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Observations about policy analysis. Discussion considering the role of policy research institutions in society and in decisionmaking, their role in generating social and scientific technology, and the management of policy research institutions. Focuses on four major points: (1) characteristics of policy analysis; (2) implementing policy research: implementation analysis; (3) policy research institutions; and (4) policy research institutions and decisionmaking: some specific issues. Discusses relationships between policy analysis and decisionmaking. Briefly comments on such specific topics as the connections between academic and policy research, whether policy research should be located inside or outside government, and the roles of analysis and of advocacy.

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.

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.