Public Policy Analysis: Proposing Solutions. “We women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million women are denied the right to vote.” –Alice Paul> Policy analysis is the study of public policy concern and the development of a solution to the public policy concern. Public policy analysis borrows from rational decision-making.
According to Michael Kraft, in rational decision making, “one defines a problem, indicates the goals and objectives to be sought, considers a range of alternative solutions, evaluates each of the alternatives to clarify their consequences, and then recommends or chooses the alternative with the greatest potential for solving the problem” (Kraft, 2018).
Step 1: Define and analyze the problem. Who, what, when, where, and why is there a public policy problem?
Also, Step 2: Construct policy alternatives. What are the possible, public policy options?
Also, Step 3: Choose evaluative criteria. How do we evaluate the possible, public policy options?
Also, Step 4: Assess the alternatives. Which alternatives are better?
Lastly, Step 5: Draw conclusions. Which public policy option will you choose?
The Centers for Disease Control has an excellent resource on how the institution practices policy analysis.
A key component of public policy analysis is proposing solutions for the public policy concern. Once one identifies the problem then one can offer possible public policy solutions.
The Quaker Alice Paul (influenced by her time with the British suffragettes) was more aggressive than the more demure advocates of women’s suffrage in America. Her group, the Congressional Union and National Woman’s Party, often came into conflict with women who were frightened by the bolder tactics of Paul and her supporters. Paul argued for a constitutional amendment (as opposed to the approach focusing on state action) to guarantee women the right to vote. Paul and her supporters utilized civil disobedience by protesting outside the White House, imploring President Woodrow Wilson to support suffrage for American women. She was arrested and while in jail Alice Paul started a hunger strike, but prison officials forcibly fed her. Even with that, Alice Paul would not back down, and she continued to agitate for what eventually became the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (Kraditor, 1965).