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CBR 308: Developing Real Solutions to Real Problems Policy Analysis from a Community Perspective.

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1 CBR 308: Developing Real Solutions to Real Problems Policy Analysis from a Community Perspective

2 Welcome! Introductions Icebreaker Workshop objectives Key workshop messages

3 Workshop Objectives Upon Completion of this Workshop you will be able to: Understand what drives political and public policy decisions Understand the importance of defining or framing the issue Understand how to develop and analyze policy options, describe and rationalize recommendations, and identify/assess impacts Think through, draft and critique policy options and recommendations Integrate these skills and knowledge into your ability to develop practical and workable policy alternatives within a community of practice

4 Key workshop messages Understand the psychology and practice of politics and policymaking – fit See your issue through different lenses - how you and others frame an issue shapes its solutions Use the power of ideas – create language and stories (words, images, symbols) to influence the discourse Leverage the power of partnership - create a continuum of engagement in your advocacy and activism work, distinguish between disagreement and attack Sustain the power of community – mobilize capacity, design strategy, ensure succession Translate policy options into communication strategies Appreciate that every idea has its time – be patient, be creative

5 Agenda MORNING Welcome, Introductions Icebreaker – What Does Good Policy Look Like? Lecture – Around the Cabinet Table Health Break Case Study #1 – Whats the Issue?, small group exercise and facilitated plenary discussion Lecture – Developing Options Case Study #2, Constructing a Policy Options Menu, small group exercise and facilitated plenary discussion Lunch AFTERNOON Guest Speaker – to be confirmed Q & A Session Revisit – Constructing a Policy Options Menu, small group exercise and facilitated plenary discussion Health Break Lecture – Analyzing Options, Developing Recommendations Case Study #3 – The End Plenary Discussion - Key Learnings/Reflections Adjourn

6 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? What do you think of the following 3 policy options? Are they options? Option 1 That the federal government develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated national housing strategy to address the shortage of affordable housing. Option 2 That the federal government: Allow a full rebate of GST on new rental housing projects; Increase CCA to five per cent for new rental housing; and Expand the soft costs which can be deducted in the first year of operation of new rental properties

7 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? Option 3 That the provincial government develop a streamlined approvals procedure for the redevelopment of brownfield sites for affordable housing based on risk-based remediation approaches. Source, slides 6-8: Toronto Board of Trade, Practical Solutions to Affordable Housing Challenges, 2003

8 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? What do you think of these policy options? Are they options? Option 1 Children from better-off families do better in school. To make university and college access more equitable, we need to address inequalities as they build up from early childhood by intervening early to offer lower-income children educational, health and social programs to encourage development that will ultimately allow them to move on to post-secondary education. Option 2 Have tuition increases affected the enrolment of students from different income levels?

9 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? Option 3 While designing specific policies regarding tuition is beyond the scope of this study, we note two ideas that may warrant further consideration in this area: Putting a limit on the share of revenues that post-secondary institutions can raise by tuition, which would mean that governments sustain their share of funding at the necessary level. Increasing the predictability of tuition fees with a program-stability guarantee, whereby an institution would fix tuition fees for the duration of a given program, so students would know total cost from the beginning. While overall cost might remain a barrier, guarantees would mitigate the discouraging effect of their unpredictability. The University of Toronto has already put a program like this in place (University of Toronto, 2004). Source: Canadian Policy Research Networks, Getting There and Staying There: Low-income Students and Post-secondary Education: A Synthesis of Research Findings, 2005

10 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? What do you think of these policy options? Are they options? Option 1 Advice to the Toronto Central LHIN A. Take a Social Determinants of Health approach. The Toronto Central LHIN Steering Committee believes that the Toronto Central LHIN must take a social determinants approach to planning, funding, delivering and evaluating health services in Toronto Central (as opposed to an approach that is based primarily on a medical model)

11 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? Option 2 The consultation should be undertaken to: Inform community stakeholders about the LHIN and its functions; Listen to stakeholder concerns and ideas about the health care system in Toronto; Engage community stakeholders in Toronto Central in the development of the Toronto Central LHIN, and in its ongoing activities; and, Review and comment on the priority areas set out by the Toronto Central LHIN Steering Committee. Source, slides 11-12: Toronto Central LHIN, Integration Priority Report, 2005

