CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, BAKERSFIELD
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Department of Public Policy and Administration
PPA 691 – Seminar in Public Policy Analysis
R. Steven Daniels, Ph.D. Class Sessions:
Office: BDC A116 6-10 Thurs.
Phone: 664-2318; Cell: 205-2962 Winter Quarter 2006
Fax: 664-2438 Room: SCI 343
Web Site: www.csub.edu/~rdaniels/ppa691.html
Office Hours: 3-5 M; 3-5 T; 4-6 W
Or by appointment
“Policy analysis is a process of multidisciplinary inquiry designed to create, critically assess, and
communication information that is useful in understanding and improving policies.”
- - William Dunn, 2004, Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction, 3rd Ed. Pp. 1-2.
Policy analysis is an applied social science discipline that uses multiple methods of inquiry and
argument to produce and transform policy. This graduate seminar is designed to explore various
theoretical and conceptual approaches to the analysis of policy issues and provide opportunities
to apply the tools, techniques, and strategies used in policy analysis. Each participant will have
the opportunity to select a substantive policy area and explore in depth a particular aspect
through a policy analysis project. The participants will engage in individual and team exercises,
explore the ethical components of analytical research, and prepare several chapters of their
By the time the course is completed,
Theme 1. Communication.
Objective 1b. Writing: Students will be able to produce focused, coherent, and
grammatically correct written communications applicable to government and nonprofit
Measurement: Written scoring rubric on culminating project chapters.
Objective 1c. Teamwork: Students will be able to collaborate effectively in team
Measurement: Team score assessment on class exercises.
Theme 3. Critical Thinking.
Objective 3b. Applied Scientific Method: Students will conduct applied social science
research to generate knowledge for administrative and policy processes.
Measurement: Method scoring rubric on class exercises.
Objective 3c. Problem Solving: Students will be able to structure problems and apply a
systematic problem solving approach.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on problem structuring exercise.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on Chapters 1 and 2 of culminating project.
Objective 3d. Ethical Reasoning: Students will be able to describe and apply a range of
ethical perspectives to ethical dilemmas inherent in public administration.
Measurement: Proof of completion of human subjects training.
Measurement: Acceptance of culminating project IRB application by CSUB Human
Subjects Review Coordinator.
Objective 3f. Argumentation: Students will be able to organize and defend an
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on policy argument exercise.
Theme 4. Core Public Management Competencies
Objective 4b. Policy Analysis: Students will demonstrate the ability to formally
structure problems, forecast expected policy outcomes, recommend preferred policies,
monitor observed policy outcomes, and evaluate policy performance.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on problem structuring exercise.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on Policy Delphi exercise.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on cost-benefit analysis exercise.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on problem structuring question on final exam.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on forecasting question on final exam.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on policy recommendation question on final
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on policy monitoring question on final exam.
Measurement: Content scoring rubric on program evaluation question on final exam.
1. Reading Assignments
Each student should purchase the texts listed below. All books are currently at the
CSUB Bookstore. At each class meeting, the student should be prepared thoroughly
discuss/ analyze the assigned readings for that session. The primary text is Dunn.
William N. Dunn. 2004. Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction. 3rd. Ed. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.
Eugene Bardach. 2005. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to
More Effective Problem Solving, 2nd ed.. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
The course will have one comprehensive, take-home final examination. The
instructor will design the examination to test the student’s understanding of the
general concepts and practices of policy analysis. The final examination will be
handed out on Thursday, March 9, 2006, and will be due at 8:01 p.m. on Friday,
March 17, 2006. The examination will represent 40% of your final grade.
The class will engage in several exercises during the course of the quarter. These
exercises are designed to train students in useful policy analytic techniques. There
will be four (4) exercises. All exercises will be team exercises. Students will
evaluate team performances at the end of the quarter. The exercises will represent
30% of your final grade.
The exercises could cover the following techniques:
Problem structuring – hierarchy analysis, synectics, brainstorming,
Forecasting – Time-series, regression or causal analysis, and Delphi
Recommending – Cost-benefit analysis
Monitoring – Interrupted Time-series, Control-Series, Regression-
Evaluation – Any of the above techniques.
