A 4–5-page brief that presents a policy problem and suggests a solution

Create a Policy Brief

A 4–5-page brief that presents a policy problem and suggests a solution. The audience for this, and other deliverables, is a policymaker – who may be an elected official, a senior administrator in a state or county agency, a staffer to an elected member, or some other individual in the private sector with significant decision-making authority. It is important that you identify a problem, to which you can propose solutions. Do not analyze an existing policy – your task is to identify a problem, see if it has a policy solution, and advance that policy solution in your deliverable. 

It is important for you to write your briefs as an answer to the question, “What do you want me to do?”  Do not begin your brief with a review of the literature. Busy policymakers do not have the time to read a lengthy Background section and are probably well acquainted with the problem you have discovered, so you will want to focus much of your attention on the solutions you are proposing.

Instructions

You must write your briefs to answer the question, “What do you want me to do?”

Do not begin your brief with a review of the literature. Busy policymakers do not have the time to read a lengthy Background section and are probably well acquainted with the problem you have discovered, so you will want to focus much of your attention on the proposed solutions.

Sample Structure:

Title – This is your header

Brief Summary – This is an executive summary and not a dive into the historical context of the issue.

Problem – What is the issue you want to address? (It is important to understand the problem and who is the best person to write to. For instance, you cannot be writing about truancy and absenteeism in NYC schools and address it to the US DOE)

Policy Implications – What are the implications of the problem? What might the implications of other solutions be?

Solutions – What solution do you suggest?

Recommendations – Do you have a recommendation for how to integrate this solution? For instance, a policy window, who is in power, do you have a recommended strategy?

A 4–5-page brief that presents a policy problem and suggests a solution

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