What Is a Policy and What Is a Government Program? A Simple Question With No Clear Answer, Until Now
18 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2020 Last revised: 3 Mar 2021
Date Written: November 10, 2020
The difficulty of defining and distinguishing what is a policy and what is a government program is a crucial problem with practical and important consequences for the design, efficiency, and effectiveness of these public policies and programs. However, public servants are taught to live in this Babel without paying much attention to it. The article extracts this evidence from a methodology that combined a qualitative experiment and in-depth interviews with more than 350 Brazilian Federal Government employees, over the past 5 years. The article proposes a new approach to the design of policies and programs as a basic criterion for ex-ante analysis in order to contribute to making such latent inconsistencies even more glaring and evident and to overcome the most common failures, as soon and as easily as possible, before programs take their first step.
Keywords: ex-ante policy analysis, program theory, policy design, program evaluation
JEL Classification: H11, D04
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation