EXAMINING WAYS OF IMPROVING POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
A SUGGESTED FRAMEWORK FOR IMPROVING POLICY IMPLEMENTATION IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY:
Policy implementation is of critical importance to the success of government. Policy implementation is the process of fulfilling the intentions of the policy. Researches on policy implementation have been carried out and there has been a lot of discourse among social scientists. In local government areas, approaches are adopted, policies are formulated and all of these are aimed at improving the performance of the local government. As a general concept, policy implementation can be defined as the third stage of policy cycle. It means the stage of the policy process immediately after the passage of a law, or the action that will be taken to put the law into effect. According to Milakovich and Gordon (2007) “Policy implemention is a general political and governmental process of carrying out programs to fulfil specified policy objectives; also the activities directed towards putting a policy into effect. It also involves a wide variety of actions such as issuing and enforcing directives, disbursing of funds, making of laws, assigning and hiring personnel. Policy implementation refers to the activities that are carried out in the light of establishing policies.
Getting policy implementation right is very important and failure can cause financial waste, political frustration and disruption. However, research on policy implementation has vastly exploded since the publication of Pressman and Wildavsky’s influential case study implementation in 1973. The authors examined the factors underlying the failure of the federal economic development programmes in the city of Oakland and California. Despite the fact that the programme was backed by political agreement and adequate financial resources and was widely expected to succeed, most of the early American students of policy implementation, focused on the “implementation failure or implementation gap” and their authors took very pessimistic views about the ability of government to effectively implement its programmes. Woodrow Wilson (1988), had emphasised the need for sound implementation of policies, programmed and advocated for politics administration dichotomy. Lack of administrative capability in implementation also poses a threat to successful implementation. Public involvement in policy implementation is crucial and important for policy to be successful and the target group should be involved actively. This research work gives a critical look at the way of improving policy implementation. It will also find out the reasons for the failure of policies and possible ways of improving policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
Currently, Enugu North Local Government area is faced with a number of challenges which includes corruption, misutilisation of fund and lack of sound policy design. The implementation process necessarily gets tied up with the dynamics of relationship between different implementing agencies in the field. In the first instance, though the wilsonian dichotomy has been widely criticized, the soundness of his observation that ‘’ it is getting harder to run a constitution than to frame one’’ made in 1887 is widely acknowledged. Since the take off of local government administration, the media has been awash with instances of many policies formulated but not fully implemented due to one problem or the other. We all know that when corruption penetrates the implementation process the desired goals may not be achieved and corruption stands as a very strong barrier to effective implementation of policies. A policy is necessarily formulated in the field though it is made in the secretariat. Another contentious communication which destroys the objectives of policy. Also, misutilisation of funds and lack of sound policy design stand as a hindrance to the achievement of policy objective. The above problems are what necessitated an in-depth study on procedures for improving policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government area of Enugu State.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research has broad and specific objectives. It broadly seeks to investigate ways of improving policy implementation with special focus on Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. It has the following specific objectives:
1.) To examine the effects of corruption on policy implementation.
2). To investigate if inadequate provision of funds affects policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area.
3.) To examine the impact of poor policy implementation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.
4.)To identify challenges facing Local Government Executives in policy implementation at Enugu North Local Government.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
With regards to the objectives of the study, these research work will provide answers to the following research questions.
1.) What are the impacts of corruption on policy implementation?
2.) How does inadequate provision of funds affect policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area?
3.) What are the impacts of poor policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area?
4.) What are the challenges facing local government executives in policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area?.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Policy implementation forms the engine for effective governance and management of public issues. Local government growth depends heavily on effectiveness of policy implementation. This work is essential because it will prove itself as a landmark to policy makers, implementers, and help them perform their duties and responsibilities more effectively. Also, this research work will be of benefit to the researcher. The research will also provide platform for more research into the arts and science of policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area. This research will provide ways of improving policy implementation and also suggest procedures for improving policy implementation in Enugu North Local Government Area. It will be of immense help and serve as an academic literature for future researchers, students and society at large by arousing deeper and genuine interest on the subject matter.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on examining ways of improving policy implementation using Enugu North Local Government Area as a reference point.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study was limited or faced with series of constraints in the course of writing it. Prominent among the constraints were the time spent in gathering data for the project and the time spent in compilation as this were combined with other course works. Secondly, the finance in carrying out this activity was a big problem. Obtaining relevant information was another limiting factor although the required information was necessary. Most of the workers were reluctant in supplying information and answers needed for the research for fear of losing their job. All of these nearly wrecked the research work. However, the limitations were overcome and the study was well carried out and genuine results were achieved..