Understanding the policy process
and landscape through
discourse analysis
Joe Mockshell & Regina Birner
CGIAR Research Pro...
Agricultural policy context
• Why do African governments adopt their policies?
• Focus on incentive systems
– Bates (1981)...
Discourse analysis approach
• Discourses through
– Texts (Fairclough 1995; van Dijk 1998), Frames (Shöne &
Rein 1994), Sto...
Discourse analysis approach
• In-depth interviews
– Broad initial questions (Roe 1994)
• Challenges affecting the agricult...
Research method: sampling
Stakeholder organizations

Ghana

Uganda

Government agencies (Agriculture policy unit,
extensio...
Data analysis
• In the field
– Memo-writing to identify themes
– ‘Study your emerging data’ (Charmaz 2006)
– ‘Completeness...
Analysis: Nodes & Codes
NVivo screenshot
• Total of 60 transcripts
• Identification of 17
policy themes from
coding
• Bina...
Policy themes (PCA results)
Ghana

Uganda

Policy themes

Eigenvalues

Input subsidy & appropriate
technology

5.49

Quali...
Discourse coalition (Cluster analysis)

Government agencies
(agricultural policy unit,
extension & finance)
Academic (agri...
Summary of some key discourses
Domestic policy coalition
Public sector centered

Donor-led coalition
Private sector center...
Policy beliefs about mechanization
Domestic coalition beliefs
The youth prefers jobs outside
agriculture, which offer “bet...
Thank you
PCA &
cluster
analysis
Transform
qualitative
data

Policy
themes

In-depth
Interviews

coding
of
transcripts

12...
Appendix 1: Ghana
PCA: Policy themes, (Pattern Matrix)

Appropriate technology
Inadequate access to credit

0.88
0.78

0.0...
Appendix 2: Uganda
PCA: Policy themes, (Pattern Matrix)
Policy themes

Quality standards
Lack of storage facility
Hoe and ...
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PPWNov13- Day 1 - Mockshell and Birner- UHohenheim

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Day 1- afternoon session: Joe Mockshell and Regina Birner- University of Hohenheim: “Understanding the policy process and landscape through discourse analysis.”

Workshop on Approaches and Methods for Policy Process Research, co-sponsored by the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) and Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) at IFPRI-Washington DC, November 18-20, 2013.

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PPWNov13- Day 1 - Mockshell and Birner- UHohenheim

