Cross-national experiences and policy design in a specific jurisdiction should theoretically influence policy learning and eventually policy outcomes. This article highlights the myths and imperatives of policy learning by addressing to what extent it contributes to real policy change.
One such myth is that all incidents of policy implementation should foster policy learning and therefore improved service delivery. This article
explores the debate around and value of policy learning. A common definition of policy learning may be possible, but details differ in every
social context. Different kinds of learning are instrumental learning, social learning and political learning. The basis for learning includes aspects such as how conscious learning is, the object of learning, who learns, and the status of learning in policy literature. Policy change often does not result from learning, although it can occur because of learning. Learning due to failure in the process of policy learning often has more long-lasting effects than learning from successes. Different kinds of policy learning and a combination of them can contribute to meaningful policy change and improved service delivery. Policy change is proof of learning. What is learned is what is remembered, but how do governments and organisations deal with policy intelligence? Policy intelligence should be valued in a
culture of policy learning. Organisational and intra-organisational learning could stimulate common learning in government and institutions alike.