Policy Analysis


Policy analysis defines the problems & goals, examines the arguments, and analyzes implementation of a policy.

Step 1: define the problem

Step 2: establish the goal

Step 3: select & assess a policy

Step 4: implement the policy

Step 5: evaluate the policy

Being mindful of bias: identify underlying assumptions, use multiple sources of information, use replicable methods, identify all formal and informal actors and institutions, and address relevant professional and ethical considerations.


PolicyMaker -This software provides assistance in analyzing policy content, key players, opportunities and obstacles, strategies, and impacts of these strategies. It provides a series of tables, maps, diagrams and other organizational props to clarify essential policy information.

logo_pi– Policy Insight generates realistic year-by-year estimates of the total regional effects of any specific policy initiative. Model simulations estimate comprehensive economic and demographic effects in wide-ranging initiatives such as: economic impact analysis; policies and programs for economic development, infrastructure, environment, energy and natural resources; and state and local tax changes.

How to Learn Policy Analysis

downloadA Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving by Eugene Bardach, 2011

Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, & Methods edited byFrank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller, and Mara S. Sidney, 2007.


Associations and Journals

FCPAJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice – Since 1998, this is “the only explicitly comparative journal of policy analytic studies. It aims to stimulate the intellectual development of comparative policy studies and the growth of an international community of scholars who research the challenges and benefits of global inter- and intra-policy making.”

The International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum is an association affiliated with the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. This forum seeks to advance the field of comparative policy analysis studies and engage its members in a dialogue on comparative policy issues, methodologies and theories.


Community Paramedicine in Humboldt County by Allison Newman at the California Center for Rural Policy

Developing a National Community Health Assistant Strategy in Zambia by Joseph Mumba Zulu, John Kinsman, Charles Michelo, and Anna-Karin Hurtig, 2013

More Information/Resources

The National Center for Policy Analysis 

Understanding Public Policy by Thomas R. Dye, 2007. ISBN 10: 0139369481

Written by: Hanna Menefee
Last updated: 8 December 2014

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