Forecasting the Effectiveness of Policy Implementation Strategies

  • Nicolas Savio

Student thesis: Phd


An important stage in the policy process involves deciding what strategy is to be adopted for implementation so that the objectives of the policy are met in the best way possible. A Policy Implementation Strategy (PIS) adopts a broad view of implementation, which is argued to transcend formulation and decision-making, thereby offering a more realistic view of the policy process. Governmental decision-makers are often faced with having to choose one PIS amongst several possible alternatives, at varying cost levels. In order to aid in such a decision-making process, PIS effectiveness forecasts are proposed as a decision-support tool.Current methods for such a purpose are found to include ex-ante evaluative techniques such as Impact Assessment (IA) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). However, these approaches are often resource-intensive and such an investment is not always rewarded with accurate predictions. Hence, a judgmental forecasting approach for making PIS effectiveness predictions is proposed as a means for screening the different PIS under contention to provide a shortlist of candidates with particular potential. The selected few can then be further analysed via the quantitative evaluative techniques such as IA and CBA. Judgmental approaches to forecasting are considered ideal for such a role because they are relatively quick and inexpensive to implement. More specifically, a structured analogies approach is proposed as information about analogous PIS is believed to be useful for such a purpose.The proposed structured analogies approach is tested over a series of experiments and the evidence suggests that a structured analogies approach is more accurate when compared to unaided judgment and the more support given to the expert the better. Furthermore, experts were seen to produce considerably more accurate predictions than non-experts. Level of experience and number of analogies recalled did not seem to affect accuracy. The expert forecasts were also comparable to those produced by governments. The thesis concludes with suggestions for future research in the area.
Date of Award1 Aug 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKonstantinos Nikolopoulos (Supervisor) & Michael Keenan (Supervisor)


  • Effectiveness
  • Strategy
  • Implementation
  • Structured Analogies
  • Forecasting
  • Policy

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