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Analyzing Public Policy, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 608

Research Paper

A policy analysis is defined as the means through which policy recommendations of organizations are studied. Overall, for the analyst to understand the reason behind certain decisions in the public policy environment, the group must first identify problems and goals, examine the argument, and determine how the specific policy is being implemented within the institution. There are two major forms of policy analysis; one goal is to describe current policies and determine why they are being used. The other is to formulate policies and propose new ideas for the organization.

There are several approaches that professionals use to conduct policy analysis, including analycentric, policy process, and the meta-policy approach. The analycentric approach examines individual problems and attempts to find their solutions. The primary goal is to find a solution to the problem in a way that is the most economically meaningful. Policy process focuses more on the institution’s stakeholders; it tries to explain the role and value of the stakeholders in the policy process. It attempts to solve problems by increasing or decreasing the power that the stakeholders have. Lastly, the meta-policy approach attempts to solve problems and promote policy using the company’s structural information. The problem solving approach involves political, economic, and cultural factors that may be affecting the company and the solution may involve the restructuring of the organization.

Policy analysis does not have a straightforward method to analyze the public policy environment of an organization or group; rather it uses qualitative and quantitative methods involving business research and the use of several analytical models. These models include the institutional model, process model, and rational model. The institutional model is determined by political organizations that allow the policy to be legitimate. The process model identifies an issue and demands for action, sets an agenda, allows many parties to issue proposals, select and enact the policy, implement it, and then evaluate it. Lastly, the rational model utilizes gathering of intelligence, identification of problems, identifying the consequences of all solutions, correlating consequences to values, and choosing the best option (Dye, 2007).

The rational model uses several steps that are necessary for perfect analysis and is ideal for a majority of organizations in the private sector. Since this method requires the complete understanding of economic, social, and environmental factors that any action could alter, the categories that must be considered during this analysis includes consideration of ecological impacts, economic efficiency, distributional equity, social and cultural acceptability, operational practicality, legality, and the factor of uncertainty.

In conclusion, there are six basic steps that organizations should follow to conduct a proper policy analysis. First of all, the organization needs to ensure that a problem exists and then it needs to be described in detail. Next, they must determine how to evaluate the problem based on the specific needs of the situation. Next, they must identify all of the alternative policies that could be used in place of this one and evaluate them. Then, the must decide out of the original policy, the alternative policies, and all the consequences of these situations what the best policy will be for their organization. Lastly, they will monitor the policy and review it to ensure that it is serving the intended purpose; if not, this cycle will repeat itself until an ideal policy is in place (Patton et al., 1986).

References

Dye, Thomas R. (2007). Understanding Public Policy (12th ed.). Prentice Hall

Hambrick, Ralph Jr.; Bardach, Eugene; Chelimsky, Eleanor; Shadish, William R.; Deleon, Peter; Fischer, Frank; MacRae, Duncan; Whittington, Dale. (1998). “Review: Building the Policy Studies Enterprise: A Work in Progress”. Public Administration Review, 58 (6): 533–9. doi:10.2307/977580

Patton, C., Sawicki, D. (1986). Basic methods of policy analysis and planning. NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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