policy analysis


  • “[1] Policy analysis can be divided into two major fields:[2] • Analysis of existing policy, which is analytical and descriptive – it attempts to explain policies and their
    development • Analysis for new policy, which is prescriptive – it is involved with formulating policies and proposals (for example: to improve social welfare) One definition states that:[3] Policy Analysis is the process of identifying potential
    policy options that could address your problem and then comparing those options to choose the most effective, efficient, and feasible one.

  • Also collectively known as “Durability” of the policy, which means the capacity in content of the policy to produce visible Effects Effectiveness: What effects does the policy
    have on the targeted problem; Unintended effects: What are the unintended effects of this policy; Equity: What are the effects of this policy on different population groups; Implementation: Cost: What is the financial cost of this policy;
    Feasibility: Is the policy technically feasible; Acceptability[11][full citation needed]: Do the relevant policy stakeholders view the policy as acceptable; The strategic effects dimensions can pose certain limitations due to data collection.

  • [citation needed] In the context of the public sector, policy models are intended to achieve maximum social gain, and may involved the following steps to achieve rational
    decisions:[17] 1.

  • Policy analysis or public policy analysis is a technique used in the public administration sub-field of political science to enable civil servants, nonprofit organizations,
    and others to examine and evaluate the available options to implement the goals of laws and elected officials.

  • Alternative policies: surveying existing and possible policy models that could have addressed the problem better or parts of it which could make it effective.

  • Analysis of policy is more of an academic exercise, conducted by academic researchers, professors and think tank researchers, who are often seeking to understand why a particular
    policy was developed at a particular time and assess the effects, intended or otherwise, of that policy when it was implemented.

  • [23][full citation needed] Steps for conducting a policy evaluation[edit] Policy evaluation is used to examine content, implementation or impact of the policy, which helps
    to understand the merit, worth and the utility of the policy.

  • In its simplest form, the policy cycle, which is often depicted visually as a loop or circle, starts with the identification of the problem, proceeds to an examination of
    the different policy tools that could be used to respond to that problem, then goes on to the implementation stage, in which one or more policies are put into practice (e.g., a new regulation or subsidy is set in place), and then finally,
    once the policy has been implemented and run for a certain period, the policy is evaluated.

  • Analysts use these models to identify important aspects of policy, as well as explain and predict policy and its consequences.

  • [7] The policy process approach puts its focal point onto political processes and involved stakeholders; its scope is the broader meso-scale and it interprets problems using
    a political lens (i.e., the interests and goals of elected officials).

  • [citation needed] Rational planning model[edit] Main article: Rational planning model The rational planning model of decision-making is a process for making sound decisions
    in policy-making in the public sector.

  • Evaluation The success of a policy can be measured by changes in the behavior of the target population and active support from various actors and institutions involved.

  • For example, a Public Health Ontario revision of the above replaces the first three steps with “describe the program”, “identify and engage partners”, and “determine timelines
    and available resources”, while otherwise retaining the model.

  • Five-E approach[edit] One model of policy analysis is the “five-E approach”, which consists of examining a policy in terms of:[12] Effectiveness How well does it work (or
    how well will it be predicted to work)?

  • [citation needed] Nonetheless, there are some who criticize the rational model due to the major problems which can be faced & which tend to arise in practice because social
    and environmental values can be difficult to quantify and forge consensus around.

  • The Rational planning model has also proven to be very useful to several decision making processes in industries outside the public sphere.

  • [citation needed] Further criticism of the rational model include: leaving a gap between planning and implementation, ignoring of the role of people, entrepreneurs, leadership,
    etc., the insufficiency of technical competence (i.e.

  • Process model[edit] See also: Policy cycle Policy creation is a process that typically follows a sequence of steps or stages: • Identification of a problem (also called “problem
    definition”) and demand for government action.

  • Evidence-based models Many models exist to analyze the development and implementation of public policy.

  • A combination of two kinds of policy analyses together with program evaluation is defined as policy studies.

  • [16] The model makes a series of assumptions, such as: “The model must be applied in a system that is stable”; “The government is a rational and unitary actor and that its
    actions are perceived as rational choices”; “The policy problem is unambiguous”; “There are no limitations of time or cost”.

  • The approach of analysis for policy refers to research conducted for actual policy development, often commissioned by policymakers inside the bureaucracy (e.g.

  • A number of different viewpoints can be used during evaluation, including looking at a policy’s effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, value for money, outcomes or outputs.

  • Policy-makers are too short on time and other resources to make totally new policies; thus, past policies are accepted as having some legitimacy.

  • Following are National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy’s (NCCHPP) 10 steps:[24] Planning • Clarify the policy • Engage stakeholders • Assess resources and evaluability
    • Determine your evaluation questions • Determine methods and procedures • Develop evaluation plan Implementation • Collect data • Process data and analyze results Utilization • Interpret and disseminate the results • Apply evaluation findings
    Details of such a plan may vary by institution and context.

