Policy Analysis for Practice

Applying Social Policy

Paul Spicker

Policy Analysis for Practice
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Paul Spicker

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

204 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 | © 2006
Paper $32.95 ISBN: 9781861348258 Published June 2006 For sale in North and South America only
People who work in planning, management and service delivery in the public sector need to know how policy is translated into practice, what is happening, and whether a policy works. "Policy analysis for practice" introduces students and practitioners to the concepts, methods and techniques required to undertake the analysis and review of policy and its implementation. Focusing on developing understanding and skills for a growing area of practice, it combines material from public and social administration with examples and application to social policy and the social services. The book looks at ways to understand and analyse the main stages of the policy process: developing strategies, identifying aims, examining the situation, choosing methods, implementation and service delivery, and evaluating outcomes. It stresses throughout the role of policy analysis as a political, and not just a technical, activity. "Policy analysis for practice" is an original, thought-provoking text with a strong applied focus. It offers systematic, accessible coverage of wide-ranging literature, application to practical circumstances and the needs of people in the field and a direct relationship to vocational work in the management and administration of social services. It will be invaluable for students and practitioners in public policy, social policy and public sector management, in fields including central and local government, health and social care and the voluntary sector.
Notes on the author

1. The nature of policy analysis
    Policy analysis
    The work of the policy analyst
    Policy analysis and social science
    Skills for policy analysis
    The role of the policy analyst
2. The policy process
    Policy making
    Setting policy
    The policy cycle
3. Strategic policy making
    The structure of a policy analysis
    Strategic planning
4. Aims, values and goals
    The mission
5. Assessing the environment I: qualitative interpretation
    Checking existing sources
    Key actors
    Research methods: obtaining information
    Interpreting and processing qualitative data
6. Assessing the environment 2: quantitative interpretation
    Enumerations and censuses
    Need assessment
7. Methods, constraints and resources
    Government action
    Decisions about methods
8. Selecting methods: value for money
    Effectiveness, efficiency and value for money
    Distributive issues
9. Analysing implementation
    Understanding implementation
    Process evaluation
    The art of the possible
10. The evaluation of policy
    Summative and formative evaluation
    Criteria for evaluation
    Evaluation research
    User perspectives
    Approaches to evaluation
Policy analysis: developing a checklist

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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