- the zero-alternative. Don't forget this "business-as-usual" scenario.
Even when it is not a serious option, it still provides the base for comparison
of the other alternatives
- regular versus unique problems.
- 'regular' refers to similar (almost identical) policy problems. Use can
be made of experience in similar cases, where alternatives were developed
for similar problems (analogue alternatives). Here, it is less urgent to
develop additional, new alternatives as long as there are no signs that
the 'traditional' alternatives give friction;
- for 'unique' problems, sometimes reference can be made with somewhat analogue
problem situations: alternatives that were developed for a problem in a
total different field of expertise.
- the generation of variants on alternatives. Already formulated alternatives
can be the starting point of new alternatives. For instance, elaborated alternatives
can be modified by changing those aspects that are responsible for a poor
performance of that alternative (this especially refers to negative side effects).
In this way, alternatives can be improved (reducing costs, different financing
structure, different phasing in implementation). These alternatives are identified
on the basis of a global inventory of the effects of the original alternatives;
- system description. The system-analytical description used for the
zero-situation (and/or for the desired situation) reveals the possibilities
and means of influencing the system. Based upon this knowledge, alternatives
can be generated.
- scenarios. Scenarios are used to specify uncertain exogenous developments,
which have an impact on the project, but which are not determined by them.
Coastal zone management scenarios are commonly based on expected developments
of, e.g. the climate and the associated sea level rise;
- phasing in time. When already identified alternatives do not give
an adequate solution for the policy problem, it can be investigated to which
extent a combination of different types of (mutual supporting) alternatives
in time offer an alternative itself.