Writing policy briefs

| August 22, 2015

Writing policy briefs

: Policy Brief
Word Limit: 1,000 to 1,200 words

The first two assignments for require you to write policy briefs. Writing policy briefs is a particular skill, used widely in government and non-government agencies to provide guidance to policy makers. The aim is to give a short summary of an issue, identify possible courses of action, identify arguments for and against, identify the parties involved and their opinions, and to highlight any possible implications. Policy briefs are internal documents that are not produced for public audiences. The briefs should strictly remain within the 1,000 word limit, but they may refer to additional material that can be supplied as an attachment.

For the first brief, imagine that you work in the relevant government department. Your job is to read an article/report and to let your Minister know if there is any action needed. This action could be as simple as ‘noting’ the report, or it might involve some government action, such as commissioning a discussion paper to consider funding or policy changes. You will need to identify an issue for the brief by searching policy forums (e.g. Australian Policy Online <http//www.apo.org.au>). You should select an issue that relates to social policy (such as housing, health, education, welfare, etc). And, you should try to make recommendations consistent with the government (federal or state) that you are aiming your policy brief at.

While the policy brief is primarily concerned with one issue, you need to read more widely to familiarise yourself with existing policies, the nature of reforms, current debates and the positions of key stakeholders. You should also select a different policy issue for the two briefs! And, Please follow the format outlined in the ‘What is a policy brief
N.B. Make sure that you read the What is a Policy Brief?
sources/references 6-7

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