Received: March 26,2018; Published: April 05,2018
Corresponding author: Tihana Kovacicek, Department of Agriculture, University Of Zagreb, Croatia
The main characteristics of Croatia's public policies and agricultural policy are lack of policy analysis activities and not making the clear distinction between objectives and goals. Further, evaluation of public policies, especially agricultural policy is not regular activity. This doctoral thesis is based on the assumptions that agricultural policy objectives and goals are not accomplished because of shortcomings in the process of agricultural policy making. In order to test the hypothesis, evaluation model is developed. The first steps in model developing are grouping Croatian agricultural policy objectives/goals (set by strategic documents) and analysis of the content of scientific papers in the period 1995 - 2013. The research period is, by critical junctures, divided into four sub periods: 1995 - 2000; 2001 - 2004; 2005 - 2008; 2009 – 2013. Croatian agricultural policy objectives/goals, more than 80, are grouped according to key words: self-sufficiency, income, competitiveness and rural development.
The evaluation model consists of five levels:
a) Comparative analysis of international and domestic context
b) Mapping key agricultural policy events and policy outputs
c) Determining whether strategic documents meet the necessary technical feasibility conditions
d) Analysis of intervention logics for every strategic document
e) Applying Goal-attainment model to selected objectives/goals
The analysis of international and domestic context is focused on detection of contexts' relationship: harmony or conflict. Harmony or conflict of contexts depends on similarity of sociopolitical developments, especially developments in agricultural politics and policy. Developments are determinate by the analysis of the content of scientific papers. International context refers to European Union (EU) and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and World Trade Organization (WTO). Second level consists of mapping key agricultural policy events and policy outputs. Policy outputs refer to written documents that contain objectives/goals, measures and instruments set in policy making process. The influence of international context is determinate by comparing requirement for EU and WTO with agricultural policy outputs. Comparing requirements and outputs will indicate inclusion of requirements into domestic legislation. Further, comparing domestic and international agricultural policy events will indicate which context prevails in agricultural policy outputs. Determination of prevailing context reveals whether chosen objectives/goals are fit for Croatian agriculture. Further, the results of analysis of the content of scientific papers will be compared to policy outputs. This step will test evidence based policy making. Third level tests whether strategic documents meet the necessary technical feasibility conditions. To be technically correct, document must meet four conditions: (a) specified holder/implementer of the measure, (b) included implementation plan, (c) defined financial plan, (d) precisely defined sources of founding. Correcting of technical shortages is tested by analyzing documents in chronological order. Correcting of technical shortages also indicates policy learning.
Analysis of intervention logics for every strategic document answer questions about: institution(s) is in charge of policy implementation, mediators, target group and expected policy outcome. Goal-attainment model is applied to selected objectives/goals regarding self-sufficiency, income, competitiveness and rural development. Model considers whether policy results are in line with policy objectives/goals. Further, key words in international and domestic context are compared to policy objectives/goals. Comparison will answer the question about prevailing context and its influence on achieving the objectives/goals. Testing the model showed conflicting relationship of contexts in three out of four sub-periods. Evidence-based policy making is characteristic only in period 1995 – 2004. Domestic context prevails in three out of four sub-periods. Four out of five strategic documents fulfills four out of six technical feasibility conditions. Agricultural strategies from 1995 and 2002 contain all elements of intervention logics. International context had positive influence on self-sufficiency and rural development. Domestic context had negative influence on all objectives/goals. Policy learning is present because strategic document in latter periods satisfy more technical feasibility conditions.
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