Public Policy Analysis
Dr. Matthew Cahn
Department of Political Science &
Masters of Public Administration
California State University, Northridge
Analysis Paper Format (20-25 pages)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (2-3
This should be on separate pages between the title
page and the beginning of the Policy Analysis itself.
Summarize the content of the entire brief in one page.
The summary should:
state the problem or issue (RQ);
give BRIEF background;
identify major alternatives;
state preferred alternative with justification;
INTRODUCTION and PROBLEM STATEMENT
This is the introduction to the Policy
Analysis and the Policy Issue. Identify
with clarity and specificity the problem being addressed (the RQ), with
a summary of the policy issues at stake and the primary options.
(Why is problem important?)
ASSEMBLE EVIDENCE (4-6 pages)
Provide specific background for the question at hand.
Clients will be concerned with the substance of the debate, but
they must also know something about the politics. In particular, they
need to know what the goals and objectives are that the policy options
are supposed to achieve; they need to know the dimensions and parameters
of the problem; and they need to know the state of the problem.
ALTERNATIVE POLICY RESPONSES (6-8 pages)
Discuss the alternative policy responses
under consideration (at least 3). Examine the "best practices"
of other agencies,
as well as policy proposals that are emerging.
The discussion of each option should be balanced, and
should reflect the evidence/ data indicating degree of potential
utility. Under what
conditions are options likely to be most useful?
V. LIST SPECIFIC
CRITERIA USED IN MAKING EVALUATION (2-4 pages)
State the criteria that you will use to score
the alternatives explicitly. Specific criteria depend on
context of problem, but typically include such issues as mitigating
measurable indicators associated with problem, cost-efficiency, and