A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/10/16
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Just when you thought a great book couldn&BAD:rsquo;t get any better, Eugene Bardach improves his &BAD:ldquo;gem&BAD:rdquo; of a handbook. Presenting dozens of concrete tips, interesting case studies, and step-by-step strategies for the budding analyst as well as the seasoned professional, Bardach&BAD:rsquo;s eightfold approach encapsulates more than 20 years of teaching and guiding students towards effective, accurate, and persuasive policy analysis.Some of the enhancements to this edition?A separate appendix that provides sample questions for policy analysts to ask about public and nonprofit institutions in order to aid their analysis and implementation. New attention to troubleshooting problems&BAD:mdash;how to avoid linguistic pitfalls, confusing &BAD:ldquo;alternatives&BAD:rdquo; and &BAD:ldquo;criteria,&BAD:rdquo; and projecting outcomes that lead to design problems. Expanded coverage of cost-effectiveness analysis (including a new excerpt from a RAND Corporation report). Explanation of evidence and justification, as well as additional semantic tips in the appendices Readers will also find a sample document of real world policy analysis, a primer in how to &BAD:ldquo;talk the talk&BAD:rdquo; of policy analysis, and a cheat sheet of strategies for solving a host of policy problems.
Eugene Bardach has been teaching graduate-level policy analysis workshop classes since 1973 at the Goldman School of Public Policy,
University of California, Berkeley, in which time he has coached some 500 projects. He is a broadly based political scientist with wide-ranging
teaching and research interests. His focus is primarily on policy implementation and public management, and most recently on problems of
facilitating better interorganizational collaboration in service delivery (e.g., in human services, environmental enforcement, fire prevention,
and habitat preservation). He also maintains an interest in problems of homeland defense regulatory program design and execution, particularly
in areas of health, safety, consumer protection, and equal opportunity. Bardach has developed novel teaching methods and materials at Berkeley,
has directed and taught in residentially based training programs for higher-level public managers, and has worked for the Office of Policy
Analysis at the US Department of Interior. He is the recipient of the 1998 Donald T. Campbell Award of the Policy Studies Organization for creative
contribution to the methodology of policy analysis. This book is based on his experience teaching students the principles of policy analysis
and then helping them to execute their project work.
Bardach's text is demanding of both teachers and students. Policy teachers - especially those who teach social welfare policy to social work students who do not intend to become professional policy analysts, need to provide and elicit concrete examples from the students' field of concentration and probably supplement this text with readings specific to the field. Students need to wrestle with unfamiliar concepts like rent seeking and commensurability and to apply them to their own analyses. Over the years, I have come to structure the whole course more fully around the book and to "coach" students through each step of the eightfold path, with feedback from other students and the instructor at each step along the way.
What I most appreciate about the book is the way it helps students to slow down and think critically about what they are doing. The tendency is to "know" in advance what the solution to their policy problem is and so to define their job as persuading their putative client that they are right. They start with the conclusion and work backwards. Bardach pushes students to treat the policy problem to be addressed as a puzzle rather than a foregone conclusion. He stresses the need to problematize the problem and avoid smuggling a solution into its definition.
The book is not primarily about the ethics of policy analysis, but nevertheless urges the reader to consider the ethical costs of over-optimism. For those inclined to conflate good intentions with projected outcomes, this is an important caution. Bardach offers several exercises, like the worst-case scenario or the pre-mortem analysis, to counteract this tendency to "unscrupulous optimism," as Roger Scruton calls it in his book on The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope [Hardcover].
It is important to recognize that the book is a "practical guide" to a problem-solving and decision-making process. The process requires examination of past and current attempts to address the problem through policy, but as part of the process, not as an end in itself. The process includes defining the problem and its background, exploring alternatives (including that of letting present trends continue) according to explicit criteria for assessing their expected outcomes, coming to a conclusion, and making a recommendation that follows from the analysis.
Of all the books I have used in over 30 years of teaching policy, and despite the lack of information about current social policies, this has proved the most helpful in supporting student learning of analytic skills and critical thinking.