Policy review and analysis
Productivity and efficiency analysis, non-market valuation, impact evaluation.
Policies, their associated programs and their impacts, are pervasive in economic analysis. The omission of regulation is often just as important as the presence of regulation or the quality of governance. Heuris views policy as a critical component in achieving a more just, inclusive, sustainable, and efficient world. We view policies through an economic lens, focusing on incentives, behavioural effects, strategic dynamics amongst target actors and intermediaries, and program efficiency to understand the role of policy in achieving positive social, environmental and economic outcomes.
Policies generate target (and non-target) often seek changes in people’s behaviour through changing the incentives they face or the information available to them to better achieve objectives. Whether these changes are negative (e.g. fines, gaol) or positive (e.g. subsidies) or simply involve improved market operation through reducing information failures, understanding incentives is a critical requirement in analysing the expected impact pathways of current and proposed policies and in describing actual outcomes of those. Heuris has a deep theoretical knowledge of the role of incentives and information on behaviour through our work and research on behavioural analysis, experimental economics, and the design of programs to generate positive behavioural changes in a range of contexts. Our expertise in this area can support both the analysis of existing policies and the design of new policies that seek to achieve social, environmental and economic outcomes efficiently and sustainably.
Policies and programs implicitly or explicitly rely on governance systems to identify objectives, the pathways to achieve objectives and to implement their programs. Whilst this seems obvious, understanding the implications of different governance structures on actual incentives for actors involved in policy implementation is complex requiring a deep understanding of incentive theory and real-world concerns. This is all the more important with the increasing reliance on policies that seek to make use of intermediaries as program delivery agents rather than through direct action on target beneficiaries. Heuris has established itself as a leader in the conceptualisation and evaluation of these intermediary-based programs. We can identify the opportunities and risks associated with intermediary-based programs and help to design intermediary-based policy mechanisms that achieve target outcomes efficiently and effectively. Our key areas of focus include: water policy, indigenous empowerment and development policy, natural resource policy, agricultural policy and regional/development policy. In addition we have undertaken reviews of global agro-food systems and associated policies, water pricing and allocation programs and more.