Improving Decisionmaking About Priorities in State Government.

by Daniel J. Alesch


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback14 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Methods for improving state government processes for allotting priorities to its functions. Societal changes are increasingly requiring more cooperation among state agencies, but such interaction is offset by continued compartmentalization, autonomy, and ineffective personnel policies. If these problems are to be overcome, a problem-opportunity dimension must be added to state government decisionmaking that cuts across agency lines to both eliminate undesirable conditions and strive for higher levels of attainment. This process, priority-making, would entail (1) defining the agency-spanning problems; (2) ranking the problems into priorities; (3) analyzing priorities to determine the required mix of agency activities; (4) defining the participant agency roles; and (5) allocating resources. In the latter, an agency's budget and activities structure would become the sum of its role in solving the problems assigned to it. Before priority-making can be initiated, however, the entire governmental structure must be strengthened and reformed to meet its challenges. 14 pp.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.