introduction to western methods of policy analysis
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Introduction to Western Methods of Policy Analysis. Din é Policy Institute. What is Policy?. “advice that relates to public decisions..” which are also “informed by social values.” (Weimer and Vining, p.23)

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what is policy
What is Policy?
  • “advice that relates to public decisions..” which are also “informed by social values.” (Weimer and Vining, p.23)
  • “Policy Analysis is client-oriented advice relevant to public decisions and informed by social values.” (Ibid. p.24)
  • “Policy analysis goes beyond personal decision making.” (Bardach, Intro)
  • Policy analysis is a social and political activity. (Bardach, Intro)
what is policy3
What is Policy?
  • “Policy” we need to understand what sorts of truth might be spoken, in what languages, and to what ends. (Bobrow, p.4)
  • The policy field includes work that seeks only to understand and explain the process of public policy making “knowledge of,” in Lasswell’s terms. (Bobrow, p.4)
  • The process of public policymaking includes the manner of which problems get conceptualized and brought to government for solution. (Sabatier, p.3)
  • Policy analysts are often required to give advice to policymakers in incredibly short periods of time. (Patton, p.2)
what is policy4
What is Policy?
  • Policy making can be considered to be a set of processes, including at least (Kingdon, p. 2-3)
    • The setting of the agenda
    • The specification of alternatives from which a choice is to be made.
    • and authoritative choice among those specified alternatives, as in a legislative vote or a presidential decision, and
    • The implementation of the decision.
what is policy5
What is Policy?
  • Policy is an agreed upon course of action, be it from a legal, political, educational, economic authority, or an agreed upon course of action of the basic unit of society – the family.
  • Policy can involve economics, statistics, ethics, sociology, psychology, health, politics, education, environment, and so forth.
defining policy analysis
Defining Policy Analysis
  • “Public Policy analysis can be defined as determining which of various alternative public or governmental policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals.” ( Nagel p. 71)
elements of policy analysis
Elements of Policy Analysis:
  • Goals, including normative constraints and relative weights for the goals.
  • Policies, programs, projects, decisions, options, means, or other alternatives that are available for achieving the goals.
  • Relations between the policies and the goals, including relations that are established by intuition, authority, statistics, observation, deduction, guesses, or by other means.
  • Drawing a tentative conclusion as to which policy or combination of policies is best to adopt in light of the goals, policies, and relations.
  • Determining what it would take to bring a second place or other alternative up to first.
methods of policy analysis
Methods of Policy Analysis:
  • How to draw a conclusion as to which policy to adopt from information on goals, policies, and relations.
  • How to establish the relations between policies and goals.
  • How to determine what policies are available for adoption and what goals are appropriate to consider.
values implicit in the model
Values implicit in the model:

World View


Methods of

Policy Analysis

  • “set of implicit and explicit assumptions about the origin of the universe and the nature and purpose of human life.” (Chapra, 1992)
  • “Values are beliefs that ‘something good and desirable.’ Values define what is important and consequently what is worth striving for.” (Ibrahim)
  • Norms are “what is acceptable and appropriate behavior in particular circumstances.” (Ibrahim)
western worldview
Western Worldview
  • Western worldview is NOT monolithic, however, many if the values have been influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • West represent a continuum of values
western values
Western values…

Certain fundamental beliefs can be noted:

  • Democracy
  • Liberalism
  • Individualism
  • Materialism
  • Secularism
  • Consumerism
values implicit in the model14
Values implicit in the model:







  • With the emergence of pluralism, it is difficult to define the problem, because there is no ultimate “good or bad.”
  • In addition, with the values listed it is assumed that most things can be monetized (have a dollar value placed on it.)
navajo nation approach
Navajo Nation approach

Reactive-Crisis Model

  • We rely on what the Navajo Nation gives us to make a decision.”
  • “We do not look at the long term impact…if it looks good we do it.”
  • “There is no analysis of the issue.”
  • “Issue is made by the people, without any real information about the impact of the issue at hand.”
  • “Our policies consist of the Five Management system.”
  • “Chapters have no policy plans, they react to crisis, nobody wants to CHANGE.”
  • “ No one wants to come together and brainstorm issues.”
current policy making practice at the chapter level on the navajo nation
Current Policy-Making Practice at the Chapter Level (on the Navajo Nation)

If no, may go back

to planning meeting

values implicit in the model19
Values implicit in the model:


BIA/ Navajo




  • Navajo Nation reacts to problems using a non-Navajo approach, but without any real analysis.