Policymaking takes a central role in addressing health issues such as HIV/AIDS. National policies provide guidance to the actions or programs of the health and social welfare department that provide health and other services to people with HIV/AIDS, their families, and the wider community. However, policymaking on health is not a simple process because of the need for various considerations. The review of literature considers public policymaking and public policy development on health issues such as HIV/AIDS by identifying the intervening factors and the affects on the process of policy determination.
To understand policymaking on health issues better, the literature review also focused on HIV/AIDS policy determination in South Africa. The literature review is the outcome of library research on books, journals, official reports, and other documents relevant in developing the framework for the study. Public policymaking is the process of deciding on the primary guidelines for action in the future, primarily by governmental organs. The aim of these guidelines is to address public interest through the best available means.
(Anderson, 2005) Policymaking in the public sphere is very dynamic and complex because of different components influencing guidelines as outcomes (Birkland, 2005). Public policymaking has various elements. Public policymaking is highly complex. The different components involved in the process operate through linkages in communication and feedback networks or cycles and interact with each other differently. Some aspects of the process are explicit and observable such as face-to-face meetings or reports while other aspects are implicit and unobservable such as hidden channels not necessarily within the awareness of the parties involved.
(Kingdon, 2002; Dror, 2003) This means that public policies result from decisions of policymakers through processes outside of their awareness. Public policymaking is a very dynamics process or a continuous flow of interconnected activities occurring with the government structure. To sustain this process requires motivation and resources for decision-makers. Its dynamism emerges from the changes that occur in the parties involved and resources over time influencing changes in the internal sub-processes and stages. (Kingdon, 2002; Dror, 2003)
Public policymaking has multiple components. Substructures comprise one component that could change decisions in different ways. Substructures include the presidency, congress or military. These hold different perspectives and priorities of different issues, which determine their influence on policies. (Kingdon, 2002; Dror, 2003) Public policymaking is a part of decision-making. The models of decision-making and the requirements of good decisions such as informed decision-making also work for good policies (Bardach, 2008).
Information-based policies emerged to reflect the importance of basic policies on pertinent information such as research in health issues. Public policymaking provides major guidelines as outcomes. Policies comprise general directives, instead of detailed directions or instructions, on the major line of action on a given issue. After the development of policies, the succeeding activity is to determine specific actions necessary for its execution. (Bardach, 2008)