate feedback of their ain survey from instructors ( Group 2 ‘s Essay on Small Class Teaching ) .
Since July 1998, an unwritten inquiry on “ category size in primary and secondary schools ” was foremost raised by Hon Cheung Man-kwong in the Legislative Council. Till 2007, the Chief Executive eventually announced that the little category instruction would be launch in 2009/10 school twelvemonth in his 2007-2008 Policy Address. During the long period of policy devising, in order to roll up more resource every bit good as sing some contention issues concerned with the little category instruction, the authorities conducted a pilot survey in primary school with effectiveness schemes of category and group instruction in 2003/04 school twelvemonth and another strategy in primary schools with high concentration of disadvantaged students with consequence from 2005/06 school twelvemonth. During the survey, sum of feedback and quantitative informations have been collected from instructors and pupils through the manner of questionnaire. Qualitative information, carefully analyzed through systematic lesson observations and instance surveies, acquire a decision that schools and instructors have non truly benefited a batch from the little category instruction ( Group 2 ‘s essay on Small Class Teaching ) . Even though the concluding consequence of the survey has non been released to the populace, from the facet of “ grounds ” , it can be regarded as a good manner to get down. In add-on, the rating and experience-learning on the footing of abroad experience is besides a sort of grounds. The United State is a successful illustration on the execution of little category instruction, who conducts specific cost-effectiveness analysis and to the full considers “ the allotment of financess, the mark popularity, the category size and so on ” ( Group 2 ‘s essay on Small Class Teaching ) .
From the facet of societal factors, most of academic and parents ‘ representatives concurred with the policy of little category learning with the grounds that instructors should be professionally trained and care more about single pupil ‘s demand. Furthermore, political parties such as Democratic Party and Liberal Party, besides agreed with the execution of this policy. Therefore, a great major of stakeholders were consentaneous the execution of little category learning which they believed pupils and instructors would profit a batch from it. In this sense, the strong sentiments for stakeholders have a certain impact on the whole policy procedure.
From the facet of political factors, in 2002, the Consolidating High Cost and Under-utilized Primary Schools policy was introduced by Education and Manpower Bureau, taking to a threaten to sum of instructors ‘ occupations. Thousands of instructors hold a March and protested against the policy in July 2003 ( SING TAO, 2003 ) . This political force per unit area became one component to act upon the devising of little category instruction policy.
Originally, the Hong Kong Government attempted to pattern evidence-based policy devising by carry oning the pilot survey, measuring and analysing the research every bit good as larning from abroad experience. However, political and societal factors partly become the elements of impacting the policy devising. Thus, grounds in this instance is still the most of import factor and the policy of little category instruction could be called “ evidence-influenced policy. ”
To reason, in the complex procedure of policy devising, grounds every bit good as the political, economic and societal factors constitutes the influence elements. On one manus, Evidence, by agencies of descriptive informations, analytic findings, appraising grounds, and policy analytic prognosiss, occupies the most important place in policy devising. On the other manus, to some extent, the restrictions and troubles of grounds restrict the policy ‘s formation. It leads to the “ evidence-influenced policy ” , alternatively of “ evidence-based policy ” . Yet, the being of the political, economic and societal factors makes up the restriction of grounds in a certain distance. They all serve for the whole policy procedure.
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