POLICY MEMO The assignments for this class are (1) Statement of Intent, where students announce the community they will study, (2) Community Profile, which describes the demographics, economy and other characteristics of the community, (3) Organization Profile, which describes how a specific organization is intervening in the community and (4) Policy Memo, describe below.
Policy Memo (30%) The objective of the Policy Memo assignment is for students to (1) practice writing for a professional audience, (2) develop and defend policy recommendations in a specific ‘real world’ context, and (3) incorporate knowledge of community development history and theory into policy development.
Assignment: Write a five to ten page memo that recommends ways to improve the quality of life of the community you initially identified, or addresses an issue of importance to the community. The student is acting as a community development consultant working on behalf of the community she initially identified. The format is a professional memo directed to the organization profiled in the third assignment, and from the consultant (that is, the student). The memo should recommend changes that pertain to the organization and its activities (e.g., changes in community participation, starting new programs, developing housing, partitioning existing programs, etc.). The memo should identify a specific problem to be solved or quality of life issue to be addressed. It should specify the scope and nature of the problem, the purpose of solving the problem (that is, the intended outcomes), the recommended actions, and how the recommendations can be achieved: costs and timeline. The memo should also specify the risks entailed with taking the
POLICY MEMO recommended actions, and the costs and benefits of alternative actions (including a “no action” alternative). The memo can refer to the issues you identified in the community profile but should not repeat any sentences or phrases.
Grading Rubric: This assignment can gain up to 20 points:
2 points for appropriate format and citations. Submit your assignment as a Word or PDF document in the format of a professional memo including all necessary headers (To, From, Date, and Subject or Re:). Be consistent in your formatting.
5 points for writing quality: 5 points for thoughtfully chosen words, clear phrasing, and very few grammatical errors. Points are deducted for multiple errors, unclear writing, and redundancies.
5 points for organization of ideas. 5 points for seamless introductions, conclusions, segues between ideas, and clear formatting. Points are deducted for failure to include an introduction and/or conclusion, jumbled ideas and lack of segues and guideposts.
8 points for content. To earn the full number of points, the memo should identify the problem to be solved or issue to be addressed (1), describe the main challenges entailed with addressing this issue (1), recommend specific actions that will directly address the issue (2), describe how the organization can implement the recommendations, including any other institutions or resources which will need to be involved (2), estimate the monetary, time and other costs of pursuing the recommended actions (1), and identify several alternative courses of action including a “no action” alternative (1). Points are deducted for failure to include sufficient detail for each of these elements.
POLICY MEMO There is a Policy Memo discussion thread. Please post questions there.
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