Kingdon: Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies

Agenda building is often the first step in your policy practice tasks. Building a solid agenda may well determine the success of the development of a policy proposal and may also determine your success in placing an issue in front of a decision maker.

For this Assignment, you evaluate the accuracy of the Kingdon model of policymaking.

To prepare: Review Chapter 6 in your text, paying special attention to the section entitled “Three Challenges in Agenda Building.”

By Day 7

Submit a paper evaluating the accuracy of the Kingdon model in policymaking. Address the following:

  • Discuss the three streams Kingdon has identified where problems originate, and provide your opinion on which one most accurately reflects how and why policies come about.
  • Discuss the assertion that certain kinds of issues receive preferential treatment in problem solution and political streams.
  • Discuss tactics that policy practitioners use within each of the three streams to increase the odds that a specific issue will be placed on decision agendas.




Think Tank and Policy Websites


Brookings Institute (

A nonprofit public policy organization that conducts high-quality, independent research and provides innovative and practical recommendations based on that research.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (

Conducts research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates. Also develops policy options to alleviate poverty.

Center for Law and Social Policy (

A national nonprofit working to improve the lives of low-income people.

Child Trends (

A nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development to improve outcomes for children by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children, including program providers, the policy community, researchers and educators, and the media.

Child Welfare League of America (

Strives to lead the nation in building public will to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being of children, youth, and their families by advancing public policy, defining and promoting excellence in practice, and delivering superior membership services.

Families USA (

A national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Finance Project—Economic Success Clearinghouse (

Links to resources about effective policies, programs, and financing strategies that help low-income and working poor families.

Institute for Research on Poverty (

A center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research (

Conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies.

Mathematica Policy Research (

Strives to improve public well-being by bringing the highest standards of quality, objectivity, and excellence to bear on the provision of information collection and analysis.


Created to learn what works in social policy and to make sure that the evidence it produces informs the design and implementation of policies and programs.

National Center for Children in Poverty (

The nation’s leading public policy center dedicated to promoting the economic security, health, and well-being of America’s low-income families and children.

Urban Institute (

Conducts nonpartisan economic and social policy research.