A Profile of B.C. Provincial Policy Analysts: Troubleshooters or Planners?

Michael Howlett


Despite the existence of a large body of literature on policy analysis, empirical studies of the work of policy analysts are rare, and in the case of analysts working at the sub-national level in multi-level governance systems, virtually non-existent. This is especially true in many countries, for example, the U.S., Germany, and Canada, all federal systems with extensive sub-national governments but where what little empirical work exists focuses on government at the national level. This research note reports the findings of a 2008-2009 survey aimed specifically at examining the background and training of provincial policy analysts in Canada, the types of techniques they employ in their jobs, and what they do in their work on a day-by-day basis. The profile of sub-national policy analysts working in British Columbia presented here reveals several substantial differences between analysts working for national governments and their sub-national counterparts, with important implications for policy training and practice, and for the ability of nations to improve their policy advice systems in order to better accomplish their long-term policy goals.


policy analysis

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125