Abstract for: Developing systemic Public Policy Theory for Multi-problem Households

A policy theory is based on the underlying assumptions concerning the input, activities, output and outcomes of a policy. TNO and the Dutch ministry of Justice and Security have identified a need for new methodology to formulate public policy theory for multi-sectoral challenges. A focus point lies on integrating knowledge from within and outside government within a systemic worldview. Furthermore, the process of developing policy theory should accommodate for dialogue across government leading to a shared understanding of societal challenges and effective policy measures. As a test case we are exploring the societal issue of multi-problem households (MPH). Multi-problem household are single persons or families that face a complex mix of socioeconomic and psychosocial problems. To form the basis for a new policy theory we have used a mix of qualitative system dynamics, group model building, literature searches and data analytics. Through a series of workshops, events and collaborations we are exploring a new way to create and share systemic insight across government. We report our findings from the problem structuring phase and investigate some of the relations within a qualitative model using quantitative analysis of a dataset of Dutch households (N= 6.628.100).