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251, #8

Intro: Policy analysis
by

Julia Nicodemus

on 19 September 2016

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Transcript of 251, #8

Policy Analysis?
Public problems and policies are complicated
Assesses likely outcomes of different policies
Clarifies causes and effects of problems
Policy analysis provides pertinent information and thoughtful assessments
Define and Analyze the Problem
DEFINE
ANALYZE
Describe the unsatisfactory conditions that need to be changed
Collect relevant facts and data on the severity and extent of the issue
Define relevant terms
Identify causes of the problem
How did the problem develop?
Who is affected?
Construct Policy Alternatives
Government has certain actions it can take, this limits the options
This step is about brainstorming and researching possibilities
Select Evaluative Criteria
How do you measure success?
What else, besides solving the problem, matters?
Cost, fairness, feasibility, etc.
The criteria chosen strongly influences what policy seems best
Assess the Alternatives
Each policy alternative is assessed based on how well it meets each criteria.
Criteria can be weighted
Sometimes it is possible to do this quantitatively, other times it is qualitative
Draw Conclusions
Which policy is best? Should more than one be implemented?
What else should be considered?
Can also carefully explain the merits and shortcomings of each option, leaving it to policymakers to decide
Make Reccomendations
Approaches to
Policy Analysis
Scientific Approach
Professional Approach
Political Approach
Very academic, trying to understand problem and solutions. Purpose is to deepen, broaden and extend the policy-makers capacity for judgment.
Often done by government agencies and offices and certain think tanks. The analysis is done to directly aid decision making but is also done with as much objectivity and commitment to good analysis as possible
Not objective. Clearly trying to achieve a specific agenda in accordance with specific values and goals. Sometimes it is still rigorous. It is important to understand something about who did the analysis.
What Kind of Analysis?
Root Causes vs. Pragmatic Adjustments
Comprehensive Analysis vs. Short Term Relevance
Consensual vs Contentious Analysis
Is it better to try to solve a problem by addressing its root causes or by finding easier to implement policies that improve the situation
Policy topic:
Gun Violence
Should analysts work hard and long to get the best answer possible and really understand the issue and the potential effects of policies, or should they work to get something faster, while it’s still relevant to policy makers?
Policy topic:
Response to Refugee Crises
Should analysts adhere closely to societal norms and mainstream public values, or should they challenge them and propose new values or new ways of thinking about the problem under consideration?
Policy topic:
Climate Change
Take A Position!
Rational Analysis vs. Democratic Politics
What if analysts come up with a great solution, but it is not what the people want? Which is more important, democratic processes or well thought out policies?
Policy topic:
Nuclear Waste Storage

Assesses effectiveness of existing policies
Why Do
Which steps might be most prone to bias? How important is objectivity?
Why might
politicians use
analyses with each
of these approaches?
Full transcript