Policy and Decision Techniques
 

Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis is typified by two main approaches:-

1. structured techniques, such as that of Hogwood and Gunn, which follows an 9-step analysis pattern of 'Issue Search - Filtration - Issue Definition - Forecasting of Outcomes - Priorities and Objectives - Analysis of Options - Implementation - Evaluation - Policy Succession and Termination'.

2. generalised techniques, such as Popper's hypothetico-deductive technique, which follows a pattern of

1. problem
2. proposed solution
3. further problems created by the solution.

The new problem can then be re-stated, and the procedure continued in an iterative loop until a workable solution is discovered or assembled.

1. The Context of Food Policy
2. Government and Policy
3. Policy Analysis
Decision Techniques
Lobby Influences
The Imaginary Reader
A Site of Struggle
Situation Analysis
Repetition (of "sustainability")
Links and Entanglements
4. In-depth analysis of sub-topics
5. The Dispositive (Triangulation)
6. Summary
7. Conclusions


The text I have chosen for analysis shows no sign of having been created by these classical policy analysis techniques

Decision Techniques.

However, there is a range of personal growth techniques which can be described as 'Intention' techniques. A particular example of this is called DMA (Fritz, 1984), where the person or organisation would

  1. choose their 10 main problems (e.g. food quality is poor)
  2. reverse each of the problems, converting each of them into an intention or goal (e.g. we want good quality food)
  3. the person/organisation would then choose the three most important of these,
  4. (The MAFF process stops here, but the DMA process would continue)
  5. then choose the single most important problem/intention of these,
  6. then use creative visualisation and other reinforcement techniques on this one goal,
  7. by closely observe the results obtained, build positive momentum and success.

The 3 aims and 10 objectives generated by MAFF seem to closely relate to the first three steps of this process (but apparently do not fit the subsequent steps).

The way that 'new government' and 'new Labour' operate their marketing and information efforts, and the way that new agencies and regulators have been established may represent 'a theory of creating change' similar to the one embedded in DMA.

It seems likely that a Cnetral Policy unit has visited each Ministry in turn and used a procedure to develop a standard pattern of Aims and Objectives for each Department. It is difficult to evaluate if this is window dressing or if this process is a useful lever to modernise and improve Government.

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