Policy Memo for Masters in Public Health


SOPH603-Fall 2018 1

Your Policy Memo Assignment Timeline Your Policy Memo will derive from activities and assignments you do through the course. Your content will be organized into distinct sections.

1. Introduction 2. Issue statement 3. Options (as included in your Briefing Book) 4. Evidence (including evaluation of public health impact) 5. Recommendations 6. Next steps for your recommended policy action

a. Proposed strategies for engaging stakeholders b. Health equity statement c. Financial assessment d. Performance measures for accountability and sustainability

The Policy Memo will be due in two draft installments before the final draft. But astute students will recognize how homework, plenary activities, and studios present opportunities to draft sections over time. Though all the course material is relevant to how you present your final product, some of the specific opportunities are listed here to help you track your progress. Week 2:

• You received an example Briefing Book Section 1: Sugar sweetened beverage tax as a model. This started the course-long process of gathering the Briefing Book evidence that becomes the evidence base for your Policy Memo.

• You were oriented to the policymaking process—the process that your Policy Memo will inform.

• You focused on methods in the research evidence base, and learned to search literature.

Week 3:

• You were exposed to various systems for health and public health, to understand how different approaches to policy and structural intervention work differently in different systems.

• In studio, you clarified the problem to be addressed and the desired outcome of the policy change, and applied evidence to different options to define pros and cons.

SOPH603-Fall 2018 2

Week 4:

• You will continue to refine the evidence for potential policy options, including political feasibility.

• In studio, you will define what success would look like, and formulate measures to demonstrate success.

Week 5:

• You will consider stakeholders who will be affected by your policy change and how to engage them.

• More broadly, you will consider assets, resources, financial aspects, and challenges in order to gauge the practical feasibility of implementing a proposed policy change.

• Draft of Policy Memo sections 1-6 will be due. As with your Briefing Book draft, we advise you to ask a fellow student whose opinion you value to go through your Policy Memo draft with the rubric and give you constructive critique for your next draft. This type of peer consultation is valuable, and it’s not cheating unless they take over and do the thinking or writing for you!

Week 6:

• A focus on performance, accountability, and sustainability will help you refine your definition of success and how you will demonstrate it.

• A health equity assessment tool will help you think through desired impact of your policy option.

• Draft of Policy Memo section 7 will be due. Again, take the peer consultation step for constructive critique.

Week 7: Class meetings have ended, but you will have until 11:59 pm December 7 to turn in your final revised draft of your Policy Memo.