9 Jan 2023


Policy Analysis Process: Problem Definition

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Academic level: College

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Policy analysis is a critical process that requires problem definition. The definition of the problem in policy analysis includes acknowledging that there is a problem and providing a clear explanation of issues that were stated vaguely.   Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning text depicts methods that analysts will find useful in defining a problem. Identifying a problem requires an estimation of its size and analyzing its attributes. Policy analysis also involves minimizing the ambiguity of certain concepts by providing their clear definitions. The political analysis process will also be required to avoid ignoring non-quantitative factors. In this process, an analyst will present the problem in a way that will allow a client to comprehend the technical and political facets of the problem. During the identification and definition of a problem, a problem is assigned to the analyst. After the assignment has been provided, they can decide to take the problem as it is or opt for a pragmatic approach by examining how the problem will affect society (Patton et al., 2016). In the development of the issue of the statement, the analyst is tasked with the responsibility of viewing problems in the perspective of interested people, this group of people can be classified as winners and losers. Calculating the size of the problem helps the analyst create boundaries for their problems and show its magnitude and direction. In decision analysis, the analyst examines risky and less risky alternatives they can use. During the creation of an operational definition, the analyst checks the reliability of their measurements. Lastly, the analyst must put into consideration political factors that govern their problem. In conclusion, the policy analysis process requires several procedures; they must examine the nature of the problem they are going to deal with; this includes its definition and identification. The examination of the problem involves taking the measurements of the problem, carry out political analysis, and clearing ambiguity. Also, it pertains to the issuance of a concept paper to determine whether the problem needs further studies. The analysts use various techniques in the problem assessment while at the same time, they observe individuals who will be affected by it.


PATTON, C., Sawicki, D., & Clark, J. (2016).  Basic methods of policy analysis and planning  (3rd ed., pp. 140-162). ROUTLEDGE. 

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