Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Workshop in program evaluation and policy analysis taught through student teams working on real-world international issues for agencies in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Teaches analytical skills, report preparation and writing, and presentation of results.

Workshop reports and information about how the course fulfills the Wisconsin Idea are available online.

This course develops skills in policy analysis in two ways. First, it sets out the conceptual foundations for understanding the role of policy analysis in democratic politics. Second, it provides training and experience in policy analysis craft.

This course is designed to provide an overview of comparative cross-national social policy, the effects of the Great Recession on poverty and inequality, and the American system of public policy toward human resources, i.e., social policy, with added emphasis on other nations’ approaches to social welfare policy. The other nations include the rich OECD nations as well as emerging middle income countries (MICs) in Asia and Latin America. We will segment social welfare policy into three major branches: health (less emphasis), education (a bit more emphasis), and welfare (income security policy). The lines among these categories are, however, often blurred. Similarly, “social policy” is delivered and financed by governments, faith-based organizations (FBO’s) nonprofit agencies (“NGOs”), employers, and even the family itself. Spending on “HEW” comprises more than 70 percent of total government spending in the United States and an even higher fraction in other rich nations. The amounts are lower but sometimes with greater effect in the MICs. Thus, the topic is fiscally important. There will be some emphasis on cross-national policy analysis and the course will be ‘foreign student friendly’ in that each student can choose her or his own topic for the sequential paper.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:00

Timothy Smeeding

Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics

Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:00

Asset-Based Measurement of Poverty

La Follette School Working Paper No. 2010-004

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