On Faulty Policy Formulation and Execution

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Governments work by formulation and implementation of policies. Policies are formed by taking into account all the needs and necessities of the target population or area. For this purpose, governments have institutions in place with the required manpower along with all other resources and if the institutions and agencies, for performing the role, are not in place, they are established.
In case, institutions and agencies are existent but underperforming due to lack of resources and manpower, the government functioning suffers. Under such circumstances the policies that are formed and then their implementation, both are faulty. Governments in such conditions try to provide adequate human and other resources, once the resources are provided all becomes normal.
But, when good policies are formed and adequate resources are provide to the field agencies to implement them, the faulty implementation in that case is abnormal, and where human error and negligence and dereliction of duties might be the main cause. And, this precisely is the problems which many of the governments in the world face; especially in our part of the world the problem is grave. Faulty implementation of policies makes good policies to look faulty.
Blaming the field staff always for the faulty implementation is not a wise statement to make; there may also be other lacunae responsible for the unsatisfactory implementation of the policies. The other lacunae and causes may be the lack of knowledge about the target areas and people and existence of obsolete laws in the law books and faulty interpretation of laws. Disconnect with the line departments from their controlling agencies, obsolete equipment and managerial obsolesce, lack of information about the weather and topographic phenomena of the area under operation and non-acceptance of feedback may be the other causes.
Adequate safeguard and corrective measures can go a long way to make the policy implementation efficient and more in the interest of the target areas, and populations. If the cause is the corruption and corrupt practices of the people involved in the execution of the projects, the defaulters must be dealt strictly and action as warranted under law and rules initiated against them. There should be no place for negligence, dereliction and embezzlement while executing and implements the projects of public interest.
In Kashmir, the black topping and macdamization of roads is mainly done in the period of the year where it is maximum susceptible to damage. The technology which is used while doing that is that in vogue elsewhere without taking into consideration the variation of the climatic and topographic conditions of the region. The technologies used here should be that followed in the major part of the Europe for the similarity in the climatic conditions but that seems no preference of the government.
It is the laws which enjoin and entrust upon the government to form appropriate policies to maintain public order, provide security, welfare of the people and development of the country.
Men and manpower involved in the implementation of the projects should always be updated. They should be made conversant with the latest changes and developments in the fields of their operations. They should always remain ready for changes and adoption of modern practices and trends to ensure the proper implementation of the policies. But, in practice that is not the case, there are no training programs and no refreshment courses. The result is that these people keep using the outdated practices thereby reducing the prospects of optimum outcomes out of policy implementation.
Another trend called managerial obsolesce is also a contributing factor for faulty implementation. Here the people who have followed certain practices for some years are not willing to replace those with their modern counter parts. The people with the managerial obsolescence think that they know everything of the trade and have nothing new to learn. In the process , the same very men remain far behind that their duties demand from them in the changed conditions.
A very important factor which results in faulty implementation is the lack of proper research and non-acceptance of the feedback. Many experts in their haughty attitude think they know everything under the sun. Therefore, they form policies without conducting adequate research of the target areas. The line agencies and department are not involved and the policy lacks the basics on which the foundation should have been laid.
Not only this, these people are not ready to accept any feedback; they keep going with their preconceived notions. They see objectives being accomplished when the progress is nowhere near. They remain in their fantasies until the utter failure is met at the end. By this attitude the same intelligence and expertise of the people which could have taken the governance to the new heights becomes the reasons for faulty policy implementation. People, and experts, should always trust the wisdom of others as they do with their own. Collective wisdom is far superior to the individual wisdom.
It becomes imperative to find out the factors responsible for the faulty policy formulation and implementation. Once the factors are identified, which are already known mostly, adequate interventions should be made to plug the loopholes and lacunae.

—The author can be reached at: fayaz.greatstep@gmail.com