12 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? What do you think of these policy options? Are they options? The Cabinet Committee on Health and Social Policy Committee recommends to the Policy and Priorities Board of Cabinet that: Option 1 Sole support parents with children 6 years of age and under be exempt from mandatory participation in Ontario Works unless those children are in full-time attendance at school Option 2 Do nothing Option 3 Exempt sole support parents with children 3 years of age and under from mandatory participation in Ontario Works but continue their option to participate voluntarily

13 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? What do you think of these policy options? Are they options? Option 1 The policy framework should: Complement international objectives and relationships, alleviate suffering, promote diversity, and serve the economy Option 2 Social Cohesion The ultimate indicator of successful immigration policy is the achievement of social cohesion in our cities and country, which will depend on how we approach diversity… But diversity as a value in society does not happen on its own – it requires support and commitment... inclusion in the governance and leadership of society. Invest in local initiatives to accelerate the participation of immigrants in the leadership of agencies, boards and commissions which govern many aspects of community life: library, university, college and hospital boards, public health agencies, various government agency boards, all of which play vital community roles

14 Icebreaker: What does good policy look like? Option 3 Drawing on the success of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) provide funding to urban regions to convene the relevant stakeholders and local leadership to find local solutions that link new immigrants to employment appropriate to their education and experience. Source, slides 14-16: Alan Broadbent on behalf of the Maytree Foundation, An Open Letter to the New Prime Minister of Canada, 2006

15 So…How to Make Good Policy Options Write for a policy audience – plain language, option headers & short descriptors, action verbs Make sure you tell a story – translate policy options into communications messages Mix short-, mid-, and long-term options – choice of phased-in changes Mix incremental and big change options – choice of impacts Mix low- and high-risk options – choice of pros, cons Include the status quo – doing nothing is always an option Pay attention to the Cabinet Table – what drives political/public policy decisionmaking (slides 19, 20)

16 1.Timeframe of governments business/election cycle –make the tough decisions early 2.Difference between election/post-election periods – move from firm to more fluid ideology 3.Short attention span of politics, short shelf life of policy – In two years, its not my problem 4.Governments policy agenda/priorities – we want to do this 5.Governments communications agenda/priorities – we want to say that Around the Cabinet Table Before the First Step: What drives political/public policy decisions?

17 6.Current/prospective health of government finances – can we afford it? Current/prospective economic cycle –view from Bay Street, global markets 7.Values, beliefs, ethics – find the social consensus 8.Media attention/perspective, opinion polls – understand the public mood 9.Difference between government and the people who work there – government is heterogeneous 10.Different points of access – deal direct or back channel

18 Crafting the Foundation The First Step: Finding research to ground your options Most persuasive Real intervention outcomes, especially local/regional – its worked before, its worked here Research outcomes – it should work Quantitative data – the numbers prove it works Consensus – everyone believes it works Well-known sources – its credible Research on other issues where there is a clear connection in practice or established/emerging expert opinion, e.g., connection between social determinants of health and health status of individuals

19 Crafting the Foundation The First Step: Finding research to ground your options Less persuasive (* denotes value of this research is increasing ) Real intervention outcomes but outside– its worked but in a different place Research in progress – it might work but were not sure Qualitative data – people say it works* Community-based data – it isnt expert* Conflict – not everyone believes it will work Less-known sources – is it credible?* Research on other issues where there is little/no affirmation from practice or research communities Its all about risk management via comparative policy/research scanning, consensus-building

20 Crafting the Foundation The Second Step: Positioning research to frame your options To make the case, apply and distinguish - whats same/similar, whats different, and why? How is the issue framed? Who is affected? What is the political and policymaking environment? How is the solution communicated? Who benefits, who doesnt? What alternatives were considered? What is the outcome, is it relevant? What are the next steps? What would we have to change for it to work here?

21 Crafting the Foundation The Third Step: Leveraging community Create communities of interest - build and sustain networks, alliances, coalitions inside/outside your community Look for opportunities to build consensus and credibility, even on relatively small issues – build capacity to disagree, negotiate, compromise, and move forward Work from the grassroots – generate issues and solutions that are of the community, with voices from the community Practise collaborative consultation - travel in groups Develop parallel advocacy strategies – demos. and docs. Other?

22 Case Study #1 Whats the Issue? The facts You are the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario. The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province, who is a public servant, has suggested that all fish sold to the public in Ontario must be frozen before it is sold in a grocery store, market, or restaurant. It is known that some fish contains parasites, usually roundworms that can make people sick if they eat contaminated fish. With the recent emphasis on public health following the Walkerton water crisis and deaths, SARS, and mad cow disease, Ministry public health staff want to ensure that the Ontario public is protected. Your group task What are the issues here? How do you, as Minister, see them? How could others see them? Whats the story?

