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NCJ Number: 51599 Find in a Library
Title: CAN POLICY RESEARCH HELP POLICY? (FROM EVALUATION STUDIES - REVIEW ANNUAL, V 3, 1978, BY THOMAS D COOK ET AL-SEE NCJ-51598)
Author(s): M REIN; S H WHITE
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ISSUE OF WHETHER RESEARCH CAN AID IN POLICY FORMULATION IS ADDRESSED IN RELATION TO POLICY PLANNING, MANAGEMENT, AND EVALUATION ACTIVITIES OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.
Abstract: WITH THE GROWTH OF RESEARCH OFTEN MANDATED BY LEGISLATION THAT INSTITUTES NEW SOCIAL POLICIES, A FEELING HAS EMERGED THAT RESEARCH DOES NOT REALLY SERVE TO GUIDE POLICY OR IS MISUSED. MOST DISCUSSIONS ON THE UTILITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE ENVISION POLICY FORMULATION AND RESEARCH USE IN A SPECIAL WAY. CERTAIN PROPOSALS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR ENHANCING THE USE OF RESEARCH FINDINGS: (1) IMPROVE RESEARCH ACCORDING TO ACCEPTED CANONS OF SCIENTIFIC QUALITY; (2) RESTRICT THE USE OF EVALUATION RESEARCH TO SELECTED INSTANCES WHERE CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR EFFECTIVE RESEARCH ARE AVAILABLE; (3) REQUIRE POLICYMAKERS TO DEFINE THEIR OBJECTIVES CLEARLY; AND (4) CENTRALIZE DECISIONMAKING. THESE PROPOSALS REPRESENT WHAT MIGHT BE CALLED THE PROBLEM-SOLVING MODEL. ACCORDING TO THIS MODEL, THE ROLE OF POLICY RESEARCH IS TO PROVIDE DATA THAT WILL CLARIFY A PROBLEM, TO CONDUCT PILOT PROJECTS OR EXPERIMENTS THAT ESTIMATE WHETHER PROPOSED COURSES OF ACTION APPROACH THEIR GOALS, AND TO EVALUATE IMPLEMENTED PROGRAMS IN LIGHT OF GOAL ACHIEVEMENT. RESEARCH IS COMMISSIONED DUE TO THE NEED FOR INFORMATION AND WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL POSITIONING. INDIVIDUALS, RESEARCH OFFICES, AND GOVERNMENT AND OTHER AGENCIES PERIODICALLY FIND IT NECESSARY TO MAKE VISIBLE COMMITMENTS TOWARD SIGNIFICANT ISSUES AND CONSTITUENCIES. EVALUATION RESEARCH SERVES AS A MANAGEMENT DEVICE TO INSURE THAT AGENCIES DO WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THEM AND IS THUS LINKED TO MONITORING AND AUDITING. RESEARCH CAN BE EMPLOYED AS A TOOL IN EFFORTS TO REFORM GOVERNMENT. IT MAY SOLVE PROBLEMS BUT ALSO HAS THREE OTHER IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS: TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS AS A STEP TOWARD PUTTING ISSUES ON THE AGENDA, TO MOBILIZE GOVERNMENT ACTION, AND TO CONFRONT AND SETTLE DILEMMAS AND TRADEOFFS. RESEARCH AND THEORY CAN HELP TO PROVIDE AN IDEOLOGY THAT AIDS IN THE CREATION OF COALITIONS. WHETHER IT SOLVES PROBLEMS OR NOT, RESEARCH IS VITAL TO POLICY FORMULATION IN THAT IT HELPS THOSE INVOLVED IN POLICYMAKING DECIDE WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Evaluative research; Governmental planning; Management; Models; Objectives; Policy
Note: REPRINTED FROM PUBLIC INTEREST, N 49 (FALL 1977), P 119-136
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51599

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