Policy analysis techniques provide the means for assessing policy options and recommending the preferred course of action to achieve various organizational, political, social or economic goals. Analysis also provides a way to examine existing policies with an eye toward recommending modifications or improvements.
Policy analysis represents a systematic approach to comparing a range of policy alternatives with existing actions. The analysis then becomes a basis for recommending a course of action for policy modification.
Policy analysis for revising existing policy often occurs in government, but can occur in the private and nonprofit sectors, as well.
Before modifying existing policies, governments and other organizations may evaluate existing policies to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.
Policy analysis uses a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze and compare existing policies and possible modifications. Many analyses compare expected costs and benefits of different policy options.
In government settings, analyses for policy modification not only weigh costs and benefits, but also consider political implications as well, such as affected interests and groups likely to support or oppose various policy changes.