Much of Amartya Sens work has been directly policy-related, but his methodology of policy analysis has not been explained in detail. Action-related social science involves value-imbued procedures that guide the numerous unavoidable choices. This theme was explored earlier by authors close to Sens milieu such as Streeten and Stretton, and by forerunners including Dewey and Myrdal. Assisted by Jean Dr├Ęze, Sen has evolved a form of policy analysis guided by humanist values rather than those of mainstream economics. 1) A wider range of values employed in how do and can people live? 2) Conceptual investigation of the wider range of values. 3) Use of the wider range of values to guide choice of topics and boundaries of analysis. 4) Hence a focus on human realities, not on an arbitrary slice of reality selected according to commercial significance and convenience for measurement. 5) Use of the wider range of values to guide other decisions in analysis; thus a focus on the socio-economic significance of results. 6) A matching focus on a wide range of potential policy means. The paper characterizes Sens policy analysis methodology, its roots in earlier work, and its relations to the UNDP Human Development approach and kindred approaches.

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Keywords capability approach, entitlements approach, human development, policy analysis
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Persistent URL
Gasper, D.R.. (2007). Problem- and policy-analysis for human development: Sen in the light of Dewey, Myrdal, Streeten, Stretton and Haq.. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from