Define the characteristics (e.g., frequency, severity, scope, economic and budgetary impacts) of the problem or issue

Public health professionals such as social workers play an important role in the policy process, for example, by conducting policy analysis, communicating findings, developing partnerships, and promoting and implementing evidence-based interventions. We have learned and understand that, Policy” is defined as a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. Below is a Policy Process diagram: There are five policy domains to the policy making process I. Problem: Clarify and frame the problem or issue in terms of the effect on population health or social condition. • Collect, summarize, and interpret information relevant to a problem or issue (e.g., nature of the problem, causes of the problem) • Define the characteristics (e.g., frequency, severity, scope, economic and budgetary impacts) of the problem or issue • Identify gaps in the data II. Policy Analysis: Identify different policy options to address the problem/issue and use quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate and the policy options to determine the most effective, efficient, and feasible option. • Research and identify policy options • Describe: a) how the policy will impact morbidity and mortality (health impact), b) the costs to implement the policy and how the costs compare with the benefits (economic and budgetary impacts) and c) the political and operational factors associated with adoption and implementation (feasibility) • Assess and prioritize policy options III. Strategy and Policy Development: Identify the strategy for getting the policy adopted and how the policy will operate. • Identify how the policy will operate and what is needed for policy enactment and implementation (e.g., understand jurisdictional context and identify information and capacity needs) • Define strategy for engaging stakeholders and policy actors • Possibly draft the policy (law, regulation, procedures, actions, etc.) IV. Policy Enactment: Follow internal or external procedures for getting policy enacted or passed • Enact law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice V. Policy Implementation: Translate the enacted policy into action, monitor uptake, and ensure full implementation. • Translate policy into operational practice and define implementation standards • Implement regulations, guidelines, recommendations, directives and organizational policies • Identify indicators and metrics to evaluate implementation and impact of the policy • Coordinate resources and build capacity of personnel to implement policy • Assess implementation and ensure compliance with policy • Support post-implementation sustainability of policy Overarching Domains Should be considered as appropriate through all domains. Stakeholder Engagement and Education: Identify and connect with decision-makers, partners, those affected by the policy, and the general public. • Identify key stakeholders, including supporters and opponents (e.g., community members, decision-makers, nonprofit, and for-profit agencies) • Assess relevant characteristics (e.g., knowledge, attitudes, needs) • Implement communication strategies and deliver relevant messages and materials • Solicit input and gather feedback Evaluation: Formally assess the appropriate steps of the policy cycle, including the impact and outcomes of the policy. • Define evaluation needs, purpose, and intended uses and users • Conduct evaluation of prioritized evaluation questions (e.g., was the problem defined in a way that prioritized action, how were stakeholders engaged, is the policy being implemented as intended, what is the impact of the policy)

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