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Integrating Research Methods Into Introduction To Public Policy
Unformatted Document Text:  Leland M. Coxe, Ph.D. 6. Evaluation of the results from policy implementation and recommendation for revision. This involves the examination of empirical measures of progress towards the policy goal The overlap of these stages is also pointed out, bringing up the question of whether categories that are not mutually exclusive and to an extent require arbitrary division of information are useful for analytical purposes. Political advocates are expected to focus on data that supports their preferred conclusion, but policy analysts are not immune to this temptation. It is entirely feasible for an analyst to start at a preferred option, select data that supports a pre-selected conclusion, and choose analytical techniques slanted towards a particular finding. After the general introduction to the tools of policy analysis, the course material covered a specific issue every week. Among the topics were economic policy and taxation, energy and the environment, poverty, immigration, health care, crime and social control, education, and national defense. Discussion of the material included the questions of efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and political feasibility related to the topic. Efficiency was defined as conducting operations at the lowest responsible cost (“bang for the buck”); effectiveness was related to achieving the intended results (“hitting the target”); equity related to perceptions of fairness, and political feasibility was the likelihood that elected officials and voters would accept an option. Students were also required to write a paper about a specific policy measure and analyze it in terms of the policy process model. A presentation of the project to the rest of the class was also required. To clarify the difference between politics and policy, it was 4

Authors: Coxe, Leland.
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Leland M. Coxe, Ph.D.
6. Evaluation of the results from policy implementation and recommendation
for revision. This involves the examination of empirical measures of
progress towards the policy goal
The overlap of these stages is also pointed out, bringing up the question of
whether categories that are not mutually exclusive and to an extent require arbitrary
division of information are useful for analytical purposes. Political advocates are
expected to focus on data that supports their preferred conclusion, but policy analysts are
not immune to this temptation. It is entirely feasible for an analyst to start at a preferred
option, select data that supports a pre-selected conclusion, and choose analytical
techniques slanted towards a particular finding.
After the general introduction to the tools of policy analysis, the course material
covered a specific issue every week. Among the topics were economic policy and
taxation, energy and the environment, poverty, immigration, health care, crime and social
control, education, and national defense. Discussion of the material included the
questions of efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and political feasibility related to the topic.
Efficiency was defined as conducting operations at the lowest responsible cost (“bang for
the buck”); effectiveness was related to achieving the intended results (“hitting the
target”); equity related to perceptions of fairness, and political feasibility was the
likelihood that elected officials and voters would accept an option.
Students were also required to write a paper about a specific policy measure and
analyze it in terms of the policy process model. A presentation of the project to the rest of
the class was also required. To clarify the difference between politics and policy, it was
4


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