Indicators

Within the problem stream of the Multiple Streams Analysis approach there are indicators (as well as focussing events, load and feedback).  Indicators demonstrate if a problem exists, is getting worse or better etc.  Naturally, the value/accuracy of the indicator can and is be contested (this is part of what epistemic communities haggle over, and as do ‘counter-movements’). Crucially, if the organisations that are supposed to collect these indicators find their funding cut or removed, then it is harder for policy entrepreneurs and activists to help to create scandals and focusing events.  That’s the context I use for thinking about the way that anti-reflexive movements in the USA and Australia have been trying to de-fund scientists (EPA, CSIRO etc)…

Indicators– “how actors identify and monitor potential problems, including metrics measuring the relative severity of a given problem (such as unemployment rates, and increasing costs), and a virtually endless array of rates, ratios, and anecdotes” (Jones et al. 2016:15)

Jones, M. Peterson, H., Pierce, J. Herweg, N., Bernal, A., Lambert Raney, H. and Zahariadas, N. 2016. A River Runs Through It: A Multiple Streams Meta-Review. Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 44, pp.13-36.

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