In the United Kingdom, case studies of 12 government policies have revealed how they failed in their objectives, wasted large amounts of public money and "wrecked the lives of ordinary people". In this piece written by Bob Hudson, Professor in the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent, Apolitical has identified four broad factors contributing to policy failure: overly optimistic expectations, dispersed governance, inadequate collaboration, and unexpected changes in the political cycle.
To avoid policy failure, the following steps are advised:
- Preparation: More robust policy proposal from the outset, using ‘policy design’ to scrutinize the problem, implementation context, and a look out for contradictory goals of political backing.
- Tracking: Successful implementation should be a key focus by establishing some form of ‘delivery unit’ to track progress.
- Policy support: Liaising with implementation agencies to gain support in capacity, managing and regulating, and problem-solving.