Guidelines for Open Policy Analysis

In order to establish common standards and facilitate the creation of a community of practice around OPA, BITSS developed a set of guidelines that outline the main features of OPA and best practices for their implementation. In developing these guidelines, we drew inspiration from the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines for scientific research.

How to interpret and use the guidelines

The OPA Guidelines feature nine steps for implementation, grouped by their relation to the three key principles of OPA: Open Output, Open Analysis, and Open Materials. Each step is modular, meaning it can be implemented independently from the rest, and features three gradual levels of rigor.  Analysts can adopt each step at varying levels of rigor, depending on what is appropriate for their work. Status quo in policy analysis practices should be interpreted as Level 0.

Sign on to the guidelines and submit your feedback

We are currently in the process of expanding these guidelines with a narrative section that will include more details and examples of recommended best practices and tools for implementation. If you are a policy analyst or conduct policy-relevant research, you can get involved in two ways. First, you can become a signatory of the OPA Guidelines by adding your name (or the name of your organization, if you sign as an organizational representative) to this form and including a statement in policy reports indicating they were developed in accordance with the OPA Guidelines (e.g., “This analysis complies with level 3 of the Open Policy Analysis (OPA) Guidelines developed by BITSS”). Second, you can submit your feedback to these Guidelines to BITSS Project Scientist Fernando Hoces de la Guardia (