  1. 1. Understanding the policy process and landscape through discourse analysis Joe Mockshell & Regina Birner CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) Workshop: Approaches and Methods for Policy Process Research November 18-20, 2013, Washington DC, USA
  2. 2. Agricultural policy context • Why do African governments adopt their policies? • Focus on incentive systems – Bates (1981): Government’s incentive to stay in power – Van de Walle (2001): Neo-patrimonial state – Jayne et al. (2002): Incentive dilemma – role of donors – Olper & Raimondi (2010): Role of regime types – Swinnen (1994 ) Political support function • Role of ideologies and values – more recent – Dutt and Mitra (2010): Role of political ideology • Research gap & study objective – Empirical research on role of policy beliefs is missing – Identify prevailing agricultural policy beliefs • Case study of Ghana and Uganda 2
  3. 3. Discourse analysis approach • Discourses through – Texts (Fairclough 1995; van Dijk 1998), Frames (Shöne & Rein 1994), Story-lines (Hajer 2006) • Study followed Hajer’s approach of discourse analysis – Identifies story-lines and metaphors in discourses – Expressed through language use • Discourse coalition – Ensemble of story-lines and actors that utter the story – Actors that share common story-lines in their discourses • Policy actors have (van Dijk 1998): – Positive self-representation of their beliefs – Negative representation of others beliefs 3
  4. 4. Discourse analysis approach • In-depth interviews – Broad initial questions (Roe 1994) • Challenges affecting the agricultural sector • Policy instruments to address challenges • Quantitative approach – Principal Component Analysis (PCA) & Cluster Analysis • Novelty of the study – Application of quantitative analysis to • identify policy themes and • discourse coalitions from discourses 4
  5. 5. Research method: sampling Stakeholder organizations Ghana Uganda Government agencies (Agriculture policy unit, extension & finance) 7 7 Academic (Agriculture, Agricultural Economics & Political science) 3 4 Think tanks (Research) Donor agencies & IFIa Non-governmental Organization Political party representatives & Parliamentarians Interest groups (Civil society Organization) 1 5 4 5 3 2 6 4 4 2 Farmers (small & large scale) Traditional authorities Local government 2 1 2 3 2 Total (67 in-depth interviews) 33 34 aInternational Financial Institutions 5
  6. 6. Data analysis • In the field – Memo-writing to identify themes – ‘Study your emerging data’ (Charmaz 2006) – ‘Completeness’ & ‘dissimilarity’ (Blee & Taylor 2002) – Additional actors to be involved and new questions • After the field work: analysis with Nvivo – Upload of documents – Transcription of recorded interviews – Notes of non-recorded interviews – Coding of texts – Identification of metaphors and story-lines – Inclusion of additional texts (government programs, donor strategies) 6
  7. 7. Analysis: Nodes & Codes NVivo screenshot • Total of 60 transcripts • Identification of 17 policy themes from coding • Binary value to each policy theme • 1=Yes if the theme appeared in the policy discourses of a particular respondent without prompting & 0=No if otherwise) 7
  8. 8. Policy themes (PCA results) Ghana Uganda Policy themes Eigenvalues Input subsidy & appropriate technology 5.49 Quality of agricultural input Policy themes Eigenvalues Market price support & storage Appropriate technology 2.42 5.82 2.16 Low agricultural productivity 1.80 Quality of agricultural input 1.76 Market price support & storage 1.46 Inadequate land policies 1.34 Input subsidy & low agric. Productivity 1.13 Youth involvement in agriculture Rainfall dependent farming & crop insurance 1.31 1.04 8
  9. 9. Discourse coalition (Cluster analysis) Government agencies (agricultural policy unit, extension & finance) Academic (agricultural economics, political science) Think tank (research) International finance Institutions/ Donor organizations Non-governmental organizations Political party representatives and parliamentarians Interest groups Local governments Total Uganda Domestic Donor coalition Policy stakeholder organizations Ghana Domestic Donor coalition coalition coalition 7 0 6 0 0 3 2 2 0 1 2 0 0 5 0 6 3 2 3 1 5 0 4 0 3 1 19 0 0 11 2 2 21 0 0 9 9
  10. 10. Summary of some key discourses Domestic policy coalition Public sector centered Donor-led coalition Private sector centered Framing of the main problem Farmers do not have access to inputs Institutions are not available, poor implementation, capacity Views on input subsidies Important to transform agriculture Subsidies not sustainable, kill private sector initiatives Views on appropriate technology (mechanization) Important to modernize agriculture to attract the youth Should be achieved by the private sector Self-image Capable of bringing Capable of understanding external experience and domestic problems and superior knowledge to determining the best policy provide evidence based option for the local economy policy options Other-image They come with policies that create dependency 10 They lack capacity, they do not have any figures to show
  11. 11. Policy beliefs about mechanization Domestic coalition beliefs The youth prefers jobs outside agriculture, which offer “better jobs than the drudgery that the youth go to face when they go into farming, because farming in Ghana is still largely dependent on hoe & cutlasses, so it is a lot of drudgery involved, so it is not attractive.” Donor coalition beliefs “the tractors have a political image, because they are big, when they say we have brought in tractors, when they say we have brought in 1000 tractors, you can make a big political statement of it.” (Development consultant) (Member of Ghana Parliament) • Two worlds in agricultural policy making • Pay attention to role of policy beliefs in agricultural policy making 11
  12. 12. Thank you PCA & cluster analysis Transform qualitative data Policy themes In-depth Interviews coding of transcripts 12 Policy beliefs & discourse coalition
  13. 13. Appendix 1: Ghana PCA: Policy themes, (Pattern Matrix) Appropriate technology Inadequate access to credit 0.88 0.78 0.00 0.01 -0.23 0.30 -0.17 0.17 -0.14 0.04 Rainfall dependent farming & crop insurance 0.15 0.13 Fertiliser subsidy Agric. mechanisation Rainfall dependent agric. 0.69 0.51 0.39 -0.14 0.00 -0.46 -0.06 0.01 -0.20 0.24 0.21 0.16 -0.11 -0.49 -0.07 -0.19 -0.14 -0.31 Public extension Counterfeit inputs Quality standards Hoe and cutlass farming Irrigation facilities Low agric. Productivity Private extension Lack of storage facility Market price support Youth in agric. policy Inadequate land policies Crop insurance Eigenvalues 0.35 -0.07 0.15 0.06 0.27 -0.07 -0.17 -0.07 -0.06 0.19 -0.19 0.23 5.49 0.04 0.86 0.76 0.39 -0.37 -0.01 0.00 0.00 0.01 -0.12 -0.21 -0.04 2.42 -0.07 -0.04 0.03 0.04 0.33 -0.89 0.87 -0.02 -0.13 0.06 -0.01 0.09 1.80 0.72 -0.13 0.30 0.27 0.38 0.26 0.06 0.86 0.86 -0.06 0.27 -0.01 1.46 0.16 -0.16 0.23 -0.68 -0.06 0.16 0.10 -0.20 -0.10 -0.79 -0.58 0.11 1.31 0.14 0.01 -0.20 -0.17 -0.17 0.10 0.21 -0.18 0.10 -0.02 0.58 0.89 1.04 Policy themes Input Quality Low agric. Market Youth subsidy & of agric. productivity price involveme appropriate input support & nt in technology storage agriculture 13
  14. 14. Appendix 2: Uganda PCA: Policy themes, (Pattern Matrix) Policy themes Quality standards Lack of storage facility Hoe and cutlass farming Market price support Youth in agriculture policy Public extension Rainfall dependent agric. Irrigation facilities Fertiliser subsidy Counterfeit inputs Agricultural mechanisation Private extension Crop insurance Inadequate land policies Appropriate technology Low agricultural productivity Inadequate access to credit Eigenvalues Market price support & storage 0.86 0.80 0.59 0.50 0.45 0.39 0.07 -0.05 -0.15 0.06 0.21 -0.16 0.08 -0.05 0.26 -0.11 0.24 5.82 Appropriate Quality of technology agric. input -0.20 0.07 0.54 0.36 -0.08 0.10 0.90 0.88 0.57 0.42 0.40 0.30 -0.05 0.05 -0.15 -0.05 0.28 2.16 14 -0.02 -0.08 -0.13 -0.09 0.25 -0.06 0.02 0.06 0.19 -0.54 -0.04 0.84 0.65 -0.10 0.22 -0.06 -0.18 1.76 Inadequate land policies 0.08 0.02 -0.28 0.03 -0.33 0.29 0.07 -0.06 0.10 0.40 -0.31 0.09 0.19 -0.87 0.08 -0.10 -0.02 1.34 Input subsidy & low agricultural productivity -0.04 0.03 0.14 -0.19 -0.36 -0.60 -0.04 0.13 -0.45 0.02 -0.46 -0.10 0.53 0.01 -0.77 -0.71 -0.64 1.13

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