The ‘How- To’ of Policy Making. Build your Skills Program. OVERVIEW. DEFINING POLICY TYPES APPLICATIONS. HOW TO’S OF POLICY MAKING. DEVELOPING POLICY PROCESS FACT- BASED. IMPLEMENTING POLICY COMMUNICATION EVALUATION. POLICY DECISIONS REOMMENDATIONS
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The ‘How- To’ of Policy Making Build your Skills Program
OVERVIEW • DEFINING POLICY • TYPES • APPLICATIONS HOW TO’S OF POLICY MAKING DEVELOPING POLICY PROCESS FACT- BASED • IMPLEMENTING POLICY • COMMUNICATION • EVALUATION • POLICY DECISIONS • REOMMENDATIONS • DEBATE
COMPETENCIES • Understands legislative powers • Communicates effectively • Approaches problems creatively • Assumes oversight role
ETIQUETTE • Respect the program & be on time after breaks • Turn your phone to silent • Be courteous and patient with others • Assume required roles for activities • Take time to listen to other points of view • Encourage others
POLICY MAKING CHALLENGES WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES YOU EXPERIENCE RELATING TO THE POLICY MAKING PROCESS?
Section 1 Policy Defined
WHAT IS POLICY? • statement of intentions to guide decision-making • translates vision to action • a functional framework for staff actions • regulates how citizens live in a community
POLICY TERMS • Policy challenge – issue or problem • Policy result – desired outcome • Policy options – strategic alternatives • Policy actions – implementation steps
POLICY DEFINITIONS • Policy analysts – staff • Policy makers –elected officials • Policy process –issues, outcome, alternatives & actions • Formal policy –public document • Informal policy – inaction creating precedent
GOOD POLICY • Beneficial to public respecting individual rights • Consistent with legislative authority • Reflects community vision • Well informed • Within the organization’s resource capacity • Easy to interpret • Adaptive
WHY POLICY? • legislated requirement for elected officials • framework for goal setting • guides program design & service delivery • rules and regulations for decisions • principles that guide day-today actions
POLICY CATEGORIES • governing policies • operational policies • administrative policies What are some examples from your organization within these categories?
BYLAW, POLICY or PROCEDURE? Can you think of some examples from your organization to add to these categories?
MAJOR APPLICATIONS • land use • service delivery • funding • administration
GOOD POLICY ACTIVITY • Purpose – to recognize the elements of good policy making • Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter • Review policy checklist – make additions • Agree on 3 items critical to policy success • Share policies that fell short • Share policies that excel • Present one example to plenary
Section 2 Policy Development
INFORMED DECISION MAKING • fact based • informs rather than directs policy decisions • inquiring minds want to know • decisions based on evidence not emotion • objective not subjective • supports transparency
TYPES OF ISSUES • Routine Policy Challenge • not new • solutions known • policy options clear • Complex Policy Challenge • new, solutions are not clear • unexplored policy options • uncertain policy actions
DISCOVER STAGE • defining the problem • validity of facts • more than one problem? • what questions need asking? • existing information • research • best practices Results in a key question
POLICY BRIEFING Why is it helpful to have a standard format?
POLICY DEFINITION ACTIVITY Purpose – to develop a real life policy recommendation beginning by identifying the policy issue or problem Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Discuss policy issues you are facing Agree on one to use as a group Identify info available to you (policy briefing worksheet) Identify possible questions Choose one key question
POLICY RESULTS • Subjective expectations – observable • Objective expectations – measureable • Input from citizens – property owners & residents • Input from agencies – non profit, private, gov’t • Indirect input – questionnaire, comment card • Direct input – advisory committee, public hearing
POLICY RESULTS ACTIVITY Purpose – key result if the policy issue is addressed Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Determine stakeholders List observable and measureable expectations Determine key result Debrief questions in workbook
IS A POLICY NEEDED? • to comply with legislation • to establish consistent treatment • to guide repeat situations • to establish standards & regulations • to protect the municipality legally • if employee actions indicate confusion Can you think of an example when policy was not needed for an issue facing Council?
