Evaluating the Policy
Moving from Problem Analysis to Policy Analysis:So far, the focus of your analysis has been on the problem its nature, evidence of its extent and its causes. Now, you are ready to begin to analyze the major public policy that was enacted to attempt to deal with your social problem. Be sure to select a policy that matches the scope of the problem. For example, if in step 1 you focused on problem at the end of World War I on the lack of an international peacekeeping organization, you would select only the covenant of the Treaty of Versailles related to creating the League of Nations rather than the entire Treaty.
This is the most important step of your analysis. Reread your worksheets for the prior steps. Your evaluation of the major policy that was enacted to deal with the problem involves your assessment of how well that policy addressed the problem. In so doing, you also need to review the causes. Did the policy succeed in eliminating or lessening the causes? Could the policy solution have actually resulted in additional social problems? For example, most analysts consider that the harshness of the Treaty of Versailles so devastated Germany that it facilitated the rise of Hitler, thus contributing to, rather than preventing, another world war.
After you discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the major policy, you will decide whether another policy should have been enacted. For example, would a more moderate Treaty of Versailles have helped to establish a more permanent peace? If so, then you would explain some of the provisions of the original that you would have eliminated or changed. Question #4 gives you the opportunity to fully use your critical thinking skills. If appropriate, develop some feasible, realistic policy solutions and explain why they would have been more effective in addressing the problem. Be sure, though, to keep in mind the historical context and culture for which you are providing your alternative solution.