Review a policy or policy proposal and analyze its likely effects.
The goal of this assignment is to use the themes of the course and your critical thinking skills to analyze a regional policy problem and its proposed solution. To do so you must draw upon your understanding of the policymaking process as well as your ability to analyze how policy solutions are related to the challenges of regional governance discussed in the course.
This assignment takes the form of a policy brief in which you are asked to review a policy or policy proposal and analyze its likely effects. This is a common task asked of researchers and policymakers who work for municipal governments, non-profit organizations, and private sector actors who are faced with a policy change. Policy and policy proposals can include official government policies as well as the work of non-governmental actors.
Policy briefs take very particular formats. However, to fit the assignment goals the format you will use is a mix of a policy brief and an academic paper. The format consists of the following five sections:
1) Most policy briefs include a one-page summary of the document that provides an overview of the policy as well as briefly introduces the analysis found within the brief.
2) Description of problem: In this section you are to describe the problem(s) that this policy is trying to address and why it needs a policy intervention. You should describe the issues that the policy or policy proposal seeks to solve as well as the urgency of making some sort of policy intervention.
3) Description of proposed solution: In this section you should go into detail about how the policy proposes to solve or mitigate the problem(s) discussed in Section 2. You are to outline some of the mechanisms proposed by the policy and how they address the problem(s) discussed in the previous section.
4) Analysis of policy environment: Drawing on course readings, lectures, and secondary sources, in this section you are to analyze the environment the policy was produced within, how the policy fits (or does not fit) within existing governmental structures, and any potential barriers to the successful implementation of this project (issues of regional coordination, funding models, the need for public support, etc.).
5) Analysis of potential impacts: In this section you should draw upon course readings, lectures, and secondary sources to analyze the potential impacts of this policy. This should include an analysis of the extent to which this policy will address the problem it is
I have provided you with a list of policies that you can analyze for this project. If you wish to analyze a different policy, you must check with me via e-mail or during my office hours.
Some of these policies are wide-ranging, so you may want to focus on a specific aspect of the policy rather than reviewing the entire plan. For example, if you chose The Big Move: Transforming Transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, you could focus on its plans in relation to ‘Goods Movement’ rather than the entirety of the policy. This will make the project more manageable.