Policy Planning


I. Formation of a Plan - Must adequately address each of the following issues

A. The Identification of the Problem - Accurately identify the problem being careful to avoid any ethnocentric biases.

B. The Urgency of the Problem - How important is the problem? What kind of pressure is on the government to resolve the problem? Provide a brief justification of this judgment.

C. The Background: Conditions, Events, Trends and/or Actions Leading to the Problem - Present a convincing and lively account of how this situation got to be a problem. Has it been a long standing problem? What attempts have been made to solve it and why were they not successful?

D. Projection of Current Trends Without Resolution - If this situation continues on without mitigation or solution, how would it effect the parties involved?

E. Positions and Interests - Goals and causal factors. A position is a statement of a preferred outcome. An interest is something that causes people to do one thing or another.

1. Positions of the Involved Parties - Discuss the position of both primary and any relevant secondary players.

2. Interests of the Contending Parties - Consider both primary and secondary players.

3. Possible Convergence of Interests - This should be the result of research focusing on interests and position.

F. Range of Possible Actions - Defining a number of options through which the problem might be addressed.

1. Analogous Past Cases - Search for two or three analogous problems and discuss what can be learned from their successes or failures.

2. Possible Solutions: Alternative Plans - The formulation of actual plans designed to solve, mitigate, or otherwise deal with the problem. Each of the three alternative plans required must have the following components:

a. A Statement of Objectives - The articulated objectives (or instrumental goals) of the policy planner.

b. A Set of Guiding Principles - A set of guidelines indicating what may or may not be done in carrying out the plan.

c. An Implementation Process - A reasonably detailed description of what actions must be taken, how they are to be accomplished, what material resources must be lined up and who is to undertake the action necessary to accomplish the plan.

d. A Feasibility Analysis (Cost-Benefit Analysis) - What are the political considerations, the available capabilities, the likely consequences and an alternative if the problem-solving fails?

II. Choice Recommended - The choice may be one of the alternatives from above or a combination of them.

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