MEX 3501 Public Policy

Course Code MEX 3501
Course Title Public Policy
Number of Credits 05
Year Number 03
Medium of Instruction Sinhala /English

This course provides students an introduction to the theory and practice of Public Policy. It also explains analytical techniques and methods on how policies are formulated, implemented and evaluated for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of governmental plans and programs

a. To provide basic knowledge on concepts and approaches to policy analysis, policy process and major theories of decision making and policy making
b. To develop policy analytical and decision-making skills
c. To develop research skills in the field of public policy Analysis
d. To nurture positive and ethical attitudes in Policy Analysis

Upon completion of the course the students will be able to;
a. Understand concepts, approaches, theories and methods of policy analysis and policy process
b. Apply policy analytical and decision-making skills in policy issues
c. Apply research skills in the area of Policy Analysis



No. of Hours
Main Topics Sub Topics  

1.  Introduction to Public Policy


1.1  Basic Concepts and Definitions

1.2  Characteristics of a Policy and Public  Policy

1.3  Disciplines of  Policy Studies

1.4  Typology of Public Policy


05 hrs




2.  Introduction to Policy Analysis




2.1  Basic Concepts in Policy Analysis

2.2  Policy Output and Policy Impact

2.3  Policy Environment

2.4  Major Characteristics of Policy Analysis

2.5 Approaches and Methodologies of Policy Analysis


10  hrs


3.  Rationality and Decision Making in the Public Sector




3.1 Decision Making, Decision Criteria and Styles of Decision Making

3.2  The Process of Rational Decision Making

3.3 Barriers and Challenges of Rational Decision Making in the Public Sector



05  hrs


4. Theories / Models of Decision and Policy Making


4.1   Ideal Type Models

4.2   Prescriptive Models

4.3   Descriptive Models



10  hrs


5.  Stakeholders in the Policy process


5.1  Actors involved in the Policy Process

5.2 Role of Public Officers in the Policy Process

5.3 Public Service Delivery and its efficiency and effectiveness



05  hrs




6.  Policy Process  

6.1 Introduction to various Approaches  to Policy Process




05  hrs


7.  Policy Formulation 7.1  Agenda Setting

7.2  Problem Definition

7.3  Forecasting

7.4  Options Analysis

7.5  Setting Objectives and Priorities

10  hrs






8.  Policy Implementation 8.1  Introduction to Policy Implementation

8.2  Approaches to Policy Implementation

8.3 Determinants of Policy Failure/ Success


05  hrs




9.  Policy Evaluation 9.1  Introduction to Policy Evaluation

9.2  The necessity of Policy Evaluation

9.3  Types of Policy Evaluation

9.4  The Process of Policy Evaluation

9.5  Techniques of Policy Evaluation

9.6 Problems of Measuring the Policy Impact

05  hrs







10. Research Methods in Policy Analysis and Evaluation 10.1 Quantitative Methods

10.2 Qualitative Methods



10  hrs

11. Policy Change 11.1 Policy maintance, succession and Termination

11.2 Methods of Policy succession and Termination

11’3 Problems in Policy succession and Termination

05  hrs


Mode of Study Self-Study & Seminars
Evaluation Written  Examination 100%

1. Hogwood Brain W. and Lewis A. Gunn. (1985) Policy Analysis for the Real World, Oxford University Press

2. Dye Thomas R. (1995) Understanding Public Policy, W. Hogwood and Lewis A. Gunn (1984) Policy Analysis for the Real World.

3. Anderson James. (1994) Public Policy Making, 2nd ed., New York: Honghton Miffin Company.

4. ප‍්‍රනාන්දු ආර්. ලලිතා එස්. (2009) රාජ්‍ය ප‍්‍රතිපත්ති විශ්ලේෂණය, කතෘ ප‍්‍රකාශනයකි