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This essay will discuss the starting points, premises, and relative utility of the top-down and bottom-up approaches within policy implementation.
Second, top-down implementors ignore or eliminate the political aspects of implementation (Matland, 1995).
For instance, top-downers set clear goals for a policy, while the legislation “often requires ambiguous language and contradictory goals” in order to gain enough votes for passage (Matland, 1995, 147).
For example, Matland described O’Toole’s analysis of water treatment plants; hence, the top-down approach revealed that privately owned treatment plants out-performed public treatment plants.
However, once broader issues of affirmative action, Davis-Bacon labor laws, and technology were integrated into the analysis, then public treatment plants outperformed private plants (Ibid).
Thus, a Weberian approach may be desirable in theory, but its practice may result in “policy failure” (Matland, 1995, 148).
Essay On Policy Implementation
Finally, top-down implementors see the “statute framers as key actors,” however, local officials and people impacted by the policy could more reasonable be considered as the key independent variable of analysis.
In general, Top-down implementation is the carrying out of a policy decision—by statute, executive order, or court decision; whereas the authoritative decisions are “centrally located” by actors who seek to produce the “desired effects” (Matland, 1995, 146).
The bottom-up implementation approach initiates with the target groups and service deliverers, because they find that the target groups are the actual implementors of policy.
First, top-downers often initiate their analysis with the statutory language, which “fails to consider the significance of actions taken earlier in the policy-making process” (Matland, 1995, 147).
Thus, implementors often engage cues from various groups, which differ in intensity and history, none of which may be reflected in the statutory language.