The Garbage Can Model

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The vastness of the discipline of policy demands that it use models to dissect and explain how policy is made and how its content are decided upon, the processes leading to the policy making and policy stages (Cloete & de Coning, 2011). This paper aims to zoom in and focus on one of the models that fall under the second category mentioned above, the ‘garbage can’ model. A critical discussion of the model will be given and an example will be given enlightening the reader as to how it can be applied in a South African context.
The ‘garbage can’ model’s very title suggests disorder, lack of planning and chaos. The phrase creates an image of different things being thrown into one confinement, which are politics, issues and solutions. Mucciaroni
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Temperatures are increasing, rainfall patterns are evidently changing and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe. Projection models predict that South Africa will be drier in the western region but will be wetter towards the west. These hotter and wetter conditions might bring about higher malaria cases (Tanser et al, 2003). The garbage can model can be used in a case like this for decision making. Policy that advocates for continual medical research for a vaccine for malaria can be considered as one of the solutions. Another solution laws could be put in place that stop town planners from expanding or building in malaria prone areas. This would regulate the amount of people living in these areas and prevent potential cases of…show more content…
Peters, (2002) claims that it is more realistic, since decision makers do not follow a structured path to a decision. It is evident that it does present positives when compared to other models without being a perfect model. This paper highlighted some of the model’s problems and benefits. A hypothetical South African scenario where the model could be used was then put forward.

Cloete, F. & de Coning, C. 2011. Improving Public Policy: Theory, practice and results. 3rd Edition. Pretoria: Van Shaik. Chapter Two.
Cohen, M. D., March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1972). A garbage can model of organizational choice. Administrative science quarterly, 1-25.
Evers, D. (2012). A solution in search of a problem: A “garbage can” approach to the politics of territorial cohesion. European Journal of Spatial Development, February, 45.
Mucciaroni. G. 1992. The Garbage Can Model & the Study of Policy Making: A Critique. Polity, Vol. 24, No. 3. pp. 459-482
Peters, B. G. (2002). Governance: A Garbage Can Perspective. IHS Political Science Series: 2002, No. 84.
Tanser, F. C., Sharp, B., & Le Sueur, D. (2003). Potential effect of climate change on malaria transmission in Africa. The Lancet, 362(9398),
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