The Nursing Training in Australia (policy analysis)

| April 23, 2015
The Nursing Training in Australia (policy analysis)
Policy Analysis
This task builds on the preliminary work already undertaken in the Proposal, and takes on board any comments and feedback made in the
assessment of that task.
It should be 2000 words long (excluding references), and is worth 50%.
The Policy Analysis should have a title, with page numbers and a header with your name and student number.
The Analysis should be presented in the form of an essay, with an introduction, a body that outlines your argument, and a conclusion.
The paragraph immediately following the introduction should outline the chosen method, and explain why this method is appropriate and
useful for the policy you wish to analyse.
You may use sub-headings if you think this improves the structure of your argument.
The reference list should be in the Harvard (in-text citation) style, and is not included in the word count. You must refer to at
least ten references. These references should include a combination of academic references (books and journal articles), policy
documents (from government and think-tanks), Hansard (if appropriate), and other sources, including media articles. Demonstrate good
judgment when choosing your reference material (no Wikipedia).
For good examples of Policy Analyses produced by students in previous years, please refer to the 2013 and 2014 editions of Publicus
Consilium: Deakin Public Policy Review. Hard and digital copies can be found in the library, and you can also download them from the
CloudDeakin site.
Marking Criteria
When marking the Policy Analysis, assessors will look for the following:
Has the student followed instructions and guidelines?
Has the student chosen an appropriate policy, and an appropriate method of policy analysis to match their choice of policy?
Does the student ask a good question?
Does the Policy Analysis have a good title, and if sub-headings are used, are they appropriate?
Does the student demonstrate a good understanding of the chosen policy and the method of analysis?
Has the policy been analysed well? Is the argument clear? Are the conclusions sound?
Has the student chosen appropriate references (both policy and scholarly references), applied the Harvard referencing style, and
completed the reference list correctly?
Does the student write clearly and succinctly, with correct spelling and grammar and with a professional tone? Is the analysis
presented well?
FAQ
Q: Can I choose any policy?
A: Almost! Remember that this unit is about public policy, so there are some topics that are not appropriate. Foreign policy is not
public policy, for example. If you are unsure about whether your policy is a public policy it is best to speak with your tutor or the
Unit Chair early.
Q: What happens if I want to change my topic or question to something different from what I wrote in my Proposal?
A: It is a common experience for researchers that their topic and questions will change slightly the more they read and learn about a
particular issue. Sometimes you’ll realise that the most important or interesting questions are actually slightly different from what
you originally proposed. That’s fine, and if this happens to you, feel free to amend your question and topic slightly when it comes to
writing your final Analysis. However, try not to deviate too far from your original Proposal – after all, you have already invested
time, energy and ideas into this project.
Q: What makes a good question?
Achievable.
I will provide file with feedback for the first assignment (policy proposal ) nursing act of Australia
and the assignment as well
Because I would have the highest marks
in this task
And this is the method of policy analysis should used in the essay
Policy Analysis: Four Methods
Objectives
At the end of this topic you should be able to:
apply four different methods of policy analysis: internal, external, comparative and policy discourse analysis, to different types of
policy
comprehend why and how different methods are useful for achieving different analyses, and why different methods of policy analysis are
suited to different policies
understand how policy analysis can be useful for undertaking broader social and political analysis.
Learning resources
Maddison, S. and Denniss, R. (2013) An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice, 2ndEdition, Cambridge University
Press: Port Melbourne, Chapters 6, 7, 8 & 9.
Bacchi, C. (2009) Analysing Policy: What’s the Problem Represented to Be?, Pearson Longman: Frenchs Forest, NSW, Chapter 1 [This
reading is available in the e-readings section on CloudDeakin].
Preview
In this unit, we do not limit ourselves to learning about public policy, theories of policy making, and the social and political
context in which public policy is formed. We also learn how to analyse policy. There are many different types of policy analysis: this
unit focuses on four. Following this topic, these four methods of policy analysis will be applied throughout the unit to different
public policies, and they will form the basis of the policy analysis assessment tasks. You will learn that different methods of policy
analysis are suited to different policies, and that when applied, different methods of policy analysis will reveal specific
information about the policy.
