Information, public policy analysis and sustainable development in Nigeria
Information and public policy analysis are critical factors in adequate public policy formulation, implementation and evaluation if the public good is to be achieved in Nigeria. This paper has carried out a critical examination of the interface between information and the public policy process and the effect on public policy analysis and has found that there is a crucial interrelationship among them in order to promote sustainable development. The paper found that the interrelationship is however, seriously interfered with or obstructed by a variety of dominant constraints. The constraints include inadequate human capital, financial resources, large-scale secrecy in government business, inadequate incentives to statisticians and grand corruption in many, if not all, public organizations in Nigeria. They promote negative effects, including unreliable data and information, inadequate public policy analysis by analysts, and more importantly inadequate public policy outcome or impact. The paper also found a rather self-imposed constraint by some public policy analysts who obviously colour their analysis by getting involved in prescriptive public policies. The paper proffers recommendations such as provision of adequate training and retaining for statisticians, formation of a virile statistical association for statisticians, provision of incentives for statisticians, honesty in the application of information by analysts and reduction in the level of secrecy imposed on governmental information. Finally, it is recommended that policy analysts should restrict themselves to objective description and explanatory analysis of public policy rather than prescription.
Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 6 (1) 2007: pp. 65-76