This section of the Policy Action Guide describes various policy approaches and offers points to consider related to why each may or may not be appropriate to your needs and situation. Review each policy approach to determine which one will best help you advance your issue.
While reviewing the descriptions, keep in mind your responses from the Policy Assessment section, especially the following:
- The intended result: What type of result (such as awareness, funding, changes in practice) are you trying to achieve through policy? For example, if you are trying to obtain government funding, legislation may be more effective than a multiparty agreement or a proclamation.
- The population of interest: Are the individuals or organizations who will be affected by the policy internal or external to your organization (or both)? If they are staff from a community agency, would an internal policy change or a multiparty agreement be sufficient instead of a broader effort, such as a legislation?
- The geographic area of your proposed change: What geographic areas do you hope to affect? For example, if you want to improve policy within your organization or a specific neighborhood, an internal policy change or a multiparty agreement might be more efficient than statewide legislation.
- Your timeline: When do you need the policy to be enacted? Are there timelines specific to the policy approach? For example, if you are thinking about an appropriation, have budget decisions in your State or locality already been made for the current year? If a deadline has passed, when is the next opportunity? How much time will you need to prepare for a deadline? How long have you been working on this issue?
- Current policies: What policies, if any, currently govern the issue you have selected? Is there a current policy that needs to be changed to make it more effective? Are there policies at a higher level that need to be amended so you can make the desired internal or external policy change (such as a current State law that works against the agency regulation you are proposing)?
- Facilitators: Are there factors supporting policy change that would affect your choice of a policy approach? For example, having an excellent working relationship with a leader in your State's legislature might be a facilitator to passing legislation, while prior collaborative experience with another family-serving agency may set the stage for a multiparty agreement.
- Obstacles: Are there factors hindering policy change that would affect your choice of a policy approach? For example, a budget crisis in your State or county might be an obstacle when seeking funding through legislation. Additionally, will you have the resources to move forward with the policy approach? For example, a campaign to enact legislation may be more expensive and time-consuming than developing a multiparty agreement.
Policy Approach Snapshot
The table compares policy approaches by:
- Preparation: The degree of effort required to enact the policy
- Feasibility: The likelihood that the policy can be enacted
- Sustainability: The likelihood that the policy will be upheld over time by the approach
The comparisons are in relation to each other. For example, the feasibility of securing a proclamation is high compared to the feasibility of securing legislation, but that does not mean that all initiatives to obtain a proclamation are necessarily successful. Additionally, these ratings are offered as a guide; individual situations may vary.