Policy Analysis for Parliamentarians & Policy makers
Course Summary:

Facilitating the provision of quality, evidence-based analysis was intended to support parliamentarians’ access to evidence that will assist in their decision-making and policy implementation. The programme was premised on the view evidence-based research is a vital component in formulating policies and legislation and that think tanks and research institutes have the potential to play a valuable role in supporting politicians and contributing to robust and innovative policy.

The objective of this empirical study was to understand the perspectives and attitudes of policy-makers towards the use and impact of research in the health sector in low- and middle-income countries. 

Course Objectives:

  • Evaluate how and why public policies emerge.
  • Understand the processes involved in developing policy in its different stages.
  • Use the critical tools of policy analysis to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of specific policies and how they were developed.
  • The ability to frame a concrete, action-oriented problem statement. 
  • An instinct to seek out and exploit relevant evidence. 
  • Humility about the existence and durability of alignment among purpose, support, and capacity in any particular policy configuration. 
  • Good judgment about choosing and using tools and concepts from the rest of the core curriculum to design value-creating policy solutions. 
  • A disciplined and thoughtful approach to making tradeoffs across criteria and dimensions of value. 
  • Skill in using the basic course frameworks (including strategic alignment, the policy options matrix, stakeholder analysis, and decision trees) to structure policy decisions. 
  • The habit of giving and receiving peer critiques and coaching.

Course Outline

The study of public policy has been one of the key fields in political science, drawing however on many other social science disciplines, such as economics, law, sociology and social psychology. The past two decades have witnessed considerable changes in public policies, whether in the field of economic, law and order or social policy. This course pays particular attention to underlying theories of policy-making and policy analysis rather than substantive policy domains and encourages cross-national and cross-sectoral comparison. The syllabus covers the following topics:

  1. Policy Evaluation and Tools for Policy Analysis
  2. Agenda-Setting
  3. Public Opinion
  4. Interest Groups
  5. Pressure Groups and Campaigns
  6. Policy Disasters
  7. Mega-Projects
  8. Science and Policy
  9. Risk Regulation and Risk Management
  10. Target-Setting and Trends in Public Management
  11. e-Government
  12. Behavioural Insights