A Framework for Cross-National Policy Process Analysis
Most governments have access to information on how other nations have dealt with the social and economic problems of aging populations. They use this information, obtained from national and international agencies, for several purposes: to evaluate their own needs for social programs; to compare their program goals, objectives, technical features, and administrative functions to those in place elsewhere; and to strengthen their efforts to redistribute income and meet social welfare and health care delivery goals.
It is not unusual for the government of one nation to adopt a feature of another's program, generally modifying that feature to meet the special program needs of the adoptive country. Industrial nations are much more likely to exchange information and adopt program features than are the nations of the Third World, but such activity is growing among Third World governments ( MacPherson & Midgley, 1987).
International bodies also use this comparative information in establishing global conventions. Member nations of the International Labour Organization, for instance, use the information in setting minimum program standards for labor activities and old-age pensions. The World Health Organization uses it in determining international standards for health care delivery. This information is also essential for international bilateral and re-