Apply Systems Logic to Policy

Filed under: Governance,Local Government,Policy,Process — lenand @ 8:48 am

The Institute For Government (IFG) is a well respected Think Tank. A recent paper is a good illustration of the thought that goes into their research publications “SYSTEM STEWARDSHIP: The future of policy making?“. It looks upon the process that includes policy making and implementation as a system. It is a controlled system as engineers might understand it. Ergo, it has feedback and response components to provide stability.

It shows that local government is on the receiving end of policy, but is the main actor in implementation. Very often, the feedback may require changes of policy. It is a pragmatic reaction which depends on local conditions that may not apply nationally. Trivialising it to a football game, a manager may change direction at half-time as a result of observing the performance – but the detailed decisions must be made by the players on the field.

All too often, central government micro-manages the local implementers; morale suffers and performance plummets. Think about applying these principles to any locally delivered service; the National Health Service, police, schools, care homes, environment, planning …

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