Independent Public Policy Analysis Organizations--A Major Social Invention.
An examination of governmental need for technical and analytical assistance. For complex issues where the problems cannot be well-defined, data are uncollected, and analytical procedures are underdeveloped, most public agencies must assign these tasks to outside specialists. Effective policy analysis institutions must have the following characteristics: (1) fundamental orientation toward the production of policy-relevant studies; (2) influence stemming from a continuing association that promotes specific understanding of problems and builds up trust while maintaining its independence; (3) a broad charter of investigation rather than a narrow prespecified set of tasks; (4) effective interdisciplinary research; (5) futures-orientation, and (6) a systems approach. The several deficiencies of government, industry, and universities in these characteristics have led to the establishment of independent organizations which provide unique mechanisms for bringing highly competent analytic assistance to governmental agencies. 22 pp.