Dr. Bill Taylor Speaks with MPP

Evaluation Lab News

Posted: Feb 08, 2018 - 12:00am

UNM’s Policy seminar was joined by Bill Taylor on February 8 th  via Zoom to discuss the CVS model of policy analysis and guide the seminar in applying the model to three cases of public policy. Dr. Taylor is the Dean of the Business School at Highlands University and has had a rich career in policy and related fields, including working with the Peace Corps in West Africa, becoming a policy analyst and then assistant director for the Legislative Finance Committee in Santa Fe, and consulting for the US Treasury Department to promote transparency in Senegal’s ministry of finance.

Dr. Taylor began by giving an overview of the CVS model, which stands for Capacity, Value, and Support. CVS takes these three elements as instrumental in forming and implementing good policy. Dr. Taylor began with Value, because he said if the policy doesn’t have value, then the analysis doesn’t need to go any further. Value is also more than just the raw cost-benefit of a policy, and includes considerations of equity, diversity and opportunity.  Once we know what value the policy adds we can look to questions of Capacity and Support. Capacity is the ability to carry out a policy successfully. The amount of money, time and experience all impact whether a policy will be implemented as intended. Gathering Support is the final element in the CVS model, and represents how much people, legislators, and other key actors support or oppose the policy. “Good medicine, like good policy, is not always easy to sell,” Dr. Taylor explained, and so it is important to communicate, build support for good policy, and find ways to reduce support for bad policy.

After talking about the CVS model in general terms we examined three specific policy cases, applying what we had discussed. First, we discussed the economics and incentives for prison reform, including concerns of justice and equity, but also in terms of cost of incarceration and impact on the communities that house our prisons, which are often dependent on those prisons for jobs. Second, we discussed Oklahoma’s challenges in rejecting the Medicaid expansion. Because of the association with Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion was deeply unpopular in Oklahoma, however the state has around 90,000 people uninsured who would have been covered. We discussed options the state has in approaching the issue, especially how to build support for a policy that is popular on its merits, but unpopular because of its associations. Finally, we covered the long-term impacts of the welfare reform in the 1990s that led to TANF, and whether the initial reduction of welfare rolls and rising employment were indicative of the long-term impacts of the legislation. Through these three cases we saw how Value, Support and Capacity interact to impact policy.

Dr. Taylor helped us to see that Capacity concerns can create Value, as in the case of prison reform, that a program with Value may not always enjoy support, as in the case of Oklahoma’s Medicaid expansion, and that the Value of a program may change over time, as is possible regarding TANF. Using the CVS model helps to understand these interactions and therefore become more effective policy analysts.