PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process Lecture 7c – How to Ask for Action or Propose Policy on Behalf of a Group.
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PPA 503 – The Public Policy Making Process Lecture 7c – How to Ask for Action or Propose Policy on Behalf of a Group
Introduction Goal –Knowledge of the functions of nongovernmental organizations in public policy processes, and familiarity with nonprofit organizations active in your area of interest. Objective –Petitioning or proposing on behalf of an organization or group. Product –Brief written policy proposal representing a organization’s advocacy. Length varies according to purposes and situation, but a short proposal is preferred (one to three pages). Scope –Content of group’s charter, purpose, or mission to determine the concerns or issues you will address.
Introduction Strategy: Proposals with this information –Desired outcome: What do you want to accomplish? Can you describe it as if it were already accomplished in a future that you want to achieve? –Today’s situation: What’s wrong with the present? Why is the action your propose needed? What causes the need? –Relevant background: How did the problem arise? What original assumptions are no longer valid? What conditions have changed? –Available options: What are the alternative ways of meeting the need? Advantages and disadvantages of each? Costs (money, other) of each? –Recommended action: What is the best alternative? Can you briefly argue as to why? –Summary: What are the results (referring to the desired future) if requested action is performed? –Action items: Who is asked to do what, when, where, and how?
Task #1 Step one: Identify a need for policy. –If you know the need or option, proceed to step 2. –If you do not know the need or option, step back to focus before you proceed. Start wherever you need to start: define the problem and pinpoint the issue (discovery), review the history of action and inaction (legislative history), review the arguments (range of positions), or use the method in Chapter 2 to reconsider the policy context as well as the communication situation for your proposal.
Task #1 Step two: Specify the action and the agency. –Determining the needed action – knowing what is possible, knowing whom to ask, and knowing what to ask for – is not easy. “What am I trying to do” and “How can it do it most effectively.”
Task #1 Step two: Specify the action and the agency. –Consider the options for action. Government action –What do you want government to do? (legislate, spend, regulate and enforce within limits). –What type of action is needed for the problem you are concerned about? –To which level of government – federal, state, local – should you direct your proposal. –Which department or agency can do what you want to accomplish? Nongovernmental options. –Does the solution require government action at all?
Task #2 Identify the organizations active on your issue. –Check the local phone directory, or ask local volunteer services about local nonprofits or local affiliates of national and international nonprofits. –Ask a librarian for national guides to nonprofit organizations. –Read the transcripts of congressional hearings on your issue to find witnesses who spoke on behalf of advocacy groups. –Search newspaper databases for articles on your issue that might refer to advocacy groups.
Task #2 Identify the organizations active on your issue. –Search WWW portals for nonprofit organizations. Institute for Nonprofit Management: http://inom.org. http://inom.org Nonprofit Online News: http://news.gilbert.org. http://news.gilbert.org Nonprofit Nuts & Bolts: http://www.nutsbolts.org. http://www.nutsbolts.org Internet Nonprofit Center: http://www.nonprofits.org. http://www.nonprofits.org Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Find a Nonprofit: http://www.mncn.org/find.htm. http://www.mncn.org/find.htm Idealist.org: http://www.idealist.org. http://www.idealist.org Independent Sector: http://www.independentsector.org. http://www.independentsector.org Nonprofit Pathfinder: http://www.indepsec.org/pathfinder/index.html. http://www.indepsec.org/pathfinder/index.html
Task #2 Identify the organizations active on your issue. –Try these subscription services for details including tax exempt status and financial information on specific nonprofits. Associations Unlimited: http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/AU?locID=syra9 6044. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/AU?locID=syra9 6044 http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/AU?locID=syra9 6044 The Foundation Directory Online: http://lnps.fdncenter.org. http://lnps.fdncenter.org Guidestar: http://www.guidestar.org. http://www.guidestar.org
Task #2 You may not need to restrict your search to nonprofits. Private organizations also may have information relevant to your proposal.
Task #3 Write a policy proposal. –Provide only accurate information. To do otherwise destroys your credibility and the credibility of your organization. –Use the method of Chapter 2 to prepare, plan, and produce a written proposal. –The document’s contents should answer the questions listed under Strategy (but should not slavishly follow the format of the questions). –Compare the finished product to the two sets of standards in Chapter 2.
Task #3 No typical format for policy proposals. –If a template is prescribed by the organization, use the template. –Otherwise, use the conventions of professional communication. Header that provides identifying information. Overview that summarizes the proposal. Subheaded sections that provide information. –Document types: letter, memo, a full-page ad in a newspaper, a publication declaration in costume, or whatever form provides the greatest impact.