Policy Analysis and Evaluation

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
In comparative terms, the Italian government and policy-making is an example of low analytical capacity - in particular regarding the ability to use data - and of ineffective implementation of public policies. The scientific analysis and the evaluation of public policies offer the tools to reduce this gap, by teaching evidence-based policy-making, coherent policy design, and effective monitoring of the implementation in different policy fields. This course concentrates not only on individual or organizational performance, and on laws or regulations, but also on the processes spreading from the design, the implementation and the evaluation of policies, focusing on how public policies can solve problems that nor citizens nor the market would otherwise solve. The first goal of this course is to offer the methodological skills for the expert, independent and responsible evaluation of public policies. The second goal attains to the understanding of the usefulness of evaluation for the amelioration of the governance in contemporary political systems, by means of understanding mistakes and failures in order to positively affect accountability and policy learning. Finally, the course will offer a realistic picture of the resistance and the skepticism to the professional evaluation of public policies coming from both policy-takers and policy-makers.
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to provide different outcomes and related skills, such as a) Knowledge and understanding: Provide a balanced and coherent map of theoretical and methodological major perspectives underlying the policy design, implementation and evaluation; Distinguish and integrate descriptive and prescriptive approaches to the policy-making; b) Applying knowledge and understanding: Produce an analysis of a specific policy problem through collaborative group work; c) Making judgements: Read and critique an existing example of policy analysis produced by a public watchdog institution; d) Communication skills: Prepare a short, concise presentation and provide policy recommendations with a clear set of well-documented arguments.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second trimester
More specific information on the delivery modes of teaching activities for the second trimester of the ay 2021-22 will be provided in the incoming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Module one
The approaches of the policy studies
Evolution of the study of public policies
Rational analysis
Policy inquiry

Module 2
Theories of policy-making
Public choice
Tensions between evidence-based policy-making and "post-truth" politics and policies

Module three
Mapping types of evaluation
The counterfactual approach and the logic of experimental methods
Prerequisites for admission
The following courses are recommended: Data analysis; Models of governance or Theories and Research Methods for Public Administrations
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons on the topics of the program
Discussion of examples of evaluation studies and of meta-evaluation reports
Presentation of a teamwork based on the analysis and the evaluation of a public policy
Teaching Resources
Module one
1. Regonini, Gloria (2001), Capire le politiche pubbliche, Il Mulino, Bologna. A digital copy will be available to the students upon registration on the website http://www.politichepubbliche.org/base/capirelepolitiche.html . Alternatively students can prepare the manual Frank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller, and Mara S. Sidney (eds.) (2007), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, free download online

Module two
1. Regonini, Gloria (2001), Capire le politiche pubbliche, Il Mulino, Bologna. A digital copy will be available to the students upon registration on the website http://www.politichepubbliche.org/base/capirelepolitiche.html . Alternatively students can prepare the manual Frank Fischer, Gerald J. Miller, and Mara S. Sidney (eds.) (2007), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL, free download online
2. Perl, A., Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M. (2018). Policy-making and truthiness: Can existing models cope with politicized evidence and willful ignorance in a post-fact world? Policy Sciences, 51(4): 581-600, accessible through the online library

Module three
1. Trivellato, Ugo (2009), La valutazione degli effetti di politiche pubbliche: paradigma e pratiche, Working Paper No. 2009-01, IRVAPP, https://irvapp.fbk.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/FBK-IRVAPP-Working-Pap… .
Assessment methods and Criteria
There are no program differences between attending and non-attending students.
The differences between the two paths concern the methods of evaluation. For attending students, there will be two intermediate texts. The final score will result from this scheme:
- first test: teamwork based on a case study (40% of the total score)
- final test: discussion about the texts of the program (50% of the total score)
Attendance and active participation will count for the 10% of the total score.
For non attending students, the oral exams consists of at least three questions from the program
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
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