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Shaping Policy for Health™ Course Descriptions
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Introduction to the Policy Change Process

This one-day, knowledge-based introductory session teaches the foundational concepts of effective policy change and provides a vocabulary and structure to understand its purpose.

Skills-Based Courses:

Aligned with the core functions and 10 essential services of public health, the curriculum is divided into five courses covering 21 competencies and is offered in workshops across the country. These five, two-day workshops teach the validated policy competencies that public health practitioners need to effectively implement policy change.

1. Assessing and Framing the Policy Problem

2. Using Policy Analysis Tools

3. Influencing the Policy Change Process

4. Implementing Enacted Policies

5. Evaluating Policy Interventions


Introduction to the Policy Change Process

This one-day, knowledge-based introductory session teaches the foundational concepts of effective policy change and provides a vocabulary and structure to understand its purpose. Participants will:

  • Learn key knowledge concepts from competencies
  • Gain clear understanding of policy tools
  • Experience interactive content previews from each course

1. Assessing and Framing the Policy Problem

  • The workshop guides participants in considering how problems are socially constructed and how to identify economic and other determinants as root causes of problems that lead to health disparities.
  • Participants learn about systems thinking as a way to establish a boundary around the scope of a problem and point toward possible solutions.
  • The workshop introduces framing and reframing messages and concludes with a template for developing a problem brief for specific stakeholders (e.g., politicians, interest groups, administrators, or the general public).

2. Using Policy Analysis Tools

  • The workshop introduces the need for policy analysis and its relationship to socio-political values.
  • Participants learn about the policy process and how to leverage windows of opportunity for policy agendas.
  • Participants generate possible solutions for a case example and conduct both a stakeholder power analysis and a formal policy analysis, using two tools that contribute to the final analysis.

3. Influencing the Policy Change Process

  • Participants learn how to frame and reframe messages for key audiences, both on paper and in the context of a live conversation or interview.
  • Participants learn advocacy strategies and tactics within the context of their governmental roles.
  • The workshop closes with the development of two advocacy plans (quick and comprehensive) that combine advocacy and communications strategies.

4. Implementing Enacted Policies

  • Participants consider the implementation roles for those inside and external to government.
  • Participants learn about the structure and function of government agencies and about ways to assess and monitor processes related to policy implementation.
  • Participants develop plans to apply advocacy strategies and tactics to key decision makers within governmental agencies.

5. Evaluating Policy Interventions

  • Participants learn to plan an evaluation that provides feedback on the process of developing and proposing policies and measures and analyzes outcomes.
  • Participants learn about logic modeling and aligning evaluation components with the policy campaign.
  • Participants learn how to identify measurable indicators and develop reporting functions for rapid (real-time) feedback and final summary. 
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