The Role of Policy Analysis
In brief, the purpose of policy is to achieve a tangible outcome in response to a problem. For this to occur information must be
collected and assessed, options considered and programs implemented and evaluated. Sound information and knowledge about the policy
problem, it background, and available instruments are critical. Typically, policy issues generate mountains of data and reports.
Governments invest considerable resources in programs, even in the absence of any firm knowledge of their effectiveness. The
complexity of many problems is such that they cannot be fully understood and often effective solutions are beyond reach. For example,
the high rate of divorce is considered by governments to be a social problem and vast amounts of research and expert opinion relating
to this issue can be readily accessed. But it is difficult to conceive of effective policy in this area and it is largely unknown
whether existing family programs and initiatives make a difference.
Nevertheless, public policy initiatives are always based on some (explicit or implicit) theory or set of assumptions with respect to
the nature of the problem that the program is designed to address. For example, labour market measures (such as work for the dole) are
premised on particular understandings of the causes of unemployment.
Politicians and stakeholders can be expected to absorb only a tiny fraction of available information. The same challenge will confront
students in this unit when undertaking assignment research. Careful judgment must be exercised when sifting through the volumes of
references resulting from a search of the Internet and electronic databases pertaining to almost any policy domain you can think of.
In most instances obstacles to ‘good policy’ have little to do with lack of information.
Policy analysis is a crucial step in the policy cycle. Policy makers must be able to see that their policies are achieving the desired
effect, so that they can justify the continuation of the program. In addition, circumstances might change to render the policy
redundant, or politically problematic. New instruments might need to be introduced, and new measures might be needed to reach sections
of the community not reached in the original policy implementation.
These four methods of policy analysis can be used to this end.
Four Methods of Policy Analysis:
1. Internal Policy Analysis
This is perhaps the most straight-forward of policy analysis methods, and the most commonly deployed. Put simply, an internal policy
analysis measures the policy outcomes against the policy objectives. This policy analysis is particularly useful for measuring the
effectiveness of a policy using statistics and other similar research. It is often conducted some time after a policy is originally
introduced, as it will take time (often years) before the results become apparent.
Policy objectives: In the policy maker’s words, what does this policy aim to achieve?
There are many places we can go to for statements of policy objectives. When policies are first announced, politicians and relevant
ministers often release media statements that state their policy objectives. You can find these on the politicians’ websites.
Politicians’ statements in the media are an excellent source of this information. Better still, refer to the second reading of the
policy in Hansard, where politicians explain and debate at length the reasons why they believe that introducing a particular policy is
an important measure. You can access Hansard online through the Parliament website.
You will usually be able to come up with a list of three or more policy objectives. Identifying and gathering these objectives are an
important skill in itself. Be sure that you identify and collate only stated or explicit policy objectives, not implied policy
objectives. For this sort of policy analysis, you need to work with the facts of what a policy maker says they will do, not what you
interpret that to mean. (The policy discourse analysis will allow you to make a more interpretive assessment).
Policy outcomes: Has the policy achieved the stated outcomes? Which outcomes have been achieved? Have they been fully or partially
achieved? Which outcomes have not been achieved at all? What are the reasons?
To conduct this evaluation, match the policy outcomes against the objectives. To do this task effectively, four factors are important:
(1) Use as your starting point the list of stated policy objectives; (2) Use only credible statistics from good sources; (3) Ensure
that sufficient time has elapsed between the introduction of the policy and your evaluation; (4) Ensure that certain variables or
externalities are taken into account.
For example:
In 1990, the Victorian government introduced a policy to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. What are
the statistics on homelessness in Melbourne in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010? Take into account variables (increase in Melbourne’s overall
population, global financial crisis, shifts in the definition of homelessness). Has the government succeeded in meeting its
objectives?
2. External Policy Analysis
An external policy analysis evaluates policy and its outcomes using external measures, instruments and frameworks. There are a whole
range of measures that can be utilised for an external analysis. These include, but are not limited to:
Economic measures: Is the policy cost-effective?
Environmental measures: What is the environmental impact of this policy?
