Politics affects all aspects of public policy — what gets on the agenda, who supports an issue, who opposes an issue, whether an issue receives official approval, and whether the official policy is implemented. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Reich has worked with David Cooper to develop a Windows-based software program for applied political analysis. This tool, called PolicyMaker, provides a computer-assisted guide for strategic political thinking about policy reform. PolicyMaker is a logical and formal procedure to provide practical advice on how to manage the political aspects of public policy. The method helps decision-makers improve the political feasibility of their policy.
The software is available for free on the Internet (click here). The method has been used to analyze health reform issues in many countries, in collaboration with national governments, international agencies, and civil society organizations.
Dr. Reich has written with Paola Abril Campos a manual that provides a step-by-step guide to applied political analysis. The manual is available for free from the India Health Systems Project, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
Reich, Michael R., and Paola Abril Campos, “A Guide to Applied Political Analysis for Health Reform,” Working Paper for the India Health Systems Project, Boston, MA: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, August 2020.
This easy-to-use tool can help you analyze, understand, and create effective strategies to promote your point of view on any policy question or political issue. PolicyMaker provides step-by-step guidance to help you conduct a stakeholder analysis and design political strategies to support your policy.
Managing the policymaking process is a difficult task. How do you get others to accept your policy or implement a decision?
PolicyMaker helps you comprehend the political dynamics of policymaking, and plot a path to victory by helping you analyze systematically who your supporters are, why your policy may face opposition, and what strategies might help you be more effective. In short, policymakers who confront complex political problems need PolicyMaker 4 software.
Use PolicyMaker as a repository for your thoughts on the political circumstances faced by your policy, and use it to help you design successful strategies to win acceptance for your policy in any arena, be it local, state, national, or international, or within your organization.
PolicyMaker can be used in a group as a tool for strategic planning among key advisors, or as an instrument for seeking consensus or agreement among different players or as a policy advocacy or lobbying tool. PolicyMaker has been used around the world by government officials, advocacy groups, private companies, international agencies, and the faculty members of major universities.
PolicyMaker 4 is a new improved version of the software with a number of enhanced features.
The software supports the creation of coalition diagrams, quantitative modeling of position and power, graphs that summarize political feasibility, and the creation of strategies with an easy-to-use, strategy design system, as well as many other features. A tutorial is included in the full product.
A new web-based version of PolicyMaker 5 is available here.