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Establish a Public Policy Evaluation Mechanism to Promote the Construction of Consultation System for Policy Making


By Li Yaokun & Tian Linlin, DRC


At present, the diversified mode of social development has added great difficulty and complexity to decision-making of the government. In this context, the Chinese government needs to establish a practical and effective public policy evaluation mechanism in the process of deepening the reform across the board in order to improve the efficiency and scientific nature of major decision-making issues. Such a mechanism will not only ensure promoting "the modernization of national governance system and governance ability", but also enable the cultivation of "new-type think tanks with Chinese characteristics". Public policy evaluation refers to the comprehensive judgment and evaluation of the necessity, feasibility, cost benefit and outcome of relevant policy through scientific evaluation tools and methods, according to certain criteria and procedures laid down by evaluation entities. It aims at reducing the risk of decision-making, improving the efficiency of policy implementation, adjusting and fleshing out the irrational or improper policy projects and implementation process, and providing well-founded theories based on the comparison of past experience for new policy design and formulation. The following four basic procedures will be carried out upon the formal commencement of public policy evaluation: 1. The independent evaluation entities need to be clarified; 2. The principles and criteria relating to evaluation need to be defined; 3. Certain evaluation methods to make specific assessment for policy programs need to be set out; and 4. Corresponding options and policy measures based on the results of evaluation will be put forward.

The positioning and the core functions of public policy evaluation. Based on the factors of "the rights and liabilities of the evaluation entities", "the scientific evaluation criteria" and "the standardization of evaluation technical report", the logical correlation and interactive mechanism among the relevant elements relating to the public policy system need to be clarified, which is conducive to the establishment of an administrative management system with well-defined responsibilities, the improvement of government macro-management efficiency and quality, and effective promotion of the modernization of the national governance system and ability. 1. We need to learn about the effectiveness of policy implementation and determine the quality and maturity of relevant policies; 2. We need to improve the management efficiency of the government and enhance the vitality and sustainability of economic growth through the proper allocation of policy resources; 3. We need to flesh out the policy guarantee mechanism to enhance the risk resistance capacity of policies and promote the sound and orderly social development; and 4. We need to deepen the scientific and democratic decision-making process to promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity.

Policy options on China’s implementation of public policy evaluation. 1. We need to establish a long-term mechanism for public policy evaluation; 2. We need to establish functional bodies for the deliberation of public policy evaluation; 3. We need to formulate relevant laws, regulations and institutional guarantee measures for the work of public policy evaluation; 4. We need to determine the responsibilities of the evaluation entities in light of China’s national conditions and invite, in a proper manner, relevant non-governmental entities for the evaluation of some specific issues; 5. We need to establish standardized evaluation procedures and methods, develop and innovate evaluation tools to speed up the establishment of "public policy evaluation index system" and the formation of domanial policy evaluation model and big data system for decision making and policy consultations; and 6. We need to invite relevant experts and professionals with strong evaluation experience and ability and strengthen the coordination and cooperation between professional evaluation agencies and between the internal and external evaluation experts and professionals.