Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 236, Issue 1, pp 15–38 | Cite as

From evidence-based policy making to policy analytics

  • Giada De Marchi
  • Giulia Lucertini
  • Alexis Tsoukiàs


This paper aims at addressing the problem of what characterises decision-aiding for public policy making problem situations. Under such a perspective it analyses concepts like “public policy”, “deliberation”, “legitimation”, “accountability” and shows the need to expand the concept of rationality which is expected to support the acceptability of a public policy. We then analyse the more recent attempt to construct a rational support for policy making, the “evidence-based policy making” approach. Despite the innovation introduced with this approach, we show that it basically fails to address the deep reasons why supporting the design, implementation and assessment of public policies is such a hard problem. We finally show that we need to move one step ahead, specialising decision-aiding to meet the policy cycle requirements: a need for policy analytics.


Public policy Policy cycle Evidence-based Decision aiding  Policy analytics 



This paper has gone through multiple versions. The evolution of the paper benefitted from the remarks of many colleagues (mostly during the special sessions about policy analytics in the EURO conferences in Vilnius, 2012 and Rome, 2013) among which we would like to mention Valerie Belton and Gilberto Montibeler with whom we wrote a position paper about policy analytics (originally scheduled to appear after this one). The comments of three referees as well as of the guest editors helped us very much in order to improve the paper. The support of a PEPS/PSL-CNRS 2013 grant is acknowledged by the third author. When the first version of this paper was written the first author was with the Department of Architecture at Alghero, University of Sassari, IT, while the second author was with the DIMEG, University of Padova, IT. The support of both is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giada De Marchi
    • 1
  • Giulia Lucertini
    • 1
  • Alexis Tsoukiàs
    • 1
  1. 1.LAMSADE-CNRS, Universit Paris DauphineParis Cedex 16France

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