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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 and evaluation in national government

Policy analysis and evaluation in national government

(p.89) Six Policy analysis and evaluation in national government
Policy analysis in the Netherlands

Frans van Nispen

Policy Press

The call for evidence-based policy making as response to the NPM-movement, which has spread around the world the last few decades, has also induced a revival of policy analysis. The history of policy analysis in the Netherlands cannot be understood properly though without reference to the Commissievoor de Ontwikkeling van Beleidsanalyse, a high-ranked committee composed of top-officials of all ministries, in the early 1970s. Taking cost-benefit analysis as a point of departure, policy analysis gradually developed over time from prospective policy analysis to retrospective policy analysis or policy evaluation. The direct impact of the work of the COBA was at best modest, but it has changed the language in government forever. The spending review of the 80s in order to reduce the budget deficit may be considered as an effort to make policy evaluation more utilization-focused. In later years the Dutch government introduced a new budget format, called Van Beleidsbegroting tot Beleidsverantwoording [VBTB], built upon the basic assumptions of policy analysis in order to reinforce performance in the public sector.

Keywords:   institutionalization of policy analysis, performance informed budgeting, spending reviews, evidence-based policy, public sector, Van Beleidsbegroting tot Beleidsverantwoording, VBTB, Commissievoor de Ontwikkeling van Beleidsanalyse, COBA

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