What Is Role of Policy Analysis in Policy Modification?

by Shane Hall
Charts such as this one are a useful tool in policy analysis.

Charts such as this one are a useful tool in policy analysis.

Policy analysis techniques provide the means for assessing policy options and recommending the preferred course of action to achieve various organizational, political, social or economic goals. Analysis also provides a way to examine existing policies with an eye toward recommending modifications or improvements.

Function

Policy analysis represents a systematic approach to comparing a range of policy alternatives with existing actions. The analysis then becomes a basis for recommending a course of action for policy modification.

Significance

Policy analysis for revising existing policy often occurs in government, but can occur in the private and nonprofit sectors, as well.

Benefits

Before modifying existing policies, governments and other organizations may evaluate existing policies to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

Features

Policy analysis uses a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze and compare existing policies and possible modifications. Many analyses compare expected costs and benefits of different policy options.

Considerations

In government settings, analyses for policy modification not only weigh costs and benefits, but also consider political implications as well, such as affected interests and groups likely to support or oppose various policy changes.

References

  • "Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction"; William Dunn;1994

About the Author

Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.

Photo Credits

  • stock market analysis screenshot image by .shock from Fotolia.com