SoSt 200 Introduction to Social
for Policy Analysis
“Policy” is a decision for action that responds to a (public)
problem. Public problems are almost
always complex, and usually are “wicked” (in that there is no single “best”
solution—or even agreement on what would be
a solution). There are 6 steps in
the process of analyzing a policy:
Definition: Verify, define, and
detail the dimensions of the problem.
- Criteria: Establish criteria by which you (plural)
will agree that a solution has been achieved.
- Alternatives: Identify alternative courses of action
- Analysis: Evaluate alternative policies against
- Selection: Display & distinguish among
alternative policy solutions
- Implementation: Monitor the implementation, both for
process (is policy being correctly pursued) and outcomes (did policy
achieve desired objectives)
Cf. Carl Patton & David Sawicki
(1993) Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning, 2nd Ed. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
© 2009 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 17 March 2009