8.3.7 Politics and Improper Reasons for Analysis

Occasionally, an urban analyst may be brought into a situation for the wrong reason. As one example, any decision, program, or operational change supported by operational analysis can, for city and agency officials, help to create an improved public image as a result of the presence of technical support. Although this visibility aspect of a program can be positive, creating the desire for bona fide commitment from officials, it can also be detrimental if it creates an atmosphere in which predetermined policies are to be legitimized by analysis. Thus, when officials sense the necessity for technically "proving" an already selected policy, they may "call in the analysts."

Another example is that "putting a problem out to analysis" is a sophisticated way of tabling discussion and otherwise delaying action on an issue. These and other concerns are discussed at length by Brewer [BREW 73].