Getting started: definingpolicy research, first steps Definitions first steps
DefinitionsDefinitions of policy research Majchrzak, 1984, p. 12 - interpretation(a) Process of conducting primary research or analysing existing data on(b) Fundamental social problem(c) Purpose (client oriented objective): provide policy makers with pragmatic, action- oriented recommendations for alleviating the problem Check ‘policy analysis article’ in en.wikipedia.org (2012) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_analysis>> prescriptive: Analysis for policy Policy research can also be conducted as analysis of policy by academic universities: fundamental science
Policy research process From first steps ( Bardach ) back to Exploring the issue
Getting started- Pierre’s note 1 cf Patton and SawickiWhat factor of the problem is most important to your client? >> Bardach step 1: define the problem Learn to focus quickly on central decision criterion (or criteria) on which the decision likely to be made? >> Bardach step 4 : select the criteriaExamples of criteria: Will it be minimizing the cost of some service? Or might it be able to spend more effectively the funds? >> survey major implementation risks related to poor or late communications or risks of the (possible) framing amongst an audience
Preceeding step 1: exploreSource 1- Bardach p 79- 94: how to proceed efficiently (incl. research interviews: )a) Write a memo about what you already knowb) Locate relevant sources – documents and persons;c) Gaining and maintaining access to sourcesd) Accumulate background info as leveragee) Protect political credibilityRemark: part of this takes place AFTER step 1
Adaptations for your project look for overviews on your topic and related issues. Look in various directions and cross borders. Include possible opponents and independent institutions; In communications policy advice: scan articles from various media on your topic and related issues. Identify what is presented as best and worst practices. Analyze who seem to be stakeholders and what might be a reputation risk and what aspect may help building a positive image.
Explore – 2: Majchrzak, chapter 2Four topics of issues to be clarified:A. Policy making context of problemB. Range of definitions and values heldC. Types of feasible recommendationsD. Resources needed and available
(A) First issue : policy making context identify policy issues, understand decision making processes (six types) e.g. consequences of US Dodd-Frank Act like EU- rules on the transparency in the upstream operations for biomass production; cf with
(B) Range of values and definitions Differences between kinds of biomass; eco- efficiency , various aspects of sustainability relating to use of renewable resources for gasMost of all consult authoritative newspapers and websites ran by independent or critical expertsTease out the interests, values and principles at stake
C. Types of feasible recommendations This looks like Bardach step 3 Important: feasible BUT- please consult main ideas from Majchrzak p 31. >> look also for options that imply fundamental change: Example 1- Banerjee & Duflo (2012) Poor Economics Do you know examples of ‘re-thinking the problem’ policy options? Is ethics important? Suggest some radical unethical policy options
D. Resources needed and availableConsult some independent authors to get acquainted with vocabulary and issues: Google Scholar article ‘Waste biomass-to-energy supply chain management: A critical synthesis’ Iakovou c.s. 2010. PRICE/ availability- If to expensive: ask in our library or ask client OR move to overviews in other sources Article ‘Smart Grid’ (2012) in en.wikipedia.com – like many other sources of disputed neutralityIdentify relevant policy makers and commissions
Snowballing: accept other languages Quote about conference to be held in december WTC Rotterdam: “De lange termijn focus voor de BioBased Economy vanuit Den Haag en Brussel. D. Corbey, Voorzitter, Commissie Duurzaamheidsvraagstukken Biomassa “ .. SNOWBALLING brought me at ‘Dutch sustainability policy for biomass 2008- 2011’ After surfing with the name of Annelies Huygen, energy expert at TNO one may find: dr. Simone Pront-van Bommel (red.) (2010) De consument en de andere kant van de elektriciteitsmarkt These items relate also to step 3 from ‘steps to informationm inquiry’ in Majchrzak: Analyze legislative history and policy issues’
step 2 and 3 for information inquiry Source - Majchrzak (1984) p 34 – 35 Step 2: Identify key policy issues (Topic of assignment 1 ) Step 3: Analyze legislative history and policy issuesAdvice:Include the major issues resulting from step 3 either in your context statement (preferably) or refer to them by means of a research question in your research design
Next week First draft of your problem statement : Tuesday 25 September before 16.00 Criteria (in MOSCOW style: Must, Should, Could ..) MUST be affirmative and relate to a communications policy issue SHOULD apply step 1 from Bardach (2012) COULD contain the a and b element stated in Verschuren & Doorewaard (p 34)
Remember: your client wants to hear a unbiased line of thoughtConsult: Bardach (2012) step 8 ‘Tell your story’ from Pierre’s lecture- note 3: Give an analysis, not decisionsQuote“Policy analysts and planners usually give advice to their clients; they do not make decisions for them. This has important implications for the types of analyses that are done and even more importantly, for the methods of communicating the results of analysis. The client will make the final choice and should be able to reanalyze the policy data. This means that critical assumptions, values, and uncertainties must be reported.” A good policy analysis does not guarantee that the optimal solution will be selected or implemented. Why not?
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