Assignment Overview

Write a policy brief advising the commissioner of the MPCA about the problem and several different possible ways to protect wild rice in Minnesota. Suggestions are bound by the authority of the agency and are cognizant of the broader social and political situation in Minnesota. Offer your analysis of the best way to address wild rice protection after weighing the pros and cons of several possible policy approaches.

Your policy brief should be between 5-10 pages in length (1250-2500 words). References are NOT included in the page limit.

Include the following sections:
1. A memorable title
2. Executive Summary
3. Context/Scope of Problem: 2-3 sentence overview
4. Policy Alternatives
5. Policy Recommendations
6. References

What’s a policy brief?
A policy brief is a concise summary of a particular issue, the policy options to deal with it, and some recommendations on the best option. It is aimed at government policymakers and others who are interested in formulating or influencing policy [source].

A sample rubric for instructors can be found here.

The Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University

Writing Policy Briefs: A Guide to Translating Science and Engaging Stakeholders

Use this resource for guidance on how to craft your policy brief. While the module was designed for public health students, it readily applies to any discipline. Learn how to:

– Understand the basic elements of a policy brief
– Identify the information needs of different audiences
– Synthesize data to convey policy implications
– Craft concise language
– Organize information effectively

International Centre for Policy Advocacy

An Essential Guide to Writing Policy Briefs

The International Centre for Policy Advocacy (ICPA) is an independent, Berlin-based NGO dedicated to bringing more voices, expertise and evidence into policy decision-making and promoting an enabling environment where policy decisions are grounded in the public interest.  Their guide is a culmination of more than a decade providing training and mentoring support and discussing policy briefs with hundreds of researchers, advocates and partners.

Download the Guide