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Policy brief - Succinct presentation of problem, context & recommended action.

What is a policy brief?1 Succinct presentation of a problem, its context, and recommended action.


•2 to 4 pages

•Easy to understand

•Goal is to prompt change
Who is the audience? How can I reach them?
•Technical knowledge

•Political or organizational culture/constraints

•Exposure to the issue

•Openness to change
What is the format? Most policy briefs include some of the following sections:
•Informative & Engaging Title

•Executive Summary. 1-2 paragraphs, overview of problem and proposed policy action

•Problem Statement. Why should the audience care? Define the scope of the problem.

•Policy Alternatives. Describe current and proposed policy options.

•Policy Recommendations. Explain what steps must be taken.

•Sources Consulted or Recommended.


How is it organized?
•Start with your conclusions

•Keep a logical flow

•Give visual cues (Headings, bullet points, highlight key points, white space, charts,graphics)
Want to learn more?

•Watch this 20 minute video from Johns Hopkins

•Read this policy brief guide from the partnership for economic policy

•Click through IDRC’s simple power point on how to write an effective brief

•Use this thorough 15 page guide from Research to Action to write your first policy brief

Policy brief - Succinct presentation of problem, context & recommended action.

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