Policy Sciences and Policy Research Organizations

by Charles Wolf, Jr.


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Notes on a new type of educational activity at RAND: development of a graduate degree program in policy analysis. Increasing demands are made for trained policy analysts in government, research institutions, universities, and businesses — both domestic and international — whose activities involve public policy choices. In answer to the question of whether a policy research organization can contribute to the supply of well-trained policy analysts, an experimental prototype program is to be conducted at RAND; a small group of staff members will participate as students, other staff members with suitable qualifications will be the faculty. Formal academic work will be combined with direct applications to policy problems, with emphasis on the cross-disciplinary approach. The curriculum to be tested is planned for nine academic quarters of ten weeks each, including (1) on-the-job training, (2) a seminar workshop based on current and previous RAND studies, (3) two core courses, one in concepts and theory, the other in tools and techniques, and (4) a dissertation requirement. Based largely on the results of the program, a decision will be made on whether to expand the program and make it available to qualified people outside RAND.

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