Public policy development: Public-policy development relates to the process and substance of exploring, designing, and creating options for government action or policy. Often included is consideration of the means of policy engagement by stakeholders.

Public-policy advocacy: Public policy advocacy is about the approach, strategies, and tactics employed by external interests to influence decisions of government, including the adoption, modification, or rejection) of specific policy-policy options. It, too, often involves means of policy engagement by stakeholders. Lobbying,” meaning direct representation to public officials in an attempt to influence a decision of government, is but one dimension—albeit a central one—of public-policy advocacy.

Policy development and policy advocacy are distinct but closely related functions, and there are certain skills associated with each. For example, an individual experienced in policy development would probably have a more refined analytical capacity with respect to both qualitative and quantitative research, thinking through, conjuring, writing about, and explaining critical economic and social data, along with the details of a particular measure and how it can be implemented. A public-policy advocate is usually more concerned with how the idea or measure created by policy-development specialists (be they clients, employers, or colleagues) might be most effectively promoted, advanced, or sold to policy advisors and decision-makers in government. Nonetheless, sophisticated understanding of the policy and decision-making processes of government is an essential feature of any effective advocacy or lobbying effort.


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