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Reflections on the political economy of public policy analysis in Africa

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Version 2 2023-09-13, 08:16
Version 1 2023-09-13, 06:50
revised on 2023-09-13, 08:15 and posted on 2023-09-13, 08:16 authored by Michael Kpessa-Whyte, Kafui Tsekpo

Public policy analysis is fundamental to policymaking and governance. It is an activity that precedes policymaking and ends the life cycle of public policies. Often policy analysis provides the basis for further policy work. The process becomes the channel through which policy options and alternatives gain legitimacy and a place of pride on the policy agenda. Policy analysis involves a critical evaluation of situations to ascertain the extent to which they are efective and fundamental to governance’s efcacy. As the science of decision-making, policy analysis embodies the framework of ideas that orients actors on particular policy issues and often forms the basis for judging government performance. Although policy analysis in its various forms is ubiquitous in every society, the systematic study of policy analysis in African countries has lagged behind other parts of the world. It has been seen as part of the broader discussion in public administration for a long time. Until recently, it was limited in practice to in-house policy evaluations within government bureaucracies. Policy analysis is ubiquitous and manifests explicitly and implicitly in all governance systems and arrangements. Yet, in most African countries, public policy as a distinct and professional feld of endeavour is relatively new to African policymaking.

Other Information

Published in: Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa
See chapter on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This chapter is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU

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