While the field of health policy is grounded in theory, it is also a highly tangible and product-driven field. The people who work in health policy spend a large amount of time producing policy analyses, which then lead to the creation and implementation of actual policies by legislators. The ability to understand and develop a thorough health policy analysis is an important skill for anyone working in the health field, not just for policy analysts (a profession that some of you may choose to pursue), because of how steeped the health profession is in policy. The remainder of the assignments in the course will focus on you developing your own policy analysis related to your selected health policy issue. This week, you will write a draft of your policy analysis. Prior to beginning this week’s assignment, it is a good idea to review the instructions for the final Policy Analysis assignment, which is due in module 8.
The Policy Analysis assignment is divided into two main sections, the “analysis” section (analysis of the problem and possible solutions) and the “recommendations” section. For this week’s assignment, you will focus on the analysis section. You will receive feedback from your instructor on this section next week, which you should use as you craft your final draft in module 8. The final Policy Analysis assignment due in module 8 will include both sections, the analysis section (updated and expanded based on provided feedback) and the recommendations section. Because this week’s assignment is a draft of the final assignment, it is not expected to be perfect and fully formed. You are expected, however, to put significant thought into what you do this week so that you have a large chunk of the policy analysis work done. The less you turn in this week, the less feedback you will have. The more feedback you get, the more likely it is you will do well on your final policy analysis due in module 8. Be sure to incorporate the feedback you receive in your final assignment submission.
In this section of the policy analysis, you will be including a discussion of possible policy interventions/options. For those of you who are new to the concept of interventions, you are strongly encouraged to review chapter seven in the Seavey, McGrath, & Aytur (2014) book.
Seavey, J. M. P., Grath, R. M. P., & Aytur, S. (2014). Health Policy Analysis : Framework and Tools for Success
(Links to an external site.)
. New York, US: Springer Publishing Company.
Imagine that you have been asked to prepare a formal policy analysis regarding the health policy issue you chose during module 3. Your full analysis should convince a thoughtful, analytic reader (such as your instructor and classmates) of the existence and importance of the problem, inform the reader about alternative goals for public intervention, describe and evaluate the policy alternatives designed to help meet the policy goals, and recommend the best policy option based on the analysis. For this week’s assignment, prepare a draft of the first section of your full policy analysis. In your submission for this week, you should:
Describe a policy-relevant problem and clearly state it as a policy-relevant question (utilize the feedback you received on your module 3 assignment)
Describes the symptoms, magnitude, and consequences of the problem you are analyzing
Discuss the the plausible goals for a policy-level intervention of this problem
Describe the primary stakeholders for the policy issue and each of their interests
Explain the expected agreements and conflicts among stakeholders on the goals for a policy-level intervention
Summarize the major policy-level interventions that have already been attempted related to this issue, including the strengths and weaknesses of each intervention
Discuss three or four principle policy alternatives (existing or possible), including the major strengths and weaknesses of each alternative
Over the past five weeks, we have learned many different strategies for analyzing policies and policy alternatives. While the final layout and structure of your policy analysis is up to you, you are strongly encouraged to review the many resources from our reading for how to structure a policy analysis. There are a variety of analytic frameworks for how to construct a policy analysis, so you should choose the one that best fits your chosen policy issue and works for you. Imagine that you are crafting an analysis that could be given to a legislator or other stakeholder group, and prepare a document that would be the most useful, understandable, and persuasive. Consider adding charts, graphs, or other visuals (e.g. a stakeholder analysis matrix, comparison charts, etc.) that support what you discuss. The policy analysis you complete for this assignment could very well be included in your own personal portfolio to show future employers.
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer. For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided by your instructor.
Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Submit Assignment” in the upper right corner. Click on “Browse,” browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct file name has appeared next to the Browse button. Enter your comments, if any, in the Comments area. Click on “Submit Assignment.”
Your assignment should be approximately six to eight double-spaced pages long, excluding the cover page and references. The paper must be written in your own words specifically for this course (no “recycled” papers accepted). All content that is quoted or paraphrased from outside sources must be cited correctly.
This assignment will be graded using the rubric displayed below. Please review this rubric prior to beginning your work. You can also access the rubric on the Course Rubrics page within the Start Here module. This assignment is worth 10% of your final course grade.
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