Writing a Policy Brief

Assessment 2: Writing a Policy BriefOVERVIEWA policy brief is a tool used to communicate essential information about a policy issue: the problem/issue, its significance (for whom) and what is being done about it (and by whom)As we have discussed in class, high level communication skills are critical for effective policy practice. In this assessment you have the opportunity to develop your analytic and written communication skills.LENGTH2500 words in totalDUE DATEPart A: 11:59pm 2 days after Session 6Part B: 11:59pm 2 days after Session 9INSTRUCTIONSFor this assessment, imagine you are a social worker employed in a policy officer position by a Victorian health advocacy organisation. We shall call this organisation ‘Good Health for All’. You have been asked to prepare a policy brief about the Victorian Healthcare policy. Good Health for All membership consists of non government services that provide advocacy about healthcare issues on behalf of vulnerable groups in the community.The policy brief is going to be tabled at the next Policy Advisory Committee of Good Health for All and your Policy Brief needs to be submitted to the CEO’s office by the end of this week. Good Health for All Executive are preparing a submission to the Victorian Government to inform it of relevant and key issues currently being experienced in the sector and to propose recommendations for the Government to consider as it develops its new policy for Victorians in this section of the population.Your audience is the Policy Advisory Committee of Good Health for All. Your Policy brief needs to be directed to them, providing them with information about existing relevant health policy and identifying key issues that they need to consider that can be included in a Health Rights submission to the Victorian Government.Have a look and read through the examples of policy briefs provided below — note the format, structure as well as the content and detail.This assessment is to be completed in two parts: Part A and Part BPart A is due 11.59 pm, 2 days after Session 6: Part B is due 11.59 pm, 2 days after Session 9.For this assessment, you are required to use the template provided in this Assessment 2 space. ‘Assessment 2: Writing a Policy Brief- Template’Notes for writing the Policy Brief –(Part A) – Problematising the issuePolicy briefs are usually two pages, certainly no more than three. In this assessment the word limit is 2500 words. See template for word count breakdown as a guide (At approximately 450 words per page @ 1.5 spacing, the Policy Brief may be 3-4 pages).The Title /Issue needs to be no more than one sentence – either the concise name of the policy statement or policy issue you are analysing OR a sentence that encapsulates the issue.Background (what your research tells us) – Clearly and concisely summarise the policy issue you are analysing. It should include a summary of ‘what the problem is’, previous /current policies in the area, brief summary of the main points of debate evident in the media or public, why the issues is important right now, the views of main stakeholders.(Part B – Responses to the policy issue – Implications and Recommendations)Implications of the policy statement – Every policy has implications for most if not all stakeholders – for example, for the organisation implementing the policy, the groups for which the policy was intended, for service providers. Informed by what you have learned about the issue from your research in Part A, this section is where you write about your understanding of the possible implications for policy development and implementation. For example, one implication of social distancing during the pandemic has been the dramatic reduction in sales for many businesses which has led to a further implication of reduction in available jobs.To guide your preparation, think about what your answers might be to the following questions :What are the possible implications of what is currently known for the service users? What are the possible implications for them as stakeholders in the public health sector? It is important to spell out each implication clearly, explaining their relative importance.Recommendations – ‘Your briefing must conclude with recommendations. Your recommendations are informed by your previous sections and should be numbered and in point form, expressed in no more than a sentence or two. Consider your tone carefully and ensure that you are making recommendations that are actually within the scope of powers available to the person you are briefing. The recommendations section should start: for example, That the Victorian Department of Health …ASSESSMENT CRITERIA AND SUBMISSION(very impportant please as this is my final paper)Writing a Policy Brief: Part A – Framing the policy issue– Clear, detailed and comprehensive knowledge about how social problems /issues are constructed and represented.– Eloquently written overview of the policy issue that is presented very clearly and concisely : use of literature informed and well integrated– Rationale clearly and concisely articulated and expressed– Consistent, accurate use of Harvard style referencing for in-text citation and reference list.Four or more appropriate sources included.
Writing a Policy Brief: Part B – Developing a response– A detailed picture of the key themes/findings about this social policy issue that are clearly and fluently follow from the literature review– Potential implications of the research for service users and the agency are clearly and succinctly outlined and follow from each of the responses provided in Part A.– Recommendations for policy development are clearly outlined and flow logically from the previous sections of the Policy Brief(Parts A and B)– Part B written fluently and concisely, literature well integrated, following on from Part A– Reference List meticulously complies with Harvard Referencing style
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