Guide for Developing Immunization Policies
A public policy relates to courses or principles of action proposed by a government. It is often published, and if widely acceptable, is adopted in order to reach specific long-term goals. Policies are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions; all activities take place within the boundaries set by them. Policies are usually supplemented by decrees or legislation defining in greater detail how, by whom and when actions should be undertaken, and with what resources. They also put in place responsibility and accountability mechanisms that support implementation.
Policy guidance should not be confused with technical guidance. The latter articulates the processes and procedures employed to express policies in action in day-to-day operations. In the area of immunization, for example, main considerations for technical guidance would relate to planning immunization programmes, delivery practices, performance, coverage, integration into the health system, communication, management, and financing.