NIRA Research Report No. 19990123
Policy and Systems Analysis of Decision Making in Japan (Phase II)
Enthusiasm for policy analysis along with disappointment in its results has been a common experience in public policymaking for these thirty years. Policy analytical tradition, especially in such processes as reforming administration, deregulating industry and decentralizing authority, has suffered form a kind of ambivalence, which seems to be intrinsically caused by the problems of methodology and epistemology. Policy analysis have been troubled by them. More recently, innovations in computer and communication technology have enabled them to adopt new methods to circumvent past difficulties to give policy analysis more productive machinery for the transformation of policy-relevant information. Among the methods is a Participatory Policy Analysis they adopted in real problematic situations. We discuss here its merits from a theoretical and practical point of view on the basis of providing material for improving the real sphere of public policymaking.
In this report we try to answer the questions such as:
- Why is "participatory" needed?
- How does it relate to the post-positivistic view of policy sciences?
- How can citizen participation improve the Strategic Environmental Assessment?
- What is the contribution of citizen participation to policy termination?
- What should Participatory Policy Analysis be in a round table congress?
- What are the lessons from the illegal disposal of industrial waste in Teshima-island?
For participatory policy analysis to work, what is requited is not only the development of such practical methods as citizen paneling, but also a redesign of the policymaking system itself. These do not necessarily mean that you need a fundamental reformation of the political system, but that you need only depend on a self-induced reform of the political life of citizens. Policy analyses, policy studies and policy sciences all assist in the process of reform through exposition of the context of its technology, history and philosophy. The role of transformation and communication of more relevant knowledge played by the policy science activities is emphasized. Moreover these activities must propose their developmental construct, as an alternative direction for the future by means of modeling and simulation of the real dynamics in the world.
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