Social measures: Who benefits from this policy? Who misses out? Who is negatively affected?
Human rights measures: Does this policy meet our obligations under human rights law and principles?
Democratic measures: Does this policy enhance transparency and accountability of government, or reduce it?
Today, external policy analysis is often incorporated directly into the original policy design. When we talk about a ‘triple bottom
line’ applied to policies, this means that the policy is being designed with an eye to its economic, social and environmental
outcomes, and all are important to the success of the policy (it is up to you to decide whether all three are given equal weighting,
however).
An external method of policy analysis can be applied equally to policy objectives and policy outcomes.
For example:
In 1990, the Victorian government introduced a policy to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. The
policy involved buying new houses for every person sleeping rough. Is this a cost effective way to deal with this particular problem?
It also involves separating children from their parents, and accommodating them in dormitories. Does this policy meet Australia’s
obligations under the Convention of the Rights of the Child?
3. Comparative Policy Analysis
A comparative analysis involves comparing like policies across different jurisdictions: such as different States of Australia, or
different countries. This is a valuable form of policy analysis, as it is often the case that, when faced with the same problem,
different governments may design and implement vastly different solutions. Alternatively, but just as interesting, different
governments may interpret the ‘problem’ in different ways: what one state may regard as a crisis, another may regard it as simply the
normal task of governments.
While a State-based comparison is a relatively straightforward task, an international comparison is much more complex. The policy
analyst must first establish that the two countries are comparable: that is, they have similar systems of government, similar economic
situations, and similar cultural and social environments. These conditions must be explored before any useful conclusions can be made
about policies.
Policymakers often look to international comparisons for policy solutions, and apply them (with adaptations) to their own
jurisdiction. In a globalised world, this has become a common step in policy design. Policy analysts will also ask if policymakers are
choosing to look at the jurisdictions with best practice.
For example:
In 1990, the Victorian government introduced a policy to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. The same
year Sweden and China also introduced policies with the same objectives in their major cities. All are different approaches. Which
jurisdiction has produced the best outcome? Can, and should, the Australian policymakers learn any lessons from the policies from
these countries, and if so, which ones?
4. Policy Discourse Analysis
This sort of policy analysis produces much broader conclusions than the three methods above. Someone undertaking this sort of policy
analysis will gain insight into the society and culture in which the policy exists. A policy discourse analysis asks ‘What does this
policy tell us about the society in which it is implemented?’ This method of policy analysis is particularly useful for sociologists
and anthropologists and others who are interested in broader social inquiry.
In her book What’s the problem represented to be?, Carol Bacchi (2009) explains this method in some depth. It is worth reading Chapter
1, which explains how to undertake this method, as well as Chapter 2, which outlines the method’s theoretical basis. Note that Bacchi
refers to this method as the ‘WPR’ method; here, we refer to it as the ‘policy discourse method’.
In the policy discourse method, the focus of analysis is not the stated intentions of policy makers, but rather the deep conceptual
premises operating within how problems are represented. Analysts using this method ask not why the policy is implemented, but what
social meanings contribute to the policy being seen to be necessary. Hence, policy discourse analysts aim to understand policy better
than the policymakers.
The policy discourse method asks six key questions of the policy (from Bacchi 2009: 2):
What’s the problem represented to be in a specific policy?
What presuppositions or assumptions underlie this representation of the ‘problem’?
How has this representation of the ‘problem’ come about?
What is left unproblematic in this problem representation? Where are the silences? Can the ‘problem’ be thought about differently?
What effects are produced by this representation of the ‘problem’?
How / where has this representation of the ‘problem’ been produces, disseminated and defended? How could it be questioned, disrupted
and replaced?
For example:
In 1990, the Victorian government introduced a policy to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Melbourne. The
policy involved buying new houses for every person sleeping rough. What is the problem represented to be in this policy? Are people
really sleeping rough because there is not enough housing? What is the history of homelessness and homeless policy in Melbourne? Are
there silences in this representation of the problem, such as unemployment, or mental illness? Does this representation ignore other
causes of homelessness? How does the media portray the problem? How might mental health groups question this representation?

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