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Contents Preface Introduction Policy Analysis: More Art than Science The Eightfold Path The Problem-solving Process Your Final Product The Spirit of the Eightfold Path Overview of the Book Part I The Eightfold Path Step One: Define the Problem Think of Deficit and Excess Make the Definition Evaluative Quantify If Possible Diagnose Conditions That Cause Problems Identify Latent Opportunities Avoid Common Pitfalls in Problem Definition Iterate Step Two: Assemble Some Evidence Think Before You Collect Review the Available Literature Survey "Best Practice" Use Analogies Start Early Touch Base, Gain Credibility, Broker Consensus Free the Captive Mind Step Three: Construct the Alternatives Start Comprehensive, End Up Focused Model the System in which the Problem Is Located Conceptualize and Simplify the List of Alternatives Design Policy Alternatives Beware a Linguistic Pitfall Step Four: Select the Criteria Commonly Used Evaluative Criteria Weighting Conflicting Evaluative Criteria Commonly Used Practical Criteria Useful Criteria in Optimization Models Step Five: Project the Outcomes Extend the Logic of Projection Magnitude Estimates Break-Even Estimates Try Sensitivity Analysis Confront the Optimism Problem Construct an Outcomes Matrix Step Six: Confront the Trade-offs Establish Commensurability Focus on Outcomes Simplify the Comparison Process Step Seven: Decide! Apply the Twenty-Dollar-Bill Test Step Eight: Tell Your Story Apply the Grandma Bessie Test Gauge Your Audience(s) Consider What Medium to Use Give Your Story a Logical Narrative Flow Some Common Pitfalls Structure Your Report Using a Memo Format Develop a Press Release Part II( Assembling Evidence Getting Started Locating Relevant Sources Consulting Both Documents and People Seeking Secondhand Information Finding Multiple Sources of Firsthand Information Searching for Sources and Searching for Knowledge Gaining Access and Engaging Assistance Getting an Appointment Cultivating Access Exhausting Access Conducting a Policy Research Interview Energizing and Steering the Conversation Leveraging the Defensive Informant Using Language to Characterize and Calibrate Protecting Credibility Defending against Politically Inspired Criticism Preparing for Premature Exposure Strategic Dilemmas of Policy Research Part III "Smart (Best) Practices" Research: Understanding and Making Use of What Look like Good Ideas from Somewhere Else Develop Realistic Expectations Analyze "Smart Practices" Finding the Free Lunches Breaking Loose from Conventions and Assumptions Observe the "Practice" Characterizing the Features of a Smart Practice Distinguishing Functions and Features Allowing for Variation and Complexity Describe Generic Vulnerabilities But Will It Work Here? Assessing the Target Context Evaluating the Source Contexts Back to the Eightfold Path Appendix A Specimen of a Real-World Policy Analysis Preface and Summary from: Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers' Money? Preface Summary Reducing Consumption: More Enforcement against Typical Dealers Reducing Consumption: More Enforcement against Higher-Level Dealers Reducing Cocaine-Related Crime Conclusion Appendix B Things Governments Do I. Taxes A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It II. Regulation A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It III. Subsidies and Grants A What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It IV. Service Provision A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It V. Agency Budgets A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It VI. Information A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It VII. The Structure of Private Rights A. What You Might Modify or Create B. Why You Might Do It VIII. The Framework of Economic Activity A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It IX. Education and Consultation A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It X. Financing and Contracting A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It XI. Bureaucratic and Political Reforms A. What You Might Do B. Why You Might Do It Appendix C Semantic Tips: A Summary Defining the Problem Assembling the Evidence Constructing the Alternatives Selecting the Criteria Projecting the Outcomes Confronting the Trade-offs Interviewing Doing Smart Practices Research References
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