ERIC Number: ED232893
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: 0
On the Application of Qualitative Research to the Policy Process: An Emergent Linkage.
Rist, Ray C.
The linkage between policy research and policy formation can be strengthened through the use of qualitative methods. Currently, the linkage between policy research and policy decision making is tenuous; there are differences in philosophy, function, self-definition, and criteria by which success is measured. Although research cannot dictate the use of policy research findings, it can influence the reception and use of policy research, particularly at the stage when programs are initiated, target populations identified, and resources allocated. Utilization of research can be greatly enhanced when the researcher considers the appropriateness of the study design and of the execution of the study, the absence of major conceptual errors, relevance, timeliness, presentation, and impact. These criteria for policy research can be more effectively met through qualitative research, e.g., ethnography, field studies, and case studies. Qualitative research can inform the decision-making process through its analysis of the complexity of the social system, its complement to statistical analysis, and its study of the unanticipated consequences of social change. By examining the social settings and organizations of our societies, qualitative research can inform of existing conditions and thus can enlighten policy formation. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Qualitative Studies
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