8. Guidance for Projects

August 18, 2013

8.         Guidance for Projects

Policy analysts must often define problems for, and recommend solutions to, their superiors. A policy is a high level statement or plan that defines goals and acceptable approaches to the achievement of goals. A policy analysis evaluates the goals or the approaches to the goals. A policy analysis project should include the following elements:

  • Introduction
  • Assessment of the Problem
  • Literature Review
  • Stakeholder Analysis
    • Include at least one stakeholder representing the public interest.
  • Options Specification
    • Develop an options specification table.
  • Options Analysis
    • Include at least the following criteria:  public interest, ethical compliance, political feasibility, administrative feasibility, financial feasibility, equity, and effectiveness.
  • Recommendation
    • Identify the action-forcing event.
    • Identify the policy question asked by the official you are working for.
    • Provide an historical background and timeline.
    • Define the policy problem.
    • Complete a literature review that includes scholarly articles, professional and best-practice reports and articles, and reports and articles about how the policy and problem has been managed in other jurisdictions.
    • Develop an environmental scan table that identifies 4-5 people who are official decision makers, experts and advocates. These are people whose views should be considered by your client.
    • Identify the policy strategies and options to be assessed.
    • Explain the analysis to be conducted.
    • Collect the information or data.
    • Identify legal, ethical, operational and financial constraints that limit strategies and options.
    • Identify legal, ethical, operational or financial implications of your recommendation.
    • Present and explain the results of your analysis in an options analysis table.
    • Recommend, based on the analysis, a policy strategy or option.
    • Identify arguments for and against the policy strategy or option advocated.
    • Defend the policy strategy or option advocated.