Does Democratization Mean Economic Prosperity?

    General requirements

        5 pages, double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
    Attention! The following sections are not included in the 5 pages
        Executive summary
        Appendix (optional section)
        Consulted or Recommended Sources


    Some of the information reported below (and more) can be found here:

    Your policy brief must include the following sections:

        TITLE: A good title quickly communicates the contents of the brief in a memorable way

        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: It includes an overview of the problem and the proposed policy action. This section is one to two paragraphs long. In any case, it should be no longer than half a page. This section is single-spaced. This section is not included in the 5-page count.

        CONTEXT OR SCOPE OF PROBLEM: This section communicates the importance of the problem and aims to convince the reader of the necessity of policy action.

        POLICY ALTERNATIVES: This section discusses the current policy approach and explains proposed options. It should be fair and accurate while convincing the reader why the policy action proposed in the brief is the most desirable.

        POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS: This section contains the most detailed explanation of the concrete steps to be taken to address the policy issue.

        [OPTIONAL] APPENDIX: This section is optional. You may or may not include it. If you do include it, this section does not count toward the 5-page limit. If some readers might need further support in order to accept your argument but doing so in the brief itself might derail the conversation for other readers, you might include the extra information in an appendix.

        CONSULTED OR RECOMMENDED SOURCES: These should be reliable sources that you have used throughout your brief to guide your policy discussion and recommendations.

    Background information

    Some background considerations to keep in mind when writing a policy brief:

        What are policy briefs? A policy brief presents a concise summary of information that can help readers understand, and likely make decisions about, government policies. Policy briefs give objective summaries of relevant research, suggest possible policy options, and argue for particular courses of action
        Who is the audience? Policy briefs are usually created for a reader or policy maker who has a stake in the issue that youre discussing
        What is the purpose? Policy briefs are distinctive in their focus on communicating the practical implications of research to a specific audience. Your policy brief will synthesize scientific findings, but will deploy them for a very specific purpose: to help readers decide what they should do
        How do I identify a problem for my policy brief? An effective policy brief must propose a solution to a well-defined problem that can be addressed at the level of policy. The key is that you define the problem and its contributing factors as specifically as possible so that some sort of concrete policy action is feasible. For example, bad spending habits might be an important problem, but you cant simply implement a policy to make better financial decisions. In order to make it the subject of a policy brief, youll need to look for research on the topic and narrow it down. Is the problem a lack of financial education, predatory lending practices, dishonest advertising, or something else? Narrowing to one of these (and perhaps further) would allow you to write a brief that can propose concrete policy action
        How do I frame the issue? Your own process of identifying the problem likely had some stops, starts, and dead-ends, but your goal in framing the issue for your reader is to provide the most direct path to understanding the problem and the proposed policy change. Here are some questions you might want to consider:
    o    What is the problem? Understanding what the problem is, in the clearest terms possible, will give your reader a reference point. Every piece of information in the brief should be clearly and easily connected to the problem
    o    What is the scope of the problem? Knowing the extent of the problem helps to frame the policy issue for your reader. Is the problem national, or international? How many people does this issue affect? Daily? Annually? This is a great place for any statistical information you may have gathered through your research
    o    Who are the stakeholders? Who does this issue affect? The primary group being affected is important, and knowing who this group is allows the reader to assign a face to the policy issue.

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