Optional Peer Activity: Policy BriefHelp with Workshop planner

Setup phase
Submission phase
Assessment phase
Grading evaluation phase
Instructions for submission

Write a 1000-1500 word policy brief on a particular climate change and health-related policy and how it affects that population’s health. Ideally, you should choose one of your own country’s policies, but you may also choose to write about a different country’s policy. Your policy brief will be shared with three peers, who will give you feedback online. When all four of you agree that you have passed all the criteria, your words may be available to anyone on the web – so please write accordingly. If you decide to write this optional policy brief, you may wish to discuss it with your mentor if you have one, or someone you know who is familiar with the topic. Be sure to discuss and explain your reasons for your proposed recommendations. If you have a mentor for this course, ask him or her whether or not they agree with you, and why, and how they can improve your recommendations. You might also discuss with your mentor whether they have ever attempted to change legislation – what they wanted to change, how they went about it, whether they were successful, and why.

Writing a policy brief can be a challenging task, especially if it’s your first time, so you should review either/both of these excellent resources before you begin.

  1. The 1-page guide from the University of Victoria: http://web.uvic.ca/~sdoyle/E302/ Notes/Policy%20Recommendation.html
  2. The 16-page guide from the Canadian Centre for Management Development: http://www.cspsefpc.gc.ca/pbp/pub/pdfs/P1_e.pdf

Start by looking at relevant government policies related to climate change and health. These can usually be found through a government’s website, or their environmental office or ministry, or at a library. Finally, write a 1000-1500 word brief regarding the climate change and health policy of your choice, addressing each of the following:

  1. Summarize the existing policy that you’ve chosen
  2. What are the historical reasons why the policy was written this way? What interests influenced how this policy was developed?
  3. What are the benefits and costs of this policy for affected individuals, communities, and organizations?
  4. How could the policy be improved?
  5. What specific recommendations would you make?
  6. Share and discuss your brief with at least your three automatically chosen NextGenU peers, who will suggest changes that you should use in creating a revised draft. Once your peers accept your work, the final version will be shared on NextGenU for others to learn from (unless you ask us not to because of political danger in your country), so please consider this as you write.

You do not need to complete this activity before you move on to the next module. Please feel free to continue into the next learning resources and begin studying them, as we recognize that some peer reviewers may take longer than others (but please remember in your peer reviewer role, that there are people waiting for you!). You will need to have completed all peer and mentored activities before NextGenU and our partners (Physicians for Social Responsibility350.orgInternational Society of Doctors for the EnvironmentGeorge Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, and Health Care Without Harm) can give you a certificate for this course.

We estimate that this exercise should take you approximately 4-10 hours. Please let us know HERE afterwards how long it actually took you so we may refine this estimate.

 Criteria for submission:

  1. The policy brief covers a policy that clearly addresses an important issue, and the policy brief is 1000-1500 words.
  2. The chosen, existing policy is: (a) summarized, (b) contextualized historically and politically, (c) analyzed for costs/benefits, (d) evaluated for potential improvements, and (e) given recommendations for change.