Identify how perspectives of other professions might inform the policy

This week the task is to develop policy options and alternatives based on your good research last week on the problem descriiption.
Before you set off on that, I thought you may want to read this terrific article about some of the misconceptions surrounding obesity written by Michael Hobbes in the Huffington Post last Fall, “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong.” This is a well-developed policy analysis that I found fascinating because it highlighted the political dimensions involved in policy choice and also his emphasis on the psychosocial issues that impact social and psychological development. Obesity has its health outcomes expressed in cardiovascular functioning, diabetes, and other risks but it also has its impact on the quality of day- to- day experience of a person’s life. Outcomes are different than impacts. An outcome of some health intervention might be a lowered BMI index, lower incidence of diabetes, improved cardiovascular functioning, etc. but the long-term impact might be something more qualitative and perhaps more meaningful ….an improvement in a person’s interpersonal relationships, their self-confidence, their self-efficacy, and their life aspirations. Somethings simply cannot be quantified and that means that some values must be understood in terms of our subjective sense of the quality. What does it mean when a person says their life is “better”? Quality of life issues are all very important to us. When considering policy options, consider the immediate outcomes but, more importantly, consider the long-term, qualitative impact on individual and community. Ask, “so what?” What difference does it make?
From PEW: Jan 30, 2022 7:00 AM
How Public Officials Can Use Data and Evidence to Make Strategic Budget Cuts
Targeted spending reductions can help state, county leaders respond to shifting priorities amid pandemic
Course Withdrawal Deadline Jan 29, 2022 3:39 PM
As we near the midway point of this session, we want to reach out regarding the course withdrawal deadline. The final withdrawal date for your course is February 6, 2022. This is the last day students can withdraw without academic penalty.
Also, the University of New England values academic integrity in all aspects of the educational experience. Academic dishonesty in any form undermines this standard and devalues the original contributions of others. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to actively uphold the integrity of the academy; failure to act, for any reason, is not acceptable. For information about plagiarism and academic misconduct, please visit
From Pew Trusts: Jan 29, 2022 8:27 AM
Evidence-Based Policymaking A guide for effective government
From Governing: Jan 28, 2022 6:30 AM
What Happens When Evidence-Based Policymaking Meets the Real World
Problems arise.
From NCBI: Jan 27, 2022 8:25 AM
Evidence based policy: proceed with care
As you consider policy alternatives, first remember that the policy problem is not obesity; you should be focused entirely on the BMI screening proposal.
Next, consider what you learned from Deborah Stone’s readings about the policy paradoxes that exist when you account for the various perspectives of stakeholders that will be impacted by the implementation of the policy. What adjustments would you make to the policy proposal that might address some of those differing impacts?
Please review some of the earlier chapters in Stone (e.g., Chapters 2 and 5) and make sure that some of your evaluative criteria reflect the likely values that are important to some of the stakeholders. Policy analyses frequently require that analysts move from high level concepts to practical, on the ground considerations; this is a good time to practice your ability to do so in a cohesive manner. Think expansively! Here are some ideas to get your policy wheels turning.
Initial Post:
Create a list of four policy alternatives that are likely to address your policy problem, keeping in mind that focusing on different aspects of the problem might lead you to a diverse set of policy alternatives (which is fine).
Briefly explain the basis or reason(s) behind your choice of alternatives (i.e. why you think this is an appropriate approach to solve your policy problem).
Considering what you have learned from colleagues in the other professions, explain the likely impact of the policy options on individuals, populations, and/or communities (as appropriate to your issue). Be sure to address any foreseeable unintended consequences or possible negative impact.
Submit to the Discussion Topic (should be +/- 1000-1100 words, or +/- 200 words for each policy alternative).
This week you will identify several policy options to address the problem you described in Week 3. There may be many options available but limit your choices to the ones that are likely to best accomplish your goals for addressing the problem. You will evaluate these choices more fully in Week 6, but do consider the impact of your policy alternatives on individuals and organizations and how these options are likely to be assessed by other professions represented in your group.
After reviewing the material on unintended consequences, consider the risks of unintended consequences for each of you policy options.
Weekly Outcomes
Identify various policy options to address policy problem
Identify how perspectives of other professions might inform the policy
Evaluate peer policy options and provide substantive feedback
Analyze (or assess) the potential consequences (positive, negative, or unintended) of policy options
Apply ethical principles of policy advocacy
Text (Stone) – Chapters 13, 14, 15
Text (Bardach) – pgs 18-46
Bromell, David. (2012). Doing the right thing: Ethical dilemmas in public policy making. Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago, working paper.
Norton, R. Unintended Consequences
PBS: Prohibition and Unintended Consequences
Video transcriipts are available here.
When we become attached to an idea, a proposed solution to a problem, or a suggested course of action, it is often challenging to objectively analyze whether it is the best option among available options.
Nonetheless, in the policy arena it is essential to step back and evaluate as many of the potential consequences of our policy option in order to determine if any of them might cause other types of harm, or actually run counter to our intended objectives.
View these videos on unintended consequences to help set the stage for thinking through possible unintended consequences.
In addition to taking a broad view of the practical effects of implementing or adopting your options, take into account what you know about human behavior (e.g. shame, fear, intolerance); organizational resources (e.g. inequitable allocation, staff capacity); vision (e.g. short and long term impacts); or human error. Be cautious about expanding your thinking to very unlikely events, but do consider those consequences that, if they occurred, would not be entirely shocking.
Unintended Consequences – Stossel in the Classroom (5:53)
10 Fascinating Examples of Unintended Consequences (13:46; CC)

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