23 Developing Options What is a policy options menu? Range of possible to probable solutions Moves along a continuum of complexity, impact (equity, efficiency, security, liberty), cost, and risk Rational relationship between the issue and the policy option to solve it do nothingdo somethingdo everything status quo incremental change major change

24 Developing Options What makes a policy option relevant? It has a human dimension – its about people Its a simple concept – its easy to understand Its a great story – its easy to explain, has great key messages It works – it solves the problem It reflects current or emerging values – its grounded in social consensus, it seems like the right thing to do

25 Developing Options What makes a policy option relevant? It reflects good government – it shows political or community leadership to move towards social consensus Its benefits outweigh its costs – more people will like it or benefit than be left out Its investment can be justified – its cost-neutral or cost-effective Its a new way of doing things – its innovative, hasnt been presented and rejected before It fits – it delivers on the governments policy, communications, and/or fiscal agenda

26 Developing Options How do you choose a policy instrument? Instrument – is what you use to implement the policy Range of least to most intrusive interventions Moves along a continuum of complexity, impact (equity, efficiency, security, liberty), cost, risk Rational relationship between policy objective and means to achieve it Least Intrusive Most Intrusive Informal best practices (communities of practice, networks) Self- regulation Formal information dissemination Research and stakeholder funding Administrative policy Arms length relationships Tax, user fees, subsidy, other financial incentives Standing and advisory committees Program policy Contracts (accountability, governance) Non-arms length relationships Legislation, Regulation Restructuring (organizations, government)

27 Developing Options Maximize your strengths: What do you bring to the table? Expertise – you know more about your issue – what it is and how to solve it - than most government advisers Passion – your commitment and energy Network – your capacity to access, mobilize and activate communities of citizens, voters and taxpayers Leadership – your record of creating vision and building trust Credibility – your profile lends credibility to you (and the government)

28 Developing Options Finally, write for a policy audience 1.Use plain language – avoid jargon, acronyms 2.Keep it short – summaries, bullet points 3.Distinguish between and balance facts vs. values, analysis vs. advocacy 4.Be practical, realistic – understand fit

29 Case Study #2 Constructing a Policy Options Menu Again, the facts of the Case Study You are the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario. The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province, who is a public servant, has suggested that all fish sold to the public in Ontario must be frozen before it is sold in a grocery store, market, or restaurant. It is known that some fish contains parasites, usually roundworms that can make people sick if they eat contaminated fish. With the recent emphasis on public health following the Walkerton water crisis and deaths, SARS, and mad cow disease, Ministry public health staff want to ensure that the Ontario public is protected.

30 Case Study #2 Constructing a Policy Options Menu Your group task Construct a policy options menu to deal with the issues these facts present. Keep in mind our earlier plenary discussion about framing problems and developing options. Take a strategic approach: consider each from a policy perspective, as well as from communications, fiscal, community/partnership development. Finally, think about the impact – the pros and cons – of each option.

31 Analyzing Options The concept of pros/cons, benefits/costs For government, basic knowledge exchange and risk management tool For you, basic information, strategy and credibility tool Pros – the benefits or what lessens risk, e.g., delivers a government commitment, equity, accountability/governance, social consensus, good messages Cons – the costs or what increases risk, e.g., lack of fit, inequity/disparate impact, inadequate resourcing (operating/capital costs, human), liabilities (financial, legal), complexity, lack of constitutional authority Never neutral or non-political

32 Identifying/Assessing Impacts What are expected impacts? Expected impacts are consequences that should be obvious and planned for may have a direct or indirect effect on policy outcomes Such as… legal/regulatory requirements via legal advice technical issues in program design/implementation institutional capacity to deliver, evaluate and modify (human and fiscal resources) effect on intergovernmental relations (federal/provincial/territorial)

33 Identifying/Assessing Impacts What are expected impacts? Expected impacts are consequences, such as… Legislative reaction via political party statements, Question Period Stakeholder reaction via third party statements, consultation User/client reaction via patterns of use, consultation Media/public reaction via polling, consultation

34 Identifying/Assessing Impacts What are unexpected impacts? Unexpected impacts are consequences that Should be expected but may not be factored in as variables in policy analysis (traditional vs. alternative analytical approaches) May be random, therefore unpredictable, less controllable May be direct or indirect effect on policy outcomes Such as… Socio-economic outcomes Gender impacts Ethno-cultural and racial impacts

