In this phase a range of options including cost/benefit analysis have to be developed to support the decision making process. Cost/benefit analysis are well known as a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and cost of a project or of a government policy. Hence standard economic theories claim that economic efficiency, measured by the difference between benefits and costs, should be the criterion for making policy choices. This is highly criticized by governments and policy makers. Indeed, cost/benefit analysis can be very useful for comparing the favourable and unfavourable effects of policies. But cost/benefit analysis are not sufficient for the design of public policy, while they can provide an excellent basis and framework for subsequent analysis, which itself is required for the elaboration of options. In this phase much desk research, statistical analysis as well as social media and news analysis are required.
It has to be stated that the developing of options also include the identification of technical and political constraints (Howlett et.al., 2009, p. 112) actions. This seems very clear, but is not considered in policy proposals and might jeopardise the course of actions. Limitations have to be considered and feasibilities and unfeasibilities detected.