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Introduction to Western

Methods of Policy Analysis


Din Policy Institute

What is Policy?

advice that relates to public decisions.. which are also


informed by social values. (Weimer and Vining, p.23)

Policy Analysis is client-oriented advice relevant to


public decisions and informed by social values. (Ibid.
p.24)

Policy analysis goes beyond personal decision making.


(Bardach, Intro)

Policy analysis is a social and political activity. (Bardach,


Intro)

What is Policy?
Policy we need to understand what sorts of truth might be
spoken, in what languages, and to what ends. (Bobrow,
p.4)
The policy field includes work that seeks only to
understand and explain the process of public policy making
knowledge of, in Lasswells terms. (Bobrow, p.4)
The process of public policymaking includes the manner of
which problems get conceptualized and brought to
government for solution. (Sabatier, p.3)
Policy analysts are often required to give advice to
policymakers in incredibly short periods of time. (Patton,
p.2)

What is Policy?
Policy making can be considered to be a set of
processes, including at least (Kingdon, p. 2-3)
The setting of the agenda
The specification of alternatives from which a choice is
to be made.
and authoritative choice among those specified
alternatives, as in a legislative vote or a presidential
decision, and
The implementation of the decision.

What is Policy?
Policy is an agreed upon course of action,
be it from a legal, political, educational,
economic authority, or an agreed upon
course of action of the basic unit of society
the family.
Policy can involve economics, statistics,
ethics, sociology, psychology, health,
politics, education, environment, and so
forth.

Defining Policy Analysis


Public Policy analysis can be defined as
determining which of various alternative
public or governmental policies will most
achieve a given set of goals in light of the
relations between the policies and the
goals. ( Nagel p. 71)

Elements of Policy Analysis:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Goals, including normative constraints and relative weights for the


goals.
Policies, programs, projects, decisions, options, means, or other
alternatives that are available for achieving the goals.
Relations between the policies and the goals, including relations that
are established by intuition, authority, statistics, observation,
deduction, guesses, or by other means.
Drawing a tentative conclusion as to which policy or combination of
policies is best to adopt in light of the goals, policies, and relations.
Determining what it would take to bring a second place or other
alternative up to first.

Methods of Policy Analysis:


1. How to draw a conclusion as to which
policy to adopt from information on goals,
policies, and relations.
2. How to establish the relations between
policies and goals.
3. How to determine what policies are
available for adoption and what goals are
appropriate to consider.

Commonly used Non-Navajo method


6. Decide
which
policy is
best

5.
Project
the
Outcomes

1.
Define
the Problem

2. Assemble
some Evidence

4.
Select
the
Criteria

3.
Construct
the
Alternatives

Values implicit in the model:


World View

VALUES

Methods of
Policy Analysis

Worldview
set of implicit and explicit assumptions about the
origin of the universe and the nature and purpose
of human life. (Chapra, 1992)
Values are beliefs that something good and
desirable. Values define what is important and
consequently what is worth striving for. (Ibrahim)
Norms are what is acceptable and appropriate
behavior in particular circumstances. (Ibrahim)

Western Worldview
1. Western worldview is NOT monolithic,
however, many if the values have been
influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition.
2. West represent a continuum of values

Western values
Certain fundamental beliefs can be noted:
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)

Democracy
Liberalism
Individualism
Materialism
Secularism
Consumerism

Values implicit in the model:


JudeoChristian
Kant

Individualism

Cost-benefit
analysis

Problems
With the emergence of pluralism, it is
difficult to define the problem, because there
is no ultimate good or bad.
In addition, with the values listed it is
assumed that most things can be monetized
(have a dollar value placed on it.)

Example

Navajo Nation approach


Reactive-Crisis Model

We rely on what the Navajo Nation gives us to make a decision.

We do not look at the long term impactif it looks good we do it.

There is no analysis of the issue.

Issue is made by the people, without any real information about the impact
of the issue at hand.

Our policies consist of the Five Management system.

Chapters have no policy plans, they react to crisis, nobody wants to


CHANGE.

No one wants to come together and brainstorm issues.

Current Policy-Making Practice at the Chapter


Level (on the Navajo Nation)
Issue voted on
at Chapter Meeting If no, may go back
by chapter members
to planning
meeting

Issue goes to
Planning Meeting

Planning Officials
decide if issue
should go to
Chapter Meeting

Values implicit in the model:


Western/
BIA/ Navajo

Individualism

Cost-benefit
analysis

Problems
Navajo Nation reacts to problems using a
non-Navajo approach, but without any real
analysis.