Actors, Capacities, Venues and Effects
New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Andrew J. Jordan and John R. Turnpenny
Chapter 8: Policy formulation, policy advice and policy appraisal: the distribution of analytical tools
At its heart, policy analysis is what Gill and Saunders (1992, pp. 6_7) have characterized as ‘a method for structuring information and providing opportunities for the development of alternative choices for the policymaker’. An important part of the process of policy formulation, policy analysis involves policy appraisal: providing information or advice to policymakers concerning the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative policy choices (Mushkin 1977; Wildavsky 1979; Sidney 2007; Howlett et al. 2009). Such advice comes from a variety of different actors operating in a wide range of venues both internal and external to government. And policy workers operating in these venues employ many different types of analytical techniques or ‘policy formulation tools’ in this effort (Mayer et al. 2004; Colebatch et al. 2011). These tools generally are designed to help evaluate current or past practices and aid decision making by clarifying or eliminating some of the many possible alternative courses of action mooted in the course of policy formulation.