Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government, in response to social issues.
Beyond this broad definition, public policy has been conceptualized in a variety of ways.
A popular way of understanding and engaging in public policy is through a series of stages known as “the policy cycle”.
The characterization of particular stages can vary, but a basic sequence is: agenda setting – formulation – legitimation – implementation – evaluation.
Officials considered as policymakers bear responsibility to reflect the interests of a host of different stakeholders.
Policy design entails conscious and deliberate effort to define policy aims and map them instrumentally.
Academics and other experts in policy studies have developed a range of tools and approaches to help in this task.