This assignment involves the development of a ministerial policy brief. This brings together a number of skills developed throughout the course. In particular, it involves the application of policy analysis, policy evaluation, choosing a policy instrument, and the development of a written brief in a professional manner.
Writing a Memorandum to Cabinet
Your assignment is to write a Memorandum to Cabinet. This is a proposal for a particular course of action that would be brought before Cabinet by a Minister (it can be either federal or provincial) as part of the process of policy deliberations. A Memorandum to Cabinet is often drafted by a Policy Analyst alone or in conjunction with other subject matter experts. The content of the memorandum will ultimately be approved and endorsed by the Minister and Cabinet discussions of the memorandum, would form the basis for a policy decision.
Your paper should be between 8 to 10 pages in total (not including the title page, table of contents and appendix), double-spaced, 12-point font, and proper APA formatting.
NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PROPER DOCUMENTATION.
At the end of this assignment sheet there is a list of public policy problems. Choose one and write a Memorandum to Cabinet for your Minister (I will be your Minister). It must propose a course of action designed to solve or address the particular policy problem. This is different than a typical essay, in that you must take a position.
A typical Memorandum to Cabinet is composed of three main sections: 1) an analysis section, 2) a ministerial recommendation, and 3) a communication strategy. Your assignment should follow a similar format (see the more detailed format below with items to include within these three sections of your paper). You do not need to include the communication strategy, unless it is a key component of your recommendations.
Your assignment should adhere to the following format and include the following sections:
Memorandum to Cabinet
Identify the Policy Issue
Write a goal statement. A two to four sentence summary of the issue to be decided.
Briefly review the major developments that led to the sponsoring Minister bringing forward the issue to Cabinet.
Considerations – Descriiption of the factors considered when drafting the recommendations. The following are examples of factors to consider (refer to Chapter 1 in the Welsh and Harris text):
Documentation of the need for change
The history of the problem
Examination of the potential causes of the problem
Examination of previous interventions
Identification of relevant stakeholders
Identification of barriers to change and supports for change
You must present three possible (different) and viable policy options. Develop policy statements for each one of them.
Develop a thorough and balanced exploration of the pros and cons of each possible course of action.
Identify how the proposed course of action is linked to the identified program/policy gaps.
Ministerial Recommendation (Designing a Policy)
1. Formulate a concise Policy Statement. This includes developing procedures to be followed.
2. Recommendations: Proposed course of action for which the Minister is seeking support.
3. Rationale: Principle arguments must support the recommendation.
4. Problems and strategies: Provide a succinct summary of the criticisms the government might face should the recommendations be accepted and possible ways of handling them.
5. Political Issues: Descriiption of political issues connected with the course of action.
Communications Strategy (Optional)
Provides the overview of publicly communicating the policy choice and any media strategy (if required).
1. Action Plan – 1 to 2 page outline
2. Evaluation Proposal – 1 page (How will it be evaluated, whether formative or summative or both and why?)
3. Reference Section (8 to 12 references) – They must all be academic or peer reviewed sources (or media reports that highlight the problem).
Policy Problems (select one of these topics):
1. Problems in implementing (legal) marijuana policies.
2. Controlling ‘illegal’ guns in Canada.
3. Policies to manage Cyber attacks. What can be done?
4. How to reduce over-crowding in jails?
5. Resolving problems encountered with the judicial appointment process.
6. Use of segregation in prisons. Should it continue to be used? What are the alternatives?
7. Controlling police powers. What can be done to eliminate cases such as the Sammy Yatim shooting?
8. Trial delays (from Askov to Jordan to Cody). What can be done to eliminate delays?
9. Reforming the Senate. How can it be made more democratic and accountable?
10. How can the criminal justice system better respond to violence against women?
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