“Political context includes aspects such as the distribution of power, the range of organizations involved and their interests, and the formal and informal rules that govern the interactions among different players. Political context shapes the way in which policy processes work” (Nash, R., Hudson, A., and Luttrell, C., 2006). It is important to understand the political context in which a social policy issue is embedded. When I think of context, I think of action. An advocate that is trying to influence policy would be concerned about political contexts because it would determine the likelihood, suitability, and capabilities of his/her behavior (action) and conduct while seeking to institute change. By understanding the political context in which a social policy issue is embedded, one’s strategy and approach can be outlined to understand the manner in which changes can be made. Progress can be slow without understanding the political context. An advocate may understand what needs to be changed but may not understand why the change did not occur. The advocate may also be able to institute change in social policy issues if the advocate has a great understanding of the political context. The advocate must be able to align himself/herself with those that can be recruited to change the context of a policy. The advocate can also determine the severity of instituting the change and the probability of getting the change. “The appropriate level of action and type of advocacy strategy will depend on the political, social and economic situation prevailing at a given point in time” (Rietbergen,-McCracken, J., n.d.).
It is important to include and identify stakeholders in the policy development process. By doing so, the stakeholder can be recruited to help in the effort for change. Recruiting the stakeholders allows for many new ideas, suggestions, and different perspectives that can come from the group. They would be able to suggest possible snags or drawbacks to the potential changes. The stakeholders support would also be helpful in implementing change. They may also be able to help the advocate to sidestep any pitfalls or concerns that may hamper the efforts. Community support can also be a positive step in the right direction. Community support makes the efforts seem more credible and can also help the chances for success.
There are components and resources that are required for the policy development cycle.
“Components of the Policy Cycle”
The policy must be created, studied, planned, implemented and sustained.
• Problems that arise requiring policy attention
• Process of policymaking
• Price tag or the policy (the cost of policy options and how resources are allocated)
• People who participate in policy and the places they represent
• Paper produced (actual laws and policies
• Programs that result from implementing policies and their performance in achieving policy goals and objectives” (Hardee, K., Feranil, I., Boezwinkle,...