Effective design innovation policy is increasingly recognised as a driver for competitiveness and prosperity of nations. Policy makers in Europe face a challenge when evaluating the effectiveness of design innovation policies due to a lack of reliable and comparable data. The European Commission has demonstrated its commitment to design through investment in a number of initiatives that seek to place design at the core of national policy agendas. This paper provides an overview of the policy for design agenda in Europe, discusses the challenges of evaluation, offers a proposed approach to macro design innovation policy indicators and presents a scenario based approach that helps to benchmark the relative national performance of design innovation policy. The use of a scenario based approach links available data through a narrative approach to an overall picture of the relative performance of design innovation policy at a national level. While our research has demonstrated that there are no reliable and comprehensive data sets currently available for design across Europe, we conclude with a consideration of the challenges and limitations of a scenario based approach to evaluation design innovation policy at a macro level.