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Table 2. Helpful Questions To Ask When Deciding Among Policy Options

Communicate Evidence
Who needs to be informed? How can information best be presented?
Convey Intent
What are program managers expected to do?
Monitor and Evaluate
Does the policy still make sense? Has the option or mix of options worked?
  • What will be the decisionmaking process?
    • Who decides?
    • Who are the key players?
    • What will be the role of key interest groups?
    • What is the timing and setting for the decision?
  • What information will be needed to inform the decisionmaking process?
    • Evidence of problem?
    • Predicted impact of proposed options?
  • How can information be organized for best impact?
    • For principal decisionmakers?
    • For key interest groups?
    • For the public?
  • Are the expectations for the policy or program clear?
  • Are some goals in conflict?
    • How will program administrators resolve conflicts in goals?
  • Have priorities been clearly specified to target limited resources?
  • Has sufficient guidance been provided to assure implementation as intended?
  • Does the problem still exist?
    • How has it changed and why?
  • Are the goals still reasonable and agreed upon?
  • Have original objectives been achieved? If not, assess implementation.
    • Plausibility
    • Feasibility
  • What should be the scope of evaluation?
    • What decisions lie ahead?
    • How much time and expense is justified?
    • Will key decisionmakers and program managers cooperate?

Source: Helms WD. Policy Analysis Framework. Presented at: AHRQ Workshop, Using Policy Analysis and Research More Effectively in Decisionmaking; July 29, 2002; Rensselaerville, NY.

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