Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer - 45

Public Administration Mains 2017 : Model Question and Answer

(Public Administration Paper I / Chapter: Public Policy)

(Important) Question : Dror's Optimal Model is a fusion of the economically rational model with the extra - rational model. Comment. (30 Marks/350 Words)

Model Answer :    

Dror has criticized the incrementalist approach to be conservative since it would be applicable in a situation where the problems are more static, however, in practical reality policy making is complex and hence cannot adopt such a simplistic model. One of the limitations of the incremental model is the absence of the dynamic equation of power and how it impacts the policy making process.

Dror hence adopts a ‘normative – optimalism’ model which maintains the elements of rationality as prescribed by Simon, however he is practical in understanding the role of tacit knowledge and experience in the process of policy making. Dror’s concept of ‘normative optimalism’ argues that policy analysis must acknowledge that there is a role of extra-rational understanding based on tacit knowledge and personal experience with the motive to induce decision makers to expand their thinking to deal with this complex world.

The process adopts not only the economic efficiencies of cost and benefit analysis, but also is influenced by value judgements, tacit bargaining and coalition formation skills. His model is less prescriptive but rather provides a framework to analyse policy in a given context. However, he only looks at a bird’s eye view of policy as a top down process and has no recognition of public engagement in the policy making process.

Dror puts forward a complex 18 staged model ,explained within three stages broadly:

• Meta policy stage : It includes processing of values.
• Policy making stage: It is sub-allocating resources.
• Post –policy making stage: It is motivating the execution of policy.

This 18 stage model operates at two interacting levels i.e rational and extra-rational. For e.g in Phase-I the processing of values decision –making involves specifying and ordering values to be a general guide for identifying problems and for policy making. At the rational sub-phase this involves getting information feasibility and opportunity costs and at the extra-rational sub-phase decision making will involve value judgements, tacit bargaining and coalition formation. Thus his model aims to analyse the real world which involves values and different perceptions of reality and creates an approach that combines core elements of the rational model with extra-rational factors. (Total Words- 356)

(Linkages : Dror’s Optimal Model and Economically Rational Model, Dror’s Optimal Model and Extra Rational Model, Dror and Normative Op)

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