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policy brief

by | Mar 26

I. Assignment: THIS POLICY BRIEF MUST HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUS.

You are to write a 1.5-5 page policy brief following the guidelines explained here. Use 12 point type, Times New Roman or Ariel font, with 1” margins. For this first assignment, you get to choose the policy you will analyze in this assignment. However, in general, follow these guidelines:

1. Make sure your proposal is for a PUBLIC policy. It can be directed at any level of government, but your proposal has to be about some problem, issue, situation, that affects some (larger or smaller) PUBLIC. KEEP IN MIND THAT THE POLICY MUST HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUS; AS SUCH, THE BEST POLICY-MAKERS TO DIRECT YOUR PROPOSAL AT SHOULD PROBABLY BE AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

2. Make sure you direct your proposal to the APPROPRIATE Actor for this proposal. Identify the person(s) who you are making your pitch to. BE as specific as you can be: e.g, TO: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House; President Donald Trump; Governor Rick Scott., etc.

 3. IMPORTANT: Your proposal should contain a proposed (course of) action. Be as specific as you can make it, and don’t just propose an outcome or state of affairs you would like to see happen. It you want some change in school performance outcomes, for example, TELL THE POLICY MAKER(S) WHAT THEY SHOULD DO – IN AS CONCRETE TERMS AS YOU CAN.

 NOTE: Spelling, grammar, word choice, etc. count. Be careful, read what you have written. Make sure it looks and reads like a professional document. No “emotional rhetoric” or slogans. You want to look intelligent and knowledgeable to the government person you are presenting this to.

 Submit this through CANVAS assignment page. DUE OCTOBER 24 at midnight (i.e. 11:59 PM) No Hard Copy needs to be submitted.

 II. Policy Brief Description

 The purpose of the policy brief is to convince the target audience of the urgency of the current problem and the need to adopt the preferred alternative or course of action outlined and therefore, serve as an impetus for action.

The paper should be:

  • Focused – All aspects of the policy brief need to strategically focused on achieving the intended goal of convincing
  • Professional, not academic –The common audience for a policy brief is interested to know the writer’s perspective on the problem and potential solutions based on the new evidence.
  • Evidence-based – The policy brief is supported by evidence that the problem exists and the consequences of adopting particular alternatives.
  • Limited – The focus of the brief needs to be limited to a particular problem or area of a problem.
  • Succinct – Not a long research paper; ~3 pages best
  • Understandable – Use clear and simple language (i.e. not the jargon and concepts of an academic discipline).
  • Accessible – facilitate the ease of use of the document by the target audience and subdivide the text using clear descriptive titles to guide the reader.
  • Promotional – the policy brief should catch the eye of the potential audience in order to create a favorable impression.
  • Practical and feasible – the policy brief is an action-oriented tool targeting policy practitioners. The brief must provide arguments based on what is actually happening in practice with a particular policy.

III. The Policy Brief –

You MUST follow this structure/outline

A. Title of the paper The title aims to catch the attention of the reader and compel him/her to read on and so needs to be descriptive, punchy and relevant.

B. Executive summary Aims to convince the reader further that the brief is worth in-depth investigation. A 1-2 paragraph executive summary commonly includes:

  • A description of the problem addressed;
  • A statement on why the current approach/policy option needs to be changed;
  • Your recommendations for action.

(Since this is a summary, you might want to write this last after you have developed your argument through C-E below).

C. Context and importance of the problem The context and importance of the problem is both the introductory and first building block of the brief. As such, it usually includes the following:

  • A clear statement of the problem or issue in focus.
  • A short overview of the root causes of the problem
  • A clear statement of the policy implications of the problem which clearly establishes the current importance and policy relevance of this issue.

 D. Critique of policy option(s) detail shortcomings of the current approach or options being implemented and illustrate both the need for change and focus of where change needs to occur. Includes the following:

  • A short overview of the policy option(s) in focus
  • An argument illustrating why and how the current or proposed approach is failing.

 E. Your recommendations Provide a detailed and convincing proposal of how the current policy approach need to changed. This is achieved by including:

  • A breakdown of the specific practical steps or measures that need to be implemented, and WHO is going to implement them.
  • A closing paragraph re-emphasizing the importance of action
  

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