Policy Making and Planning within Ministries: Ways to simplify and co-ordinate


  • Héðinn Unnsteinsson
  • Pétur Berg Matthíasson




Public policy, Policy Making, Strategy and planning, Coordination, Iceland 2020.


The coalition government in Iceland launched the 20/20 Moving Iceland Forward Initiative in 2009. The results of the data collection and the analysis that took place as part of that initiative led to the strategic vision, Iceland 2020. One of the objectives set out in Iceland 2020 is to simplify, reduce and integrate major policies and plans of Ministries and agencies that have been developed in recent years. The basis of this work was the analysis of 11 major policies and plans with the aim of developing concrete recommendations on how policy and planning needs to change within the Icelandic Public Administration. The results of the analysis was that 198 criteria’s were analysed, 18 criteria’s for each of the 11 policies. 108 fulfilled the criteria (55%), 52 partially fulfilled it (26%) and 38 were not present (19%). In general, the strength of the Icelandic administration is mainly in the preparation, analysis, goals and objectives setting during the policy process. The weaknesses lie in the lack of connection with funding, poor implementation and insufficient monitoring and evaluation. This paper sets out proposals for a new vision and methodology on how public policy and planning within the Icelandic Public Administration should be executed. They include adding perspective and practices to the process by reducing policies and plans; linking policies and planning within Ministries to the national budgetary process and guidelines to ensure that performance measurement and monitoring is always available.

Author Biographies

Héðinn Unnsteinsson

Public Policy specialist, Prime Ministers Office.

Pétur Berg Matthíasson

M.A. in Political Science and Public Administration, Ministry of Finance.



How to Cite

Unnsteinsson, H., & Matthíasson, P. B. (2012). Policy Making and Planning within Ministries: Ways to simplify and co-ordinate. Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 8(1), 153–172. https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2012.8.1.7



Peer Reviewed Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >> 

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.