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  • Policy Implementation Activities

Evaluating Health Policy

One of the most important activities associated with policy implementation is evaluation. There are a number of different types of evaluations including: process and outcome, formative and summative, and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness evaluations. There is no one evaluation that yields all of the information necessary to make an effective policy and, as such, different types of evaluation are often employed.

Choose one type of evaluation that is appropriate to health policy implementation activities and address the following:

  • ***Describe one implementation method and its purpose
  • ***Compare and contrast that implementation method with at least one other approach        
  • ***Provide an example of how an imple 

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

It is clear that all three branches of the government play a role in the policy development stage, active participation in agenda setting, and legislation development. Implementing organizations are generally management groups found within the executive branch of the government. They work to carry out the activities detailed by laws enacted by the legislative branch. All three branches of the government—legislative, executive, and judicial—continue to play a role in policy implementation, even though the brunt of the task belongs to the executive branch.

The executive branch encompasses a number of implementing agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many recent health policy initiatives of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), one of the primary divisions of the Department of HHS. It is the responsibility of these agencies to coordinate their activities with those at the state level. The legislative branch provides oversight for implementation; that is, to ensure that implementation follows the intent of the law to improve government operations in a variety of sectors. The legislative branch represents the interests of the citizens and, therefore, they are accountable to their constituents to ensure implementation of policies that serve public interest.

As such, Congress holds the power of appropriation; that is, the power to determine the budget for each implementing organization based on their efficacy with implementation. Oversight agencies, such as the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office, help facilitate direct conversations between congressional personnel and executive personnel. Finally, legislation and the protocol by which that legislation is implemented may be challenged in the courts, which may hear cases between citizens and implementing organizations. Thus, the judicial branch may be viewed as a referee in disputes over policy implementation.