My research broadly focuses on policy and program evaluation and theories of the policy process. Currently, I am a Senior Research Associate at 2M Research in Washington, DC. At 2M, I serve as project director or lead technical expert on studies conducted on behalf of federal and state governments. My responsibilities include developing research designs, data collection, and utilizing econometric and mixed-methods research methodologies to conduct rigorous evaluations. My previous experience includes serving as a Senior Researcher at the Colorado Department of Human Services, where I was the state’s senior expert in internal and contracted program evaluation efforts. In that position, I was responsible for conducting policy and program analyses and evaluations that examined the policy context, implementation, outcomes, and costs of human services programs. My policy-focused research has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including: Public Administration, Review of Policy Research, Children and Youth Services Review, Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, among others. My dissertation, entitled “Examining the Role of Information-Based Resources and Strategies in the Policy Process: A Case Study of Colorado Climate and Energy Policy Issues”, provided an improved understanding of the resources, beliefs, and political activities of actors engaged in the policy process. The research design incorporated both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and utilized a variety of theories and frameworks, including the Advocacy Coalition Framework, the Policy Analytical Capacity framework, Resource Dependence Theory, and policy network theory, to examine resource use and behavior among policy actors.

Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J. 2015. "Utilizing Hyperlink Network Analysis to Examine Climate Change Supporters and Opponents." Review of Policy Research 32 (2):226-245.
Abstract: Hyperlink network analysis, which utilizes the links between websites to map online communication structures, offers an emerging methodology for studying the networks of supporters and opponents of public policies. Reasons for the methodology's appeal include the ability to utilize web crawlers to collect large amounts of data and the ability to apply quantitative and qualitative methods to examine network interactions. While the methodology has been utilized by diverse disciplines it is relatively new to the fields of political science and public policy. Utilizing a mixed-methods research design, this article examines the applicability of using hyperlink networks to study opposing groups in the Colorado climate and energy policy subsystem while drawing increased attention to the methodology's strengths and weaknesses. The results demonstrate the methodology's considerable potential, but highlight the need for greater adoption of a collection of best practices designed to increase the validity, reliability, and generalizability of hyperlink research.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ropr.12118/abstract?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=
Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J. 2015. "Cooperative Interactions Among Friends and Foes Operating within Collaborative Governance Arrangements." Public Administration 93 (3):769-787.
Abstract: Perhaps nowhere is the inclination to interact with friends over foes more apparent than in the realms of politics and policy, and public managers increasingly operate within collaborative governance arrangements that are highly politicized. To further the existing knowledge on policy-based interactions, this article examines factors that lead to cooperative interactions between foes. The Advocacy Coalition Framework, Resource Dependence Theory, and Policy Analytical Capacity are utilized to examine effects of resources and beliefs on interactions of climate policy supporters and opponents within Colorado. Despite the contentious nature of climate policy, a majority of individuals interacted equally with friends and foes, with opponents more likely to interact with foes. Extreme beliefs made individuals more likely to interact with friends, while resources had mixed effects. These findings offer an improved understanding of cooperative interactions between foes, which may help public managers operating within collaborative governance arrangements to promote greater cooperation and understanding.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/padm.12167/abstract;jsessionid=86FB91A9D8A1AFBABE8B7CA28A67390A.f02t01?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=
Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J., Jonathan Sushinsky, Andrew Johnson, Gretchen Russo, and Tiffany Sewell. 2015. "Factors Affecting Permanency for Legally Free Children & Youth: A Study of Colorado's Legally Free Population Across Age Groups, 2008–2014." Children and Youth Services Review 57:60-67.
Abstract: Legally freed children and youth whose parents have had their parental rights terminated have been shown to be more likely to emancipate from the child welfare system as a result of facing a series of complex factors that affect their likelihood of achieving permanency. To better understand these complex factors, the Colorado Department of Human Services' Division of Child Welfare utilized survival analysis to comprehensively examine the factors that affect permanency for legally free children and youth. Factors affecting permanency outcomes were analyzed for more than 5700 legally free children and youth within Colorado's child welfare system during the period of January 2008 to August 2014. Overall, the majority of Colorado's legally free children and youth achieved a positive permanency outcome. However, the results of the survival analysis reveal distinct factors affecting the permanency of children and youth in distinct age groups, including: children who became legally free after birth through five years in age, children who became legally free between six to twelve years in age, and youth who became legally free between thirteen to seventeen years in age. Across all age groups, African American race, number of prior involvements, permanency goal, age, number of placements while in care, and the time spent in congregate care or family-like settings were found to have statistically significant effects on the likelihood of achieving permanency. Collectively, the findings highlight the distinct factors affecting permanency across different age groups as well as the need for future research to examine the disparate factors affecting permanency outcomes across different age groups.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740915300268
Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J. and Weible, Christopher M. 2010. "Explaining Information Sources in Climate Policy Debates." Deserai Crow and Maxwell T. Boykoff, eds. Culture, Politics and Climate Change: How Information Shapes Our Common Future (pp.146-162). London, UK: Routledge.
URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415661492/
Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J. 2014. "The Effects of Risk, Knowledge, and Idoelogical Beliefs on Climate Policy Preferences." Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 5 (1):1-21.
Abstract: Responding to the impacts of climate change will require communities to develop an improved understanding of the factors influencing the policy preferences of supporters and opponents of climate policy. The literature on climate politics and policy has identified risk perceptions, climate-related knowledge, and ideological beliefs on government intervention as key factors impacting the general public's support for climate policies, but two important gaps within the literature remain unaddressed. The factors impacting policy preferences have been understudied among policy actors, a critical sub-population actively involved in the policy process. In addition, the effects of these factors on policy preferences have yet to be examined simultaneously. To examine the factors impacting the policy preferences of policy actors, this article conducts an analysis of questionnaire data administered in 2011 to policy actors involved in climate and energy policy in the state of Colorado. The results indicate the policy preferences of policy actors are largely affected by risk perceptions and ideological beliefs regarding government intervention. Contrary to previous studies, climate-related knowledge was found to have minimal impact on policy preferences when examined alongside risk perceptions and ideological beliefs. These findings draw attention to the need to develop a better understanding of the risk perceptions and ideological beliefs of climate policy actors throughout the development of climate policies. This article concludes with an overview of several approaches that appear to be worthy of this task, including participatory policy analysis, community risk assessments, and stakeholder analysis.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rhc3.12046/abstract
Citation:
Elgin, Dallas J. and Christopher M. Weible. 2013. "A Stakeholder Analysis of Colorado Climate and Energy Issues using Policy Analytical Capacity and the Advocacy Coalition Framework." Review of Policy Research 30 (1):114-133.
Abstract: Noticeably absent from the tools and techniques in policy analysis are methods for understanding political contexts, including the beliefs, networks, resources, and activities of policy actors. In combination, Policy Analytical Capacity and the Advocacy Coalition Framework offer one appropriate solution. We apply both approaches to analyze the Colorado climate and energy policy subsystem using questionnaire data. In the policy subsystem, we identify a large proclimate change coalition and a smaller anticlimate change coalition. Member beliefs between rival coalitions diverge in regard to the cause, severity, and solutions needed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation issues. Both coalitions report similar levels of individual and organizational capacity to generate and analyze information and to engage in similar activities and strategies. This article contributes to the public policy literature by applying both Policy Analytical Capacity and the Advocacy Coalition Framework and by emphasizing individual, organizational, and subsystem levels in conducting a stakeholder analysis.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ropr.12005/abstract
Citation:
Weible, C hristopher M., Dallas J. Elgin, and Andrew Pattison. 2011. "Policy Analytical Capacity and Policy Activities." Canadian Political Science Review 6 (1):125-137.
Abstract: The study of policy process involves the study of policy actors - people involved in the development of public policy in a particular geographic area. This paper investigates policy actors in the context of Colorado climate and energy issues with a particular emphasis on the types and levels of their engagement in policy activities. The conceptual framework guiding this study centers on policy analytical capacity, the ability to acquire and use information in the policy process. High policy analytical capacity is expected to be associated with high levels, and more diverse kinds, of policy activities. The findings partly confirm the expectations. Actors from government and the non-profit sector report the highest policy analytical capacity and highest and most diverse range of policy activities. However, researchers, despite relatively high levels of policy analytical capacity, report involvement in just a few activities beyond conducting research. Actors with strong educational backgrounds in the physical sciences are more likely to be involved in conducting research whereas those with strong backgrounds in the social sciences are more likely to be involved in evaluating and appraising policies and working with the public. The conclusion contextualizes the findings by focusing on the relationship between technical and scientific complexity of climate and energy issues and the necessity for participating actors to possess high levels of policy analytical capacity.
URL: http://ojs.unbc.ca/index.php/cpsr/article/view/380
Citation:
Weible, Christopher M. and Dallas J. Elgin. 2013. "Contrasting Capacities from City to International Levels of Government in Addressing Climate and Energy Issues." Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 15 (1):171-188.
Abstract: How does extent of involvement at various levels (from city to international) relate to individual and organizational capacities and to the use of collaborative and analytical techniques of policy analysis? This article pursues this question through an analysis of data from a questionnaire administered in 2011 to actors involved in climate and energy issues in Colorado. The results indicate that involvement in city-level climate and energy activities includes a combination of local government officials and actors from a range of nongovernment and state and federal government organizations. Whereas individual capacity is unrelated to involvement, organizational capacity is associated with involvement at the national and international levels. In addition, involvement at the city, state, and international levels is associated with the use of collaborative techniques (such as facilitation). By contrast, involvement at the national and international levels is associated with the use of analytical techniques (such as modeling and economic analysis). The article complements the existing literature on climate and energy issues by highlighting how the use of different tools and techniques of policy analysis depends on the extent of involvement by different levels of government.

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy SECONDARY
Environmental Policy
Social Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY

Keywords

ENERGY POLICY CLIMATE POLICY POLICY PROCESS THEORY POLICY ANALYSIS POLICY EVALUATION SOCIAL POLICY