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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 4th Edition
  • Date: 10/11/2011
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $31.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-60871-842-9
  • Pages: 123
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A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 4th Edition
Eugene Bardach, University of California, Berkeley


With his original eightfold approach, Bardach encapsulates more than 35 years of teaching students effective, accurate, and persuasive policy analysis. This bestselling handbook presents dozens of concrete tips, interesting case studies, and step-by-step strategies for the budding analyst as well as the seasoned professional.

In this new edition, Bardach clarifies some of the book’s exposition, paying particular attention to "design problems" and the choice of a "base case." Up-to-date examples, including a new set of environmental problems, make the book even more engaging.

Readers will also appreciate a sample document of real world policy analysis, a primer in how to "talk the talk" of policy analysis, and a cheat sheet of strategies for solving a host of policy problems.

Formats Available from CQ Press
ISBN: 978-1-60871-842-9 Format: Print Paperback Retail Price: $31.00 Price to Bookstores: $24.80
New to this Edition
In this new edition, Bardach clarifies some of the book’s exposition, paying particular attention to "design problems" and the choice of a "base case." Up-to-date examples, including a new set of environmental problems, make the book even more engaging.
Previous Editions
3rd Edition ©2009
2nd Edition ©2005

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Table of Contents

Introduction
The Eightfold Path
Overview of the Book

Part I. The Eightfold Path
Step One: Define the Problem
Step Two: Assemble Some Evidence
Step Three: Construct the Alternatives
Step Four: Select the Criteria
Step Five: Project the Outcomes
Step Six: Confront the Trade-offs
Step Seven: Decide!
Step Eight: Tell Your Story

Part II. Assembling Evidence
Getting Started
Locating Relevant Sources
Gaining Access and Engaging Assistance
Conducting a Policy Research Interview
Using Language to Characterize and Calibrate
Protecting Credibility
Strategic Dilemmas of Policy Research

Part III. “Smart (Best) Practices” - Research: Understanding and Making Use of What Look Like Good Ideas from Somewhere Else
Develop Realistic Expectations
Analyze “Smart Practices”
Observe the “Practice”
Describe Generic Vulnerabilities
But Will It Work Here?
Back to the Eightfold Path

Appendix A: Specimen of a Real-World Policy Analysis
Appendix B: Things Governments Do
Appendix C: Understanding Public and Nonprofit Institutions: Asking the Right Questions
Appendix D: Strategic Advice on the Dynamics of Gathering Political Support

Testimonials
"Bardach's Practical Guide is an extraordinary book. It presents an approach to policy analysis that is rigorous and flexible. Despite its welcome brevity, the book gives good reasons for its advice. The greatest strengths of the book are its emphasis on problem definition, its introduction to using The Matrix for evaluating policies, and its identification of key pitfalls, e.g., 'Do not define the solution into the problem.' Students appreciate the book while they are reading it and will draw on the insights and the skills for their entire careers." - Michael Ash, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

"I wouldn’t dream of teaching policy analysis to any group of students at any level in any country without this gem of a book. Gene Bardach has given us an introductory text in which highly experienced analysts find new insights, a no-nonsense practical guide that stimulates debates about theory, and that rarest of academic outputs--an easy-to-read, step-by-step manual that does not dodge the complexity, subtlety, and messiness of real-life policy craft. The eightfold path is to policy analysis what a perfect whitesauce is to French cooking--an essential building block." - Karen Baehler, Scholar in Residence, School of Public Affairs, American University
Bio(s)
Eugene Bardach, University of California, Berkeley
Eugene Bardach has been teaching graduate-level policy analysis workshop classes since 1973 at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, in which time he has coached over 400 projects. This book is based on his experience teaching students the principles of policy analysis and then helping them to execute their project work. He is the recipient of the 1998 Donald T. Campbell award of the Policy Studies Organization for creative contribution to the methodology of policy analysis.
Sample Pages
This book is now available on CourseSmart! Click the link for more information.