Short Course: Database and Website Development for Public Policy

shortcourse_sc08Database and Website Development for Public Policy: The Comparative Policy Agendas Project

Bryan D. Jones, Policy Agendas Project, University of Texas
Frank R. Baumgartner, Comparative Agendas Project, University of North Carolina
Joseph McLaughlin, Pennsylvania Policy Database, Temple University

1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

This short course highlights the new Comparative Agendas Project website. The Comparative Agendas Project is a scholarly resource and teaching tool for database development in the U.S. and abroad, and increasingly for sub-national projects. It is a loose affiliation among projects; each project collects and organizes data from archived sources to track policy outcomes. Projects include over 15 countries, the EU, and 2 US states. Datasets include series monitoring the mass media, legislative activities, executive pronouncements, judicial decisions, government budgets, and public opinion. The goal of this course is to discuss the generalizability of these same collection and coding methods and introduce the new online, interactive tool for policy analysis across issues and political systems. We explore how current collection and coding methods have been developed, how to maintain systematic and comparable data, and how new projects could contribute to these developments. The course will provide participants with the tools to develop their own policy database within this collaborative framework, whether research is national or subnational. We will examine strategies to help researchers address challenges involved in maintaining a database. The course also includes a discussion of the CAP coding scheme and its applicability across political systems. The course will be valuable to scholars interested in learning more about the Comparative Policy Agendas Project, scholars planning database or archival-centered projects, and for scholars who would like to develop new measures of policy or improve their data collection and analysis skills.

**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the APSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.