DEVELOP STAGE • seeing possibilities • analyzing options • best practices • contrary views • innovative ideas • mandate & success & effort • pros & cons, best/worst, rating Results in a preferred option
PRACTICALITY CHECKLIST Can you think of other practical considerations to evaluate policy alternatives?
POLICY RESULTS ACTIVITY Purpose – to generate possibilities & alternatives for resolving the policy issue Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Determine stakeholders List observable and measureable expectations Determine key result Debrief questions in workbook
DELIVER STAGE • plan to implement best option • sequenced actions • responsibilities • timeline • resources • expenses • revenue • start-up costs Results in a policy action plan
POLICY ACTIONS ACTIVITY Purpose – to identify actions, timelines and resources to implement the policy recommendation Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Identify required actions to implement the preferred option Sequence the actions using a timeline Assign positions to tasks Identify resources Debrief questions in workbook
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS • Policy Briefing • facts & comparative information • prepared for Council discussion & debate • Policy Format • policy recommendation • prepared for Council debate & approval Can you recall a time when staff prepared information that was not what Council was looking for?
POLICY RECOMMENDATION ACTIVITY • Purpose – to review a policy recommendation to ensure support from Council • Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter • Review Policy Briefing info & determine final recommendation • What factors affect the recommendation? • How will you address these factors? • What information needs to be presented to Council? • Debrief
Section 3 Policy Decisions
MAKING DECISIONS Consensus – working through views until agreement among all Informed – analyze options through respectful discussion Majority –voting by those who have authority to vote Imposed – decision by one with authority
INFORMED DECISION MAKING • adequate information • good debate • factual information and data • forecasts and trends • perceptions from various interests • justification and further analysis
TYPES OF DECISIONS What are some examples for each decision type in your community?
POLICY CONSEQUENCES What are some examples of different policy consequences you have experienced?
GODD DEBATE • differs from discussion • good debate intended to result in a decision • formal process that occurs in public • yes – agree with recommendations • no – turn down recommendation • refer or defer – more information required
DEBATE ACTIVITY Purpose – to discuss reasons policy debate might derail Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Brainstorm factors that derail policy debate. Choose two As Mayor, how would you deal with these? As Councillor, how could you prevent these from occurring? Report back to plenary Debrief
DEBATE DERAILERS Does the mayor have a different role than a Councillor?
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD DEBATE • know what you’re talking about • use logic to present your side • be accurate, rely on facts • be professional in your conduct • use supportive language • avoid exaggeration • follow protocols, points of order • keep your perspective
POLICY DEBATE ACTIVITY • Purpose – to present and debate policy recommendations in a simulated Council meeting • Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter • Prepare presentation using the ‘Policy Briefing’ worksheet • Present to a council within 5 minutes or less • Switch roles – Council & Observer • Group 1 presents to Council Group 2 – Observer Group 3 • Group 3 presents to Council Group 4 – Observer Group 1 • Group 4 presents to Council Group 1 – Observer Group 2 • Group 2 presents to Council Group 3 – Observer Group 4
Section 4 Policy Implementation
IMPLEMENTATION FACTORS • Capacity to implement the decision • staff time • fiscal resources • expertise • Unforeseen conditions • community acceptance • political will • legal capacity
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES • Tradeoffs • negative impact exceeds benefits • Social Impact • causes people to react in a negative way • Resource Leveraging • diminishes service or capacity Can you think when a policy resulted in unforeseen resource issues, negative conditions or unintended consequences?
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ACTIVITY Purpose – to recognize, prevent or correct the impact of unintended policy consequences Select facilitator, recorder, timekeeper and presenter Identify inadequate resources, unfavorable conditions and/or unintended consequences that may arise from your recommendation. Agree on 5 to examine further. How could you have prevented this in the policy definition, development and decision stages? Is there an opportunity to correct in the debrief or evaluation stage?
WORKSHEET Unintended Consequences
COMMUNICATING POLICY DECISIONS • Explain • describe the policy process, outcome & action • gains credibility • Acknowledge • anticipate concerns & have answers • phase in actions, monitor & evaluate • Champion • stress benefits