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L13 Policy Analysis

L13 Policy Analysis - Read Kraft and Furlong Chapter 4...

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Unformatted text preview: Read Kraft and Furlong Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 ...before March 10.... 1 L 13 Policy Analysis: An Introduction February 20, 2008 2 Outline Introduction Why do policy analysis? Types of policy analysis What kind of analysis is needed? Steps in the policy analysis process 3 Why Do Policy Analysis? Need for thoughtful, impartial assessment Avoid "shooting from the hip" Think seriously about problems and solutions 4 Steps in Policy Analysis Define and analyze the problem questions may include: Who is affected and how seriously? may include looking for causes Construct policy alternatives might be the most important step want to encourage creativity 5 Steps in Policy Analysis (cont'd) Develop evaluative criteria effectiveness, efficiency, equity, political feasibility assess potential of different criteria will vary depending on the problem Assess policy alternatives ask which is likely to produce desired outcomes Draw conclusions some may advocate a single policy action, but others may not be sure of the information gathered 6 Think Tanks and Analysis Many policy studies conducted Large number of think tanks Think tanks represent a broad range of ideologies and ideals Think tanks help policymakers and citizens understand complex problems show a rationality in addressing problems appreciate value of their independent research 7 Types of Analysis Scientific search for truth and build theory about policy actions and effects may be too theoretical for most decision makers examples: academic social scientists, National Academy of Sciences 8 Types of Analysis (cont'd) Professional analyze alternatives to solve problems goal is for practical value research can be too narrow due to time or resource constraints examples: Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, General Accountability Office 9 Types of Analysis (cont'd) Political advocate and support preferred policies often ideological or partisan; may lack analytical depth examples: Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, Heritage Foundation 10 What Analysis Is Needed? Root causes vs. pragmatic adjustments should focus be on the underlying issues or on addressing the issue at hand Comprehensive vs. rigor/relevance comprehensive is more thorough; better methodologically, but also takes more time less rigor may be more timely to address problems but may have quality concerns 11 What Analysis Is Needed? (cont'd) Consensual vs. contentious Rational analysis vs. democratic politics rational analysis tends to focus efficiency: technical, scientific analysis needed to reach a defensible position should citizen involvement also be considered when making decisions: public opinion DOES count, especially the NIMBY factor e.g. nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Ethical issues how studies are conducted bias or funding source of the analyst 12 Questions Interest groups and think tanks often have an ideological foundation. Does such a foundation make the quality of the ananlysis they offer suspect? Should policy analysts try to tackle fundamental social problems (poverty, crime) or take a more pragmatic and limited approach that may yield practical results (discouraging teen pregnancies, gun control) CHECK OUT THE "SUGGESTED WEB SITES" (p.117) 13 ...
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