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Policy analysis in the Netherlands$
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Frans van Nispen and Peter Scholten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447313335

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447313335.001.0001

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Policy analysis as instruction

Policy analysis as instruction

(p.217) Fourteen Policy analysis as instruction
Policy analysis in the Netherlands

Wil Thissen

Policy Press

In response to a need articulated by public agencies, utility companies and consultancies, Delft University of Technology has developed innovative Bachelor’s and Master’s educational training programs in Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management, and in Engineering and Policy Analysis. The basic idea is to educate (young) professionals who are able to build bridges between specialist engineers on the one hand, and policy makers on the other, and who are equipped with a combination of analytical skills and behavioural competences to deal with complex real-world policy processes. The focus is on policy analysis ex ante, i.e., ways to support policy makers and stakeholders faced with a policy issue in need of future-oriented decision making. The programs provide a novel synthesis of two complementary traditions: on the one hand, the rational, systems-analytic policy analysis tradition originally pioneered by the RAND corporation, and on the other, the policy sciences view on policy-centric, networked decision making emphasizing social interaction and strategic behaviour of actors in policy arena’s. The program explicitly acknowledges the multi-actor, multi-method, multi-style, multi-value characteristics of policy analysis, and it exposes the students to the variety of perspectives on and methods and tools for policy analysis, using case-based project work as an important teaching method.

Keywords:   educational training programs, policy analysis, public agencies, policy makers, case-based project work

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