Crisis Control: The Use of Simulations for Policy Decision-Making

In face of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, use of evidence may be key to timely and precise decision-making. This policy brief explores the use of simulations in policy decision making in the Brazilian State of São Paulo in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We draw briefly on the literature on evidence-based public policy to highlight the exacerbated need for timely decision-making and the role evidence plays in guiding high-level decision makers amidst a crisis. We present examples of simulations that can substantiate top level decision making, such as the assessment of the potential daily sectoral and regional economic costs of control strategies for mitigating the effects of COVID-19. Finally, the essential contextual elements of governance for informational use are provided as a set of recommended tools for policymakers.