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[Perspectives] The art of priority setting

As Rembrandt’s painting The Wardens of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, Known as “The Syndics” reminds us, evaluation is first and foremost an art done by a group of people selected because of their expert knowledge and understanding of the task to be achieved. The painting represents a discussion between drapers who were elected to assess the quality of cloth that weavers offered for sale to members of their guild. One would assume that their evaluation was made on the basis of criteria decided by the group and rooted in their objectives and values, and that their decision, after careful consideration of the characteristics of the fabric, was considered legitimate based on those premises.