Eightfold Path (policy analysis)

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The Eightfold Path is a method of policy analysis assembled by Eugene Bardach, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] It is outlined in his book A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, which is now in its fourth edition.[2] The book is commonly referenced in public policy and public administration scholarship.[3]

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 New York taxi driver test[edit]

The New York taxi driver test is a technique for evaluating the effectiveness of communication between policy makers and analysts. Bardach contends that policy explanations must be clear and down-to-earth enough for a taxi driver to be able to understand the premise during a trip through city streets. The New York taxi driver is presumed to be both a non-specialist and a tough customer.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eugene Bardach | Emeritus Professor of Public Policy". University of California at Berkeley. 
  2. ^ "CQ Press: Book: A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 4th Edition, Eugene Bardach". CQ Press. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "List of scholarly works referencing A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis". Google Scholar. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Bardach, Eugene (2000). A practical guide for policy analysis: the eightfold path to more effective problem solving. Chatham House Publishers, Seven Bridges Press. ISBN 978-1-889119-29-8. 
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20110712110533/http://www.ebriefings.ca/wordpress/?p=321. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]