Uncertainty: The Challenge for Policy Analysis in the 21st Century
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The world in which governments must make policy is changing rapidly in unpredictable ways. Changes in information and communication technologies are eroding national borders and creating global markets. The relationship between the public and private sectors is changing. Furthermore, because of the globalization of issues and the interrelationships among systems, the consequences of making wrong policy decisions are becoming more serious - even catastrophic. What do these developments imply for policymaking and policy analysis This talk suggests that a new policymaking paradigm and new tools for performing policy analysis are needed that will help governments to deal with uncertainty in policy formulation and implementation. The proposed paradigm, called adaptive policymaking, provides a flexible and rapid response to changing circumstances and builds in a plan for learning over time as part of the decision making process. An adaptive policy would take those actions now that cannot be deferred, prepare to take actions that may later become necessary, monitor changes in the world, and take actions when the monitoring process shows they are needed. New policy analysis tools based on massive computing can be used by policy analysts to support the formulation of adaptive policies.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics