All Hands on Deck! Getting Back into it

Coming back from a concussion, I’ve had to reorient myself to my capstone and do a bit of backtracking to remember the logic behind my methods in the first place. I was better able to see where I wasn’t being clear, which is enormously helpful. My methods section is better justified and I’ve reorganized how I go about discussing the results from splitting part A and B of the policy analysis to discussing them as a whole. I’m now using a lot more headers and shorter paragraphs as well, which helps with flow. I will continue to work on the middle and bottom of my hourglass, which I will submit Monday night.

Moving forward with my policy proposal, I found new sources this week including this info sheet with links to other pieces. These help to support the framework, style, guiding principles, and questions I must address to adequately produce the best outcome I can. I particularly like David Shorr’s policy memo “A Unified International Affairs and National Security Budget to Increase American Effectiveness Worldwide” and the argumentative, editorial style of Henry Aaron’s “Reform Health Care.” The proposal is meant to be well reasoned with sources and logic, replete with opinionated and assertive rhetoric, and concise (no longer than 5 pages).

Policy Proposal Layout:

  1. Context/Background: explains the issue and will basically be my final scholarly essay boiled down into a few paragraphs
  2. Recommendations: argues for policies that should be implemented, how this change should occur, and discusses the trade-offs
  3. Alternatives: addresses other popular proposals and argues for why they would be less feasible/effective
  4. Limitations and barriers: discusses potential issues of the recommendation and postulates how these might be overcome
  5. Conclusion: provides brief closing statements in debate fashion.

Michael Greenberg’s (2007) book, Environmental Policy Analysis & Practice lays out a step by step process for determining my policy recommendation. I will be following this methodology.

Step 1: assess options using six criteria

  • The reaction of elected officials and their staff
  • The reaction of NGOs, businesses, the media, and the public
  • Health and ecological implications
  • Economic considerations
  • Moral imperatives
  • Tim and flexibility considerations

Step 2: bring five T’s to bear and examine each

  • Themes
  • Theories
  • Tales
  • Tools
  • Tasks

Step 3: Summarize the results of steps 1 and 2

  • Prepare a list of the key advantages and disadvantages and uncertainties of each option
  • Prepare a longer report providing support for the list
  • Prepare a summary integrating the assessment

Step 4: Reconsider the policy issue and options in light of this analysis, edit

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