4. Institutional Review Board Certification
Before they begin their culminating projects, students must obtain certification from
the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects that their
research projects do not violate federal human subjects guidelines. The University
has a two-stage process for human subjects certification.
a. First, students must complete Human Subjects Protection training to be
eligible to conduct research within the University. The website for HSP
training is http://www.csub.edu/gradstudies/humanresearch/.
b. Second, students must submit a request for a research review for their
particular culminating project. The appropriate web site is
review at a minimum requires a completed cover sheet (available on the
web site), a consent form for human subjects, and any surveys or
interview protocols to be used in the research.
Students must complete the HSP training before the end of the course. They should
also receive their IRB/HSR certification for their culminating projects.
5. Culminating Project
Students will begin their culminating project during this course. Students will be
expected to complete two of the five chapters of the project during this course and
complete the remaining chapters during PPA 698 in Spring Quarter. The full outline
of the culminating project is available on my website at www.csub.edu/~rdaniels
under the heading, PPA 698. Each chapter of the culminating project will be worth
15% of your final grade.
6. Grading Summary
Final Examination 40%
IRB Certification 0%
Culminating Project 30%
Chapter 1 15%
Chapter 2 15%
1. I will assign no points for participation in this class. However, the value of
attendance and participation should be understood. All reading assignments will
be completed by the class period for which they are assigned and all written
assignments will be completed on or before their submission date.
2. Requirements not completed on time will automatically receive a grade off
unless: a) there is sufficient reason for the lateness, b) I have been consulted prior
to the time that the requirement is due, and c) I agree to the lateness and the time
the requirement will be fulfilled. All three conditions must be present.
3. All requirements must be completed by the end of the quarter. An incomplete
grade will be assigned only in the event of unexpected extreme emergency or
4. The examination will draw upon the text, lectures, class discussions,
presentations, and cases. Everything that is read or mentioned in class is fair game
for the final examination. You are also responsible for everything in the texts,
even if it is not discussed in the class.
5. Examinations cannot be made up. If you cannot take an examination at the
regularly scheduled time, you must contact me in advance to make arrangements
to take the examination early.
6. Students must adhere to the University’s academic honesty policy. Students are
referred to academic honesty section of the 2003-2005 CSUB Catalog
(http://www.csub.edu/03-05Catalog/academicinfo.htm) or the student discipline
section of the 2005-2007 catalog (http://www.csub.edu/05-
07Catalog/studentdisc.htm). The policy will be in effect for this course.
7. All students must routinely check their CSUB Runner mail address for important
Readings and Assignments
Dates Topics and Assignments
January 5, 2006 Introduction to Policy Analysis.
Introduction to Culminating Project.
Human Subjects Training.
Dunn, Chapters 1 and 2.
January 12, 2006 Policy Arguments.
Dunn, Chapter 8.
Exercise 1 (Policy Arguments)
January 19, 2006 Policy Structuring.
Dunn, Chapter 3.
January 26, 2006 Problem Structuring.
Bardach, Part I, Sections 1 and 2.
Exercise 2 (Problem Structuring)
February 2, 2006 Policy Forecasting.
Dunn, Chapter 4.
February 9, 2006 Policy Forecasting.
Bardach, Part I, Sections 3 to 5.
Exercise 3 (Policy Forecasting)
Chapter 1 due.
February 16, 2006 Policy Recommendation.
Dunn, Chapter 5.
February 23, 2006 Policy Recommendation.
Bardach, Part I, Sections 6 and 7.
Exercise 4 (Policy Recommendation)
March 2, 2006 Policy Monitoring.
Dunn, Chapter 6.
Bardach, Parts II and III.
March 9, 2006 Policy Evaluation.
Communicating Your Findings
Dunn, Chapters 7 and 9.
Bardach, Part I, Section 8.
Chapter 2 due.
Final Examination Handed Out.
March 17, 2006 Final Examination Due at 8:01 p.m.