The keys to successful implementation processes
Public policy is the sum of the decisions made and actions taken in a concerted manner by the political and administrative actors who are trying to resolve a public problem. Public policy analysis aims to explain how the programmes and strategies of public action are developed and implemented, as well as to identify their effects on target groups and the groups affected by the public problem.
The difficulties encountered by both the public and private actors responsible for the implementation of public policies require the development of intelligent strategies that will help to avoid, or at least reduce, objections to the different possible ways of making those policies a reality. These different types of objections can be observed in the frequent opposition seen to infrastructure projects (e.g. a wind farm, an asylum seekers’ centre, transport or military infrastructure), the implementation of new environmental regulations (e.g. a clean-up order, compulsory environmental compensation payments), the implementation of social aid programmes (e.g. disputes relating to invalidity insurance, health insurance, housing benefits, or aid to migrants or refugees), the implementation of school reforms (e.g. Switzerland’s HarmoS agreement or the canton of Vaud’s EVM reform) or decisions on fiscal taxation (e.g. appeals against tax decisions, tax fraud).
Putting such strategies into place necessitates a deep understanding of the range of potential actors intervening in the implementation processes, regulations, procedures, and political and administrative arrangements that enable the more or less participative implementation of these projects. These are also the actors involved in the action plans that prepare the way for decisions about the concrete implementation of these policies in the field. This course aims to provide participants with the analytical tools to identify and deeply comprehend the conditions necessary for the successful implementation of public policy in Switzerland—but it will also help them to identify the conditions that will create obstacles or even failure.