New journal! Policy Design and Practice!

Are you conducting policy related research and do you want practitioners to pick up your message? Taylor and Francis launched a new journal Policy Design and Practice (PDP) that will publish cutting-edge research on key issues facing policy makers, and that lends itself to translation into action and practical application. To ensure that practitioners can easily access articles, the journal will be free of charge and open-access. The first issue will appear in March 2018. 4 issues per year will be published, and all articles will be subjected to double blind peer review.

The journal is edited by Michael Howlett (Simon Fraser and National University of Singapore) and M. Ramesh (National University of Singapore), and can rely on the advice of a high-level advisory board (with representatives from prestigious international organisations and institutions) and a diversified editorial board, which I am part of.

Interested in contributing? All pertinent information can be found on the journal’s website:

Chapter in Palgrave Book on "Policy Capacity and Governance"

The Palgrave volume, Policy Capacity and Governance: Assessing Governmental Competences and Capabilities in Theory and Practice (Eds. Xun Wu; Howlett, Michael and Ramesh, M.), has now been published!

Together with Ellen Fobé, Marleen Brans (KU Leuven) and David Aubin (UCLouvain), I drafted a chapter on Sectoral Patterns in the Use of Policy Analytical Techniques.  

Chapter Abstract

In an exceedingly complex policy environment, uncertainties are abound, the availability of sound data is often limited and public pressure is high. In such a context, governments require policy workers that have the ability to access and apply different sorts of knowledge and various analytical techniques. The policy analytical capacity of individual policy workers situated inside or outside of the public sectoris generally considered a prerequisite for policies to be designed and implemented in an efficient and cost-effective way. Policy analysis is one of the core functional tasks in the policy process. This chapter investigates patterns in the application of policy analytical techniques by government officials. In particular, it examines the deployment of these techniques across different types of policy sectors in three subnational administrations in Belgium.

Qualitative Comparative Analysis as an evaluation tool: Potential and challenges

In a new (online first) article in the American Journal of Evaluation, we (Astrid Molenveld; Barbara Befani and myself) consider the challenges that can emerge during a QCA evaluation by drawing on our experience of conducting one in the field of development cooperation. For each stage of the evaluation process, we systematically discuss the challenges we encountered and suggest solutions on how these can be addressed. We believe that sharing this kind of lessons learned can help evaluators become more familiar with QCA, shedding light on what it is to be expected when considering the application of QCA for an evaluation, at the same time reducing unfounded fears and promoting awareness of traps and requirements. The article can be insightful and potentially inspirational for both commissioners and evaluators.