Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Instruments of policy analysis. the impact assessment development by public authorities in Romania. Case study

Matei, Ani and Dogaru, Tatiana-Camelia (2011): Instruments of policy analysis. the impact assessment development by public authorities in Romania. Case study. Published in: , Vol. The 19, (15 July 2011)

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The public authorities are facing real challenges due to the complexity and dynamics of economic and social issues. They must daily assess the available resources and answer to questions such as „is the citizens’ welfare good enough, can it be improved?” „there are the initiatives for the environmental protection adequate?”, „is there a coherent employment system for integrating the graduates on labour market?”, „are the charges pertinent means for improving the social actors’ behaviour?”. These issues as well as many others represent only a part of the problems that must be solved through public intervention.

The economic difficulties often represent the strongest key factor for non-transforming a social issue into the object of a public policy. They are also responsible for imposing to the decision-maker the compulsoriness of choosing to solve certain problems. This choice is never easy and it haggles always a pit of doubt inside the heart of the decision-maker: „is this decision the best choice?”, or „is the selected alternative the best for action?”. Diminishing this dilemma, as well as supporting the decision-maker in order to improve the decision-making process have found their expression in the theorists and practitioners’ efforts to develop the states’ capacity for public policy analysis. There are quite many definitions for public policy analysis in the field literature; they support its duality, namely the public policy analysis represents an approach as well as a methodology for developing and investigating public policy alternatives. Among the well-know instruments of policy analysis, we enumerate the cost-effectiveness analysis, the cost-benefit analysis, and the impact assessment.

In this paper the attention is focusing on impact assessments. Therefore, the objectives of the paper refer to (a) a brief overview on the instruments of policy analysis with a particular focus on the impact assessment and (b) an investigation of the national practice on the development of the impact assessment. In this paper, we shall analyze how the public institutions are using the impact assessment in view to improve the quality and coherence of the policy development process. Therefore, in order to attain our aims, the paper will comprise a theoretical part based on the study of the field literature and European and domestic regulation concerning the impact assessment and an empirical part, related to the analysis of some impact assessments from educational and regional development areas, drawn up by Romanian public authorities during the public policy process.

The conclusions will reveal the progresses made by Romania to use the impact assessments and the possible inconsistencies between the national model and that proposed by the European Commission. As research methodology for achieving the aims, we shall use the following: researching the bibliographical sources, comparative analysis between the European and the domestic legislation regarding the impact assessment, analysis and evaluation of the public policy proposals and other important documents.

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