  • Dimensions for analyzing policies[edit] There are six dimensions to policy analysis categorized as the effects and implementation of the policy across a period of time.

  • policies that govern employees and employee-manager relations)[14][full citation needed] Governments[edit] Public policy is determined by a range of political institutions,
    which give policy legitimacy to policy measures.

  • As problems may result because of structural factors (e.g., a certain economic system or political institution), solutions may entail changing the structure itself.

  • Relating consequences to values — With all policies there will be a set of relevant dimensional values (for example, economic feasibility and environmental protection) and
    a set of criteria for appropriateness, against which performance (or consequences) of each option being responsive can be judged.

  • People who regularly use policy analysis skills and techniques on the job, particularly those who use it as a major part of their job duties are generally known by the title
    policy analyst.

  • Several methods used in policy analyis are:[citation needed] • Cost–benefit analysis • Management by objectives (MBO) • Operations research • Decision-making based on analytics
    • Program evaluation and review technique (PERT) • Critical path method (CPM).

  • Also, this model fails to take into account the multiple factors attempting to influence the process itself as well as each other, and the complexity this entails.

  • There must be an authority or leader charged with the implementation and monitoring of the policy with a sound social theory underlying the program and the target group.

  • For instance, it is a difficult model to apply in the public sector because social problems can be very complex, ill-defined, and inter-dependent.

  • Policy process[edit] Example of a policy cycle, used in the PROCSEE Approach.

  • Finally, implementation dimensions collectively influence a policy’s ability to produce results or impacts.

  • not successful with limited resources), downplaying useful quantitative information, obscuring real relationships between political entities, an anti-intellectual approach
    to problems (i.e.

  • By changing the relative power and influence of certain groups (e.g., enhancing public participation and consultation), solutions to problems may be identified that have more
    “buy in” from a wider group.

  • This integrates what are usually separate bodies of evaluation on the role of gender in welfare state developments, employment transformations, workplace policies, and work

  • [28] Value to policymakers[edit] Policy analysis affects policymakers’ decisions by introducing them to new ideas to consider, through the work of policy analysts summarizing
    ideas and frameworks found in the relevant literature.

  • A public policy is an authoritative communication prescribing an unambiguous course of action for specified individuals or groups in certain situations.

  • Every policy analysis is intended to bring an evaluative outcome.

  • The process is also used in the administration of large organizations with complex policies.


Works Cited

[‘Compare: Geva-May, Iris; Pal, Leslie A. (1999). “Policy Evaluation and Policy Analysis: Exploring the Differences”. In Nagel, Stuart S. (ed.). Policy Analysis Methods. Nova Science Publishers. p. 6. ISBN 9781560726579. Retrieved 13 April 2016. … it
determines which of the various alternative public or government policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals and in light of politically feasible courses of action, it generates information
and evidence in order to help the policymaker choose the most advantageous action ….
2. ^ Jump up to:a b Bührs, Ton; Bartlett, Robert V. (1993). Environmental Policy in New Zealand: The Politics of Clean and Green. Oxford University Press. ISBN
0-19-558284-5 – via Internet Archive.
3. ^ “POLARIS: Policy Analysis”. CDC.gov. Washington, DC: Office of Policy, Performance, and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 26 April 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
4. ^ Hambrick,
Ralph Jr.; Bardach, Eugene; Chelimsky, Eleanor; Shadish, William R.; Deleon, Peter; Fischer, Frank; MacRae, Duncan; Whittington, Dale (November–December 1998). “Review: Building the Policy Studies Enterprise: A Work in Progress”. Public Administration
Review. 58 (6): 533–539. doi:10.2307/977580. JSTOR 977580.
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ISBN 9781305856080.
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Kim Bergeron, Florence Morestin et al.
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Federation Press. ISBN 978-1-86287-603-3.
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271–281. doi:10.1023/A:1005469411776. S2CID 53603959.
19. ^ Dye, Thomas R. (2007). Understanding Public Policy (12th ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-936948-3.
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Office of the President of the United States / Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, National Science and Technology Council. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
21. ^ Haynes, Laura (2012). “Test,
Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomized Controlled Trials”. United Kingdom Cabinet Office Behavioral Insights Team – via London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
22. ^ “Using Randomized Control Trials to Evaluate Public Policy”.
Australian Government. Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
23. ^ Michelle A. Saint-Germain, California State University
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policy: Why and how?” (Document). Montréal: National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy.
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16 December 2023.
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Charles; Mayne, Ruth (17 February 2021). “Evaluation in an Emergency: Assessing Transformative Energy Policy Amidst the Climate Crisis”. Joule. Cell Press. 5 (2): 285–289. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2020.12.019. S2CID 233951003.
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bichologo_errante/4511693548/’]