With the goal of developing interventions that help to shape decision-making in public policy for the better, EA Geneva co-founder Max Stauffer launched this working group in 2017. So far, it has focused on developing an advanced understanding of policy-making processes, leveraging Max’ expertise and Geneva’s unique access to global policy networks.

We have been working on professionalizing the project and will spin off a separate entity for it in 2020. Please get in touch if you are interested.





Work in progress



Why improvE Policy-making?

Effective policy is vital to achieving long-term, positive impact on a global scale, and requires a robust decision-making framework that is informed by clearly defined principles and continually refined with evidence. We seek to enhance and guide the evolution of decision-making mechanisms at the public policy level through:

  • cause and intervention prioritization frameworks;

  • important considerations such as scientific evidence, rational inference, explicit reasoning, and consequentialist thinking; and

  • a more granular understanding of complex, multifaceted phenomena.


How Will you go about this?

Our focus lies on the realms of applied science and knowledge brokering. We are familiar with case-studies, statistical analyses, and agent-based computational modelling, as well as behavioral economics and psychology, systems theory, international relations, and international law. We have experience in transmitting knowledge through workshops, private coaching, and want to expand our toolkit with serious games and other types of in-person simulations. Generally, our approaches seek to improve the capacity to cope with uncertainty in decision-making.

Knowing about how to improve policy-making is a way to make progress on all global priorities. It is a resource that can be employed to pursue a pluralistic agenda and updated over time. Since improving policy-making in will necessarily take time, it is worth building the capacity and network to do so. Such efforts could yield benefits that can be leveraged long-term, through e.g. better monitoring, forecasting, and collaboration systems.

Our strategy is to unpack policy-making dynamics to better transmit scientific knowledge and methods into policy-making, and ensure that improved knowledge translates into high impact policy and outcomes.


What does that mean concretely?

We are committed to the long-term undertaking of improving our understanding of policy-making, building networks, improving policy decisions, observing and tracking impact, and implementing recursive processes. Concretely, our strategy is deployed in three directions:

  • Research

    • Fundamental research on policy-making to identify strategies

    • Testing and evaluation of (narrow) strategies

  • Network building

    • Know-how/experts

    • End-users, access for implementation

  • Application of pioneered insights (once 1 and 2 are strong enough)

    • Implemented projects (scale narrow strategies)

    • Recommendations to policy- and EA organisations

    • Matchmaking

Our work is meant to fill knowledge gaps and reduce uncertainties associated with policy-making. We are in the process of developing our research agenda.


Who are you to try THIS?

We believe our team is well placed to carry this work forward because we have already researched policy-making and published on the subject. In addition, we have existing networks through, for instance, senior staff at international organizations; the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre; Professor Paul Cairney from the University of Stirling; and Professors at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Lastly, we are based in Geneva which is a global policy hub.


upcoming publications & plans

Forthcoming in the first quarter of 2019:

  • Prioritization in public policy-making

  • A conceptual agent-based model of policy-making

  • The heterogeneity of evidence-based policy-making

  • Considerations for improving policy decision-making

  • Foundations of our strategic thinking

  • Improving public policy-making: a research agenda

Our next efforts will be dedicated to detailing a research agenda on improving public policy-making in light of our past and future research, the questions above, and external contributions. Are you part of an organisation wanting to improve its decision-making? Or are you an organisation or individual working on doing the most good using evidence and reason?

  • We would be happy to collaborate with you through

    • Trial and evaluation of strategies

    • Research projects

  • We would be happy to receive feedback from you on our approach

Contact us at policy@eageneva.org