35 Identifying/Assessing Impacts What are unexpected impacts? Unexpected impacts are consequences, such as… Other equity-based impacts, e.g., disability, language, age, immigrant/refugee status Cross-cutting impacts that involve other policy areas Longitudinal outcomes, i.e., change in outcomes over time Changes in larger structures or systems, e.g., political instability, economic decline, loss of social cohesion, demographic shifts, public health trends, environmental or natural disaster

36 Developing Recommendations What turns a policy option into a decision? It reflects consensus or compromise – its the best deal It works – it solves the problem or at least makes it go away It manages risk well – its relatively safe It can lead to more change – its incremental It gives your community and the government an opportunity to engage - it carries the power of partnership It fits – it delivers on the governments policy, communications, and/or fiscal agenda Other?

37 Developing Recommendations How do you describe the key elements of a decision? 1.Reference the issue and how youve framed it – this solves the problem as we understand it Translate the policy solution into a communication strategy – this is what it means Explain the why - summarize and highlight the rationale, including the political benefit – this is why were recommending this Highlight the risks – there is a possible/probable risk of… (legal challenge, cost pressures, inequity/disparate impact, adverse public/media/community reaction, being off-message, stakeholder pressures (floodgates), timing, etc.)

38 Case Study #3: The End Your group task will be distributed during the workshop…

39 Sources Texts Brooks, Stephen. Canadian Democracy: An Introduction, 4 th ed. (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2005) Inwood, Gregory J. Understanding Canadian Public Administration: An Introduction to Theory and Practice, 2 nd ed. (Toronto: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004) McCaskell, Tim. Race to Equity: Disrupting Educational Inequality (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2005). Rice, James J. and Michael J. Prince. Changing Politics of Canadian Social Policy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000) Savoie, Donald J. Thatcher, Reagan, Mulroney: In Search of a New Bureaucracy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005); Breaking the Bargain: Public Servants, Ministers, and Parliament (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003); Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999) Stone, Deborah. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decisionmaking (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998) Swanson, Jean. Poor-Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2001)

40 Sources Journals Canadian Journal of Policy Research, www.isuma.netwww.isuma.net Canadian Public Administration, www.ipac.cawww.ipac.ca Canadian Public Policy The Canadian Journal of Political Science Journals for specific policy areas, e.g., Journal of Community Practice, Canadian Journal of Public Health, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Journal of Urban Health, Ethnicity and Health, Social Problems, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Journal of Health and Social Policy,, Research on Social Work Practice (access via e-indices by topic or search engines, e.g., Silverplatter, Scholars Portal, Medline) Advocacy journals, e.g., AIDS and Public Policy Journal

41 Sources Websites Institute of Public Administration Canada, www.ipac.comwww.ipac Canadian Policy Research Networks, www.cprn.com Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, www.policyalternatives.ca (includes federal and provincial alternative budgets)www.policyalternatives.ca Caledon Institute, www.caledoninst.org Local/regional social planning councils, community service organizations, communities of research and practice Government (federal departments; provincial/territorial ministries, ;agencies, boards, commissions)

42 APPENDIX 1: What Policymakers Say: An Intuitive Approach to the Policy Cycle Highlights from Key Informant Interviews with Ontario Policymakers, Dr. Ito Peng and Margot Lettner, 2004

43 FrameworkFramework DescriptorsPolicy Translation and Mobilization Levers the power of ideasIdentify and frame issues to influence the public and elite discourses and mobilize for policy change Timing – associational links with larger public concerns Language – words, images, and metaphors that fit either public/elite perspectives (risk: co-option) or community perspectives (benefit: choice, ideational integrity), or both Testimonials – humanize instead of marginalize to build credibility Integrated strategy – craft language that flows from testimonials the power of partnerships Build relationships – horizontal and verticalAdd numbers, status and technical skills – broaden community activism Add levels of government – broaden policy champions (interscaler, international links) the power of communityMobilize capacity – research/evidence, policy process, mobilization, relationship-building, sustainability/renewal (leadership, organization), self- reflection Design strategy – idea generation from within the community Active community development Inclusion/empowerment of community members Source: Peng and Lettner, Emerging Frameworks for Community Engagement and Policy Response, December 2005 REFLECTIONS: WHAT POLICYMAKERS SAY: AN INTUITIVE APPROACH TO THE POLICY CYCLE

