Policy analysis can be defined as "determining which of various alternative policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals" . However, policy analysis can be divided into two major fields. Analysis of policy is analytical and descriptive -- i. e. , it attempts to explain policies and their development. Analysis for policy is prescriptive -- i. e. , it is involved with formulating policies and proposals (e. g. , to improve social welfare). The area of interest and the purpose of analysis determines what type of analysis is conducted. A combination of policy analysis toghther with program evaluation would be defined as Policy studies. Program evaluation is a formalized approach to studying the goals processes and impacts of projects policies and programs. Policy studies could be defined as the combination of Policy analysis and Program evaluation. 
Policy Analysis is frequently deployed in the public sector, but is equally applicable to other kinds of organizations. The public sector is the part of economic and administrative life that deals with the delivery of goods and services by and for the Government, whether national Regional Most policy analysts have graduated from public policy schools with public policy degrees. Public policy schools teach students Policy studies, Policy analysis, Public policy, Public administration, and public affairs. Public policy degrees or public affairs degrees are master and PhD level Professional degrees offered in Public policy schools Policy analysis has its roots in systems analysis as instituted by United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War. Systems analysis is the Interdisciplinary part of Science, dealing with analysis of sets of interacting or entities the Systems often prior to their automation The United States Secretary of Defense ( SECDEF) is the head of the U Robert Strange McNamara (born June 9 1916 in Oakland, California) is an American business executive and former United States Secretary of Defense The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia 
Policy analysts can come from many backgrounds including sociology, psychology, economics, geography, law, political science, american studies, anthropology, public policy, policy studies, social work, environmental planning, and public administration. Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge" Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Economics is the social science that studies the production distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geografia) is the study of the Earth and its lands features inhabitants and phenomena Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Political science is a branch of Social sciences that deals with the theory and practice of Politics and the description and analysis of Political systems American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of Policy studies could be defined as the combination of Policy analysis and Program evaluation. Social work is a discipline involving the application of Social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people groups and societies Environmental planning is a field of study that since the 1970s has been sconcerned with a given society's collective stewardship over its resources that ultimately includes those of the Public administration can be broadly described as the development implementation and study of branches of government Policy.
Although various approaches to policy analysis exist, three general approaches can be distinguished: the analycentric, the policy process, and the meta-policy approach.
The analycentric approach focuses on individual problems and its solutions; its scope is the micro-scale and its problem interpretation is usually of a technical nature. The primary aim is to identify the most effective and efficient solution in technical and economic terms (e. g. the most efficient allocation of resources).
The policy process approach puts its focal point onto political processes and involved stakeholders; its scope is the meso-scale and its problem interpretation is usually of a political nature. It aims at determining what processes and means are used and tries to explain the role and influence of stakeholders within the policy process. By changing the relative power and influence of certain groups (e. g. , enhancing public participation and consultation), solutions to problems may be identified.
The meta-policy approach is a systems and context approach; i. e. , its scope is the macro-scale and its problem interpretation is usually of a structural nature. It aims at explaining the contextual factors of the policy process; i. e. , what are the political, economic and socio-cultural factors influencing it. As problems may result because of structural factors (e. g. , a certain economic system or political institution), solutions may entail changing the structure itself.
Policy analysis is methodologically diverse using both qualitative methods and quantitative methods, including case studies, survey research, statistical analysis, and model building among others. Qualitative research is a field of inquiry that crosscuts disciplines and subject matters. Quantitative research is the systematic scientific investigation of Quantitative properties and Phenomena and their relationships The objective of quantitative Statistical surveys are used to collect quantitative information about items in a population Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection analysis interpretation or explanation and presentation of Data. One common methodology is to define the problem and evaluation criteria; identify all alternatives; evaluate them; and recommend the best policy option.
Many models exist to analyze the creation and application of public policy. Analysts use these models to identify important aspects of policy, as well as explain and predict policy and its consequences.
Some models are:
Public policy is determined by political institutions, which give policy legitimacy. Government universally applies policy to all citizens of society and monopolizes the use of force in applying policy.
Policy creation is a process following these steps:
Policy is intended to achieve maximum social gain. Rationally, the policy that maximizes benefits while minimizing costs is the best policy. It is a part of rational choice theory. Rational choice theory, also known as rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior
Policy is a continuation of previous government activity, with minimal changes made to previous policy. The goal is a systematic periodic review.
The political system's role is to establish and enforce compromise between various, conflicting interests in society.
Policy is a reflection of the interests of those individuals within a society that have the most power, rather than the demands of the mass.
See policy cycle for a five step and an eight step approach. A policy is a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s