Policy Analysis and Policy Options Analysis are related methodologies designed to evaluate either existing or potential policies in terms of their ability (or potential ability) to achieve the stated policy goals. The aim of both forms of policy analysis is to solve concrete policy problems rather than to exclusively focus on the furtherance of knowledge. However, while Policy Analysis focuses on understanding already existing policies, Policy Options Analysis, on the other hand, sets out to posit and analyze two or more alternatives to the existing policy and determine which alternative is most viable. Policy analysts are responsible for synthesizing information, determining cost and benefit values, gathering data, and dealing with implementation issues. This module illustrates the variables that are involved in policy evaluation, the five basic approaches to policy analysis, and the uncertainty implicit to the process.
Keywords: cost effectiveness, formal cost-benefit, impact,modified cost-benefit, multi-goal policy,policy analysis, policy options analysis, qualitative cost-benefit, uncertainty