44 Variables Determining Comparative Outcomes of Advocacy Strategies Variable Descriptors – Emerging Themes framing the issueconnecting with the government policy agenda vs. one-off issues, medical vs. social issues (hard vs. soft), personal pathology vs. structural determinants, deserving vs. undeserving, technical vs. moral/moralistic, micro/mezzo vs. macro solutions situating in a broader conceptual frameworkadvocacy based on a human rights agenda, enduring values (equity, efficiency, security, liberty), social movements understanding the political/public policy processwhat are the governments values, whats the problem/will this solve it, what is the announceable, who will/wont like it?, the process is getting in the way of the process, social policy founded on fiscal policy, help me do my job, evidence-based research vs. results-based management understanding impact of globalization Source: Peng and Lettner, Emerging Frameworks for Community Engagement and Policy Response, December 2005 redefining the public interest, recognizing the fiscal health of public services, mobilizing for attention and dollars REFLECTIONS: WHAT POLICYMAKERS SAY: AN INTUITIVE APPROACH TO THE POLICY CYCLE

45 Variables Determining Comparative Outcomes of Advocacy Strategies Variable Descriptors – Emerging Themes understanding images/realities of public spaceconstructs of social worlds and neighbourhoods, commodification and contested use of public space understanding the power differential based on community fit affinity and levers of connection, degree of marginalization/exclusion vs. empowerment/participatory action (socio-economic, political, cultural) defining activism validity of parallel advocacy strategies, partnership vs. co-option (credibility vs. displacement of political goals), service vs. education/community development (visibility, legitimacy) mobilizing capacity Source: Peng and Lettner, Emerging Frameworks for Community Engagement and Policy Response, December 2005 of communities and representative organizations to ensure leadership succession (business vs. cottage industry); to scan, strategize, plan, commit to and deliver change through collaboration/partnership (the homeless community has few graduates); to recognize homogeneity vs. heterogeneity REFLECTIONS: WHAT POLICYMAKERS SAY: AN INTUITIVE APPROACH TO THE POLICY CYCLE

46 Variables Determining Comparative Outcomes of Advocacy Strategies Variable Descriptors – Emerging Themes mobilizing community fitdegree of marginalization/exclusion vs. empowerment/participatory action (socio- economic, political, cultural) building a networkaffinity and levers of connections, disagreement vs. attack, social membership (being grounded) influencing the public discourse managing the elite discourse Source: Peng and Lettner, Emerging Frameworks for Community Engagement and Policy Response, December 2005 creating and controlling labels, themes, symbols, images in media representations and through community development/public awareness perspectives and empathy of decisionmakers (political, bureaucratic) – translating passion into workable solutions, understanding fear of change, ideology/motivation, receptivity for change, establishing a continuum of engagement (credibility breeds trust), ideology and champions, disagreement vs. attack, understanding relationship between political will and economic resources, political business cycle vs. policy cycle, pragmatic politics/public policy REFLECTIONS: WHAT POLICYMAKERS SAY: AN INTUITIVE APPROACH TO THE POLICY CYCLE

47 Analyzing Options Quantitative analysis: the basics Always ask – is it credible, transferable, dependable, confirmable? Who can tell you? Justification for optionWhat to look at... Real benefits/costs Projected benefits/costs financial statements, contracts, source of data, evaluations sample size and profile, data type and age, anomalies, source of data, approvals range vs. specific costs reaction – formal comment (research and stakeholder community, media, public), consultation Real outcomes Projected outcomes sample size and profile, data type and age, anomalies, source of data, approvals current status of same/similar interventions reaction – formal comment (research and stakeholder community, media, public), consultation Does it make sense? What else could you look at.? Finally, revisit your process for defining/framing the issue...

48 Analyzing Options Qualitative analysis: the basics Always ask – is it credible, transferable, dependable, confirmable? Who can tell you? Justification for optionWhat to look at... Consultations with whom, when, how initiated ad structured differentials (power, resources, access) scope (terms of reference) briefs submitted Real outcomes Projected outcomes sample size and profile, data type and age, anomalies, source of data, approvals current status of same/similar interventions reaction – formal comment (academic, community, media, public), consultation Does it make sense? What else could you look at.? Finally, revisit your process for defining/framing the issue...

49 Workshop Objectives Upon Completion of this Workshop you will be able to: Understand what drives political and public policy decisions Understand the importance of defining or framing the issue Understand how to develop and analyze policy options, describe and rationalize recommendations, and identify/assess impacts Think through, draft and critique policy options and recommendations Integrate these skills and knowledge into your ability to develop practical and workable policy alternatives within a community of practice

50 CBR 308: Developing Real Solutions to Real Problems Policy Analysis from a Community Perspective


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