15.2.1  Initiating a policy idea

Policy can be reactive or proactive. Reactive policy is formulated in response to issues or concerns and to solve existing problems; proactive policy is designed to prevent a problem arising. Proactive policies are more difficult to formulate because it is challenging to persuade decision makers to allocate funds and other resources to a problem that is not yet perceived as a problem.

  • When you think about environmental policy, do you think it is mostly reactive or proactive? Which type of policy do you think is best suited to environmental issues, and why?

  • It is likely that you thought that environmental policy is largely reactive, for example, a policy on pollution is a response to a problem caused by pollution. But proactive policy would be better for environmental issues because it prevents problems from happening in the first place.

Ideas for new policies may come from the House of People’s Representatives (the parliament), from a specific ministry, or from the Council of Ministers through its Expert Group. The Expert Group may identify policy gaps based on research or public opinion, which are then developed and considered by the Council of Ministers.

15.2  Policy development

15.2.2  Formulating the policy