Establishing evaluation criteria is needed to evaluate alternatives and to make decisions. Depending on the nature of the problem different constraints may be used to design a policy. Once evaluating a clear criterion, we must go through a process of identifying alternatives that will later be evaluated in the terms of criteria. Evaluation criteria are grouped in four categories, identified by Bardach. For each policy problem, we should be able to identify relevant criteria in each category.
They are: Technical Feasibility- It measures whether the alternative will actually produce the desired result- meeting the major objectives. It can be categorized as short term or long term. Economic and Financial Possibility- It measures the cost of the alternative and the value of the benefits it will produce. In economic evaluation criteria tangible vs. intangible criteria, monetarizable vs. non monetarizble, and direct vs. indirect cost benefit criteria.
Change in net worth, economic efficiency, cost benefit analysis, profitability, and cost effectiveness are some evaluation criteria’s that are drawn from the discipline of economics. Political Viability- It measures whether the alternative is acceptable or can be made acceptable to relevant groups. Political criteria that should be considered in every analysis should include acceptability, appropriateness, responsiveness, legality, and equality. Administrative Operability- It measures how possible the alternative will be to implement.
When evaluating administrative operability, we should consider including authority, institutional commitment, capability, and organizational support. Once we know the criterion is clear and provides complete information, we can begin the process of identifying alternatives. This step of policy analysis involves weighing choices and the key is trying to select the most appropriate solutions. The appropriate solution is selected from several alternatives. We must also develop these alternatives. According to Walker when select selecting a good alternative we should consider the following characteristics.