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A process that is a critical part of the policy-making process as it plays a significant role in problem definition, policy implementation, and evaluation of agency efforts to meet policy goals and objectives. It is most often associated with systematic assessment of policy alternatives to inform the public, stimulate debate, and lead to a desired course of action. Overall, policy analysis involves data collection and interpre tation to clarify the causes and effects of public problems, as well as the consequences of employing various policy alternatives.

The policy analysis process involves several steps: (a) problem definition, (b) designing policy alternatives, (c) developing evaluative criteria, (d) assessing alternatives, and (e) drawing conclusions (Kraft & Furlong, 2007). Defining problems prompts policy analysts to ask questions such as the ...

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