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Research, Strategies and Analyses

Research, strategies and analyses from the DIP’s Department for Research, Strategies and Analytics

Our team carries out, according to our assessment, important research and analysis, and makes available our human resources and the network of our associates, for the implementation and cooperation in the implementation of various scientific and professional research and analysis:

  1. Research and studies for the purpose of adopting and creating strategic documents of public policies
  2. Applied research in a particular sector, in order to contribute to the improvement of solutions to the challenges faced by citizens
  3. Research, evaluations for the business sector
  4. Evaluations, efficiency and other elements of planning.

Since its establishment, the DIP has been operating in the field of applied scientific research, for the purpose of planning public policies. Without a professional and scientific approach to all sectors, at all levels, from national to local, for all types of decisions, political decisions are random and remain at the level of wishful thinking. The responsibility for the distribution of budget funds lies with all of us, not only with our political representatives; that is why we are obliged to actively participate in the decision-making process in regards to the distribution. Likewise, programs financed from the budget are often not effective, and outdated methods are used, so programs are often financed that are not only ineffective, but also harmful. We are witnessing changes in certain public administrations, so we support every effort to build a democratic culture together in this way.

Our contribution and method of operation is visible through several principles of our work:

  1. active participation in spreading the approach to decision-making and public policy planning based on evidence – “evidence based policy”: creation of strategies, analysis that contribute to this approach
  2. active participation in spreading the approach of constant evaluation of the effectiveness and improvement of the quality of programs that solve challenges, the quality of services to which citizens are entitled and the prevention of the risk of damage to health, behavior or the like – applied research on individual phenomena, studies and analyses
  3. strengthening of transparency, inclusion of a wide range of key stakeholders, strengthening of critical thinking and the culture of cooperation, exchange and sharing of resources in decision-making processes on public issues – with consultation with experts, use of needs assessments and constant monitoring and evaluation of effects – evaluations, studies, etc.

We represent democratic processes and the methodology of decision-making and public policy planning based on evidence of existing public needs – evidence-based policy. In the developed EU countries, planning documents of public bodies have been adopted on the basis of such data and research results for about 30 years. The DIP created all the development planning documents for us, as an organization and for other organizations, especially for decision-makers (public bodies), trying to introduce “evidence-based policy” in every step of planning, implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of the implementation of these documents.

“Using evidence to plan public policy” is not a new idea…The term EBP gained political value under the Blair administration from 1997. It was intended to mark the entry of a government with a modernizing mandate, dedicated to replacing ideologically driven politics with rational decision-making. EBP has now become the focus of a range of policy communities, whether government departments, research organizations or think-tanks. EBP is a discourse or set of methods that informs the policy process, rather than directly influencing possible policy goals. He advocates a more rational, rigorous and systematic approach. The pursuit of EBP is based on the premise that policy decisions should be better informed by available evidence and should involve rational analysis. This is because policy based on systematic evidence is thought to produce better results. The approach also incorporated evidence-based practices.” http://cdn-odi-production.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/media/documents/3683.pdf

 

In planning and monitoring the effectiveness of public policies or the investment of budget funds, several dimensions are crucial, one without the other has no purpose:

  1. Research of public needs at the international, national, regional or local level, at the level of organizations, in general or sectoral – research is carried out using various methodologies, but most often include various qualitative, quantitative and participatory methods.
  2. Creation of strategies, as key public policy documents according to established methodology, based on previous research results
  3. Creation of action or operational plans
  4. Monitoring the implementation of strategies and action plans, with deadlines, responsible bodies or individuals
  5. Evaluation and/or measurement of the effectiveness of public investments based on the implementation of individual strategies, with constant monitoring of changes in public needs

By analyzing various strategies for creating public policies at the EU level and beyond, it can be said that we have adopted the good practices of the United Kingdom, which uses a wide range of tools and methods. We most often use these elements:

I. Overview and checklist: impact assessment and assessment (analysis of existing documents), list of guidelines for policy makers – analysis of existing documents and decisions;

II. Strategy and Policy Evaluation: Strategy Survival Guide such as the Magenta Book eg https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879438/HMT_Magenta_Book.pdf , a guidance on policy evaluation; and/or the Green Book, e.g. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-green-book-appraisal-and-evaluation-in-central-governent/the-green-book-2020 , or Aqua book, e.g. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/416478/aqua_book_final_web.pdf assessment and evaluation in central government

III. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), which has begun to be implemented more seriously in the Republic of Croatia;

IV. Ensuring the inclusion of key perspectives: inclusion of regional perspectives in the policy-making toolkit (sub-national): tools for international comparisons in policy-making; gender impact assessment/framework for gender-aware policy;

V. Risk management for the public/guidelines for assessment, testing of policy ideas/public policy pilot procedures

VI. Public Focused Tools: Concerns Assessment Tool; community engagement; how to lead/ connect with users and citizens, that is, active participation of citizens in decision-making, planning, monitoring and evaluation;

VII. Getting better advice and evidence: expert advisory bodies for policy makers

VIII. Improving the standards of qualitative research

IX. Other web-based resources.

An analysis of numerous documents, based on which citizens’ needs are financed from public sources (budgets) at the level of the Republic of Croatia, showed:

– that decision-making and documents from which funding is derived are most often not “evidence-based policy”, or public policy decisions based on scientific evidence, but are decisions that are often not based on any evidence at all, but are, instead, a result of wishful thinking. Part of it is regulated by the Budget Act and related laws and by-laws, but the decision on financing is still insufficiently regulated.

– progress is seen in individual efforts, even those often unprofessional and occasional ones. In the last few years, one can see the efforts of certain sectors to increasingly assume this position,

– the key public policy document in development planning is the Act on the Strategic Planning and Development Management System of the Republic of Croatia” https://www.zakon.hr/z/975/Zakon-o-sustavu-strateško-planiranja-i-upravljanja-razvojem-Republike-Hrvatske, which initiated processes of standardization of methodology and procedures for the adoption of key strategic documents.

Our contribution to the democratization of the decision-making process in public policy planning is concreted in several projects, and we are especially proud of the planning of strategies for young people, in which sector we have been active for many years. More on the links “programs for youth” and others:

The PGC youth program, 2020-2024, which we authored. More at the link https://dip.hr/programi/javne-politike-za-mlade/

Regional program for young people of Istrian County, 2017-2018., which we authored. More at the link: https://dip.hr/regionalni-program-za-mlade-istarske-zupanije/

The local program of the City of Labin, which we authored, more at the link: https://dip.hr/lokalni-program-za-mlade-grada-labina/

Program for young people of the City of Poreč, which we authored. More at the link: PROGRAM ZA MLADE Grada Poreča 2016 -2020 za GV 16 6 2016 (porec.hr)

“Strategy comes from the ancient Greek word stratēgos and literally means “leading an army” (Greek: stratos: army, ago: to lead, strategos: military leader). Over time, that original meaning has been lost, and it is used to denote an action aimed at achieving a certain goal after a long planning. The concepts of strategy and tactics are closely related. Both indicate the correct use of certain means in time and space, where (in very simplified terms) strategy refers to the goal, and tactics to the way to achieve the set goal. Today, the term “strategy” is used in several different types of human activities”.

 

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