Eightfold Path

Eightfold Path (policy analysis)

The Eightfold Path is a method of policy analysis developed by Eugene Bardach, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. It is outlined in his seminal work, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, which is now in its second edition. The book is an integral part of public policy and public administration programs around the world.

Bardach's procedure is as follows:

  1. Define the Problem
  2. Assemble Some Evidence
  3. Construct the Alternatives
  4. Select the Criteria
  5. Project the Outcomes
  6. Confront the Trade-offs
  7. Decide!
  8. Tell Your Story

A possible ninth-step, based on Bardach's own writing, might be "Repeat Steps 1 - 8 as Necessary."

The Eightfold Path is also the Noble Eightfold Path, the essence of Gautama Buddha's teachings of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right meditation and right concentration.

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