Policy analysis is client-oriented advice relevant to public decisions and informed by social values. The canonical comprehensive written policy analysis frames an undesirable condition as a policy problem, specifies social goals relevant to the problem, systematically assesses the impacts of alternative policies in terms of the goals, and makes a recommendation based on the assessment. The problem framing involves putting the undesirable condition into perspective: Is it getting better or worse? Is it better or worse here than elsewhere? Is it similar to any other undesirable conditions with which we have more experience? It also involves proposing a causal model of the condition: What factors shape the behaviors that cause the condition? The specification of goals requires arguments about what values are relevant to the problem and the alternatives intended to ameliorate it. The status quo is generally one of the alternatives considered; other alternatives may be advocated by interested parties or designed by the analyst. This is what should be tackled in the 8+ pages of writing.
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