Backward Mapping

Evaluation and policy analysis are fields concerned with cause-and-effect relationships implicit in policies. The traditional approach to policy analysis is the top-down process of forward mapping, which assumes a straightforward relationship between policy creation and outcomes and assumes that a clear delineation of goals from policy makers will lead to well-organized support, effective implementation, and greater success. The policy maker's power to affect local implementation processes is uncertain. Backward mapping (BM) starts with a specification of the desired endpoint and then works backwards to determine what must be done to answer evaluation policy questions. BM is not limited to determining success or failure based on measurement objectives; it seeks to understand why and under what conditions policies are adopted locally. An argument can be made ...

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