What Are the Steps Involved in the Policy-Making Process?

The steps involved in policy making process include problem identification, agenda setting, policy formulation, budgeting, implementing and evaluation. A breakdown in any of these steps may end up compromising the quality of results achieved.

There are several steps in the policy-making process and why each one is important.

Problem identification

At this stage, stakeholders raise concerns regarding a policy or issue that affects the public or organization. The problem is then defined in clear terms and mass media, parties or interest groups raise it in relevant forums for consideration.

Agenda setting

The problem identified is pushed through various organs in order to get discussed. This push for discussion eventually leads to allocation of time for discussion by relevant authorities.

Policy formulation

Solutions or policies are then made in order to deal with the problem that was raised and discussed. Inaction or defeat of a proposal at this stage is still regarded as policy making.


Once a policy is authorized, relevant authorities can then allocate resources or money toward its implementation. This is called budgeting since it involves resource allocation for many policies.


Executives in charge of putting policies into action are then given the opportunity to implement the requirements set out in the policy.


Here various stakeholders examine the policies against the results produced in order to know if the policy is working or not. According to the results of evaluation, improvement or change of policy may be recommended.