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Policy support tool

Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA)

A Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) can be used to identify and compare different policy options by assessing their effects, performance, impacts, and trade-offs.

Aim of the resource

MCA provides a systematic approach for supporting complex decisions according to pre-determined criteria and objectives. MCA is particularly suitable for complex decision problems that involve multiple and conflicting objectives and criteria. It allows identifying a single preferred alternative, or to rank or short-list possible alternatives. MCA provides a framework to explore trade-offs between different options.

Potential benefits from using the resource
Openness to divergent values and opinions.
Capability to incorporate qualitative and intangible factors.
Accountability (systematic, transparent).
Useful for conflict resolution and to help reaching a political compromise.
Encourages stakeholder participation.
Potential limitations from using the resource
Potentially time consuming and complex.
Difficult comparison of case studies.
Used in a top-down manner by decision-makers: Risk of “false” objectivity of decisions, that are, in fact, highly subjective.
The same ecosystem can be evaluated from different perspectives, but it has to be clarified for what reason it is included.
Choice of stakeholders and timing of their participation.
Is the resource freely available?
Do you want to add more details?
Assessment of effectiveness of the tool or instrument

See "Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) - Method Profile" (down below in "links").