Policy analysis for practice

Applying social policy

By Paul Spicker


Jun 7, 2006

Page count

216 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Policy analysis for practice

People who work in planning, management and service delivery in the public sector need to know how policy is translated into practice, what is happening, and whether a policy works. "Policy analysis for practice" introduces students and practitioners to the concepts, methods and techniques required to undertake the analysis and review of policy and its implementation. Focusing on developing understanding and skills for a growing area of practice, it combines material from public and social administration with examples and application to social policy and the social services. The book looks at ways to understand and analyse the main stages of the policy process: developing strategies, identifying aims, examining the situation, choosing methods, implementation and service delivery, and evaluating outcomes. It stresses throughout the role of policy analysis as a political, and not just a technical, activity. "Policy analysis for practice" is an original, thought-provoking text with a strong applied focus. It offers systematic, accessible coverage of wide-ranging literature, application to practical circumstances and the needs of people in the field and a direct relationship to vocational work in the management and administration of social services. It will be invaluable for students and practitioners in public policy, social policy and public sector management, in fields including central and local government, health and social care and the voluntary sector.

"Accessibly written and logically laid out, the book takes us through a step by step process of policy analysis." LariaNews

" ... this book is a valuable addition to the growing range of policy analysis texts ... the book certainly addresses a gap in the UK market." Public Administration

"The book is short, clearly-organised and easy to read." Australian Journal of Public Administration

"Publications like this provide local authorities with a much needed point of reference in the stormy waters of local engagement, community leadership, efficiency savings and devolution of services." Local Government First

"...the book is highly readable and Spicker's wry view of policy implementation makes this complicated subject enjoyable and easily accessible." Journal of Social Policy,

"This book offers an interesting and unique approach that will appeal to many working in the field. Written in a clear and accessible style, it will be a valuable text not only for those involved in policy and practice, but also for students and practitioners in health and social care." Susan Balloch, Professor of Health and Social Care, Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton

Paul Spicker holds the Grampian Chair of Public Policy at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and is the Director of the Centre for Public Policy and Management. His research has mainly focused on issues related to poverty, need, disadvantage and service delivery, and he has undertaken a range of applied work on social welfare issues. "Policy analysis for practice" is his eleventh book.

The nature of policy analysis; The policy process; Strategic policy making; Aims, values and goals; Assessing the environment 1: qualitative interpretation; Assessing the environment 2: quantitative interpretation; Methods, contraints and resources; Selecting methods: value for money; Analysing implementation; The evaluation of policy; Policy analysis: developing a checklist.