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Becoming and Effective Policy Advocate by Bruce Jansson

Becoming and Effective Policy Advocate by Bruce Jansson

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    Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Presentation Transcript

    • Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate Bruce Jansson, University of Southern California PowerPoint created by Gretchen Heidemann, MSW, PhD Candidate University of Southern California School of Social Work ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Chapter 3 Obtaining Skills and Competencies for Policy Advocacy ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • A Policy Practice Framework A useful policy practice framework: – Places policy advocacy in its contextual setting – Identifies the values, ideology, interests, and goals of stakeholders in specific policy situations – Discusses patterns of participation – Identifies tasks that policy advocates undertake in their work – Identifies skills that policy advocates should possess – Identifies the key competencies that policy advocates should possess ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Policy Context Encourages us to ask important questions about how policy making works, both in general and in specific situations Helps us understand the (often vacillating) response of public and nongovernmental officials to major historical events – such as the September 11th terrorist attacks or Hurricane Katrina ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Stakeholders vs. Policy Initiators Stakeholders are persons with a vested interest in a specific policy or issue being contested We call them stakeholders because they have a stake in a policy or issue, whether political or economic, or because they are directly affected by it Policy advocates need to identify these groups, and to understand the likely positions and perspectives they take, because they probably will become involved when advocates try to initiate, modify, or terminate a specific policy ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Stakeholders vs. Policy Initiators Stakeholders can include: – – – – – – – – – – – Leaders and members of interest groups Advocacy groups Program administrators and staff Legislators and their aides Heads of government and heads of political parties Governmental agencies Consumers or beneficiaries Regulatory bodies and courts Professional groups associated with the issue Corporate interests Trade union leaders and members ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Stakeholders vs. Policy Initiators Interest by a large number of stakeholders exists when: – The policy initiative is ideologically charged – The policy initiative is seen as affecting their basic economic and political interests – The policy initiative is perceived as costing a lot of money ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Stakeholders vs. Policy Initiators Policy initiators are persons or groups that initiate a change in existing policy They may propose a new policy, or the modification or termination of an existing policy ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Patterns of Participation Other people who participate in policy deliberations: – Bystanders take no part in policy deliberations – Policy responders seek to modify or change the policy proposals of the initiators They want to expand their ranks by attracting people from other groups – Opposers decide to block or modify proposals They want to convert people to their position ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 1: Deciding what is right and wrong – Practitioners use ethics and analysis to decide if specific policies are meritorious – If they believe the policy lacks ethical merit, they may to launch a policy advocacy intervention ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 2: Navigating policy and advocacy systems – Practitioners decide where to focus and position their policy intervention, such as: whether to seek changes at the local, state, or federal level whether to seek changes in public policies or the policies of a specific organization whether to address specific social problems in international venues, such as by changing immigration policies ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 3: Agenda-setting – Practitioners gauge whether the context is favorable for a policy initiative – They evolve early strategy to place it on policy makers’ agendas ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 4: Problem-analyzing – Practitioners analyze the causes, nature, and prevalence of specific problem – They gather information about the prevalence and geographic location of specific problems ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 5: Proposal-writing – Practitioners develop solutions to specific problems – Proposals may be relatively ambitious, such as a piece of legislation, or relatively modest, such as incremental changes in existing policies ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 6: Policy-enacting – Practitioners try to have policies approved or enacted ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 7: Policy implementing – Practitioners try to carry out enacted policies – Considerable conflict can erupt during this stage – Many stakeholders try to shape how specific policies are implemented ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners Task 8: Policy assessing – Practitioners evaluate programs by obtaining data about the implemented policy’s performance – They assess programs to see if they fulfill certain objectives ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Eight Tasks of Policy Practitioners These policy tasks are not always easily distinguishable Practitioners often engage in several of these tasks at the same time Rarely are the tasks accomplished sequentially and predictably – Ex: Response to Hurricane Katrina ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Four Skills That Policy Practitioners Need Analytic Skills – to evaluate social problems and develop policy proposals – to analyze the severity of specific problems – to identify the barriers to policy implementation – to develop strategies for assessing programs ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Four Skills That Policy Practitioners Need Political Skills – to gain and use power – to develop and implement political strategy ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Four Skills That Policy Practitioners Need Interactional Skills – to participate in task groups, such as committees and coalitions – to persuade other people to support specific policies ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Four Skills That Policy Practitioners Need Value-clarifying Skills – to identify and rank relevant principles when engaging in policy practice ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Political Competencies Using the mass media Taking a personal position Advocating a position with a decision maker Seeking positions of power Empowering others Orchestrating pressure on decision makers Findings resources to fund advocacy work Developing and using personal power Donating time/resources to an advocacy group Advocating for the needs of a client Participating in demonstration Litigating to change policies Participating in political campaigns Voter registration ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Analytic Competencies Developing a proposal Calculating tradeoffs Doing force field analysis Using social science research Conducting a marketing study Using the internet Working with budgets Finding funding sources Diagnosing audiences Designing a presentation Diagnosing barriers to implementation Designing implementation strategy Developing political strategy Analyzing the context Designing policy assessments Selecting a policy practice style ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Interactional Competencies Coalition building Making presentations Building personal power Task group formation and maintenance Managing conflict ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Value-clarifying Competencies Engaging in ethical reasoning ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Styles of Policy Practice Electoral style – Used when policy advocates want to get someone elected to office or when they want to initiate or contest a ballot initiative (i.e. proposition) – The goal is to change the composition of government by: getting progressive candidates into office defeating less progressive candidates getting a ballot initiative enacted or defeated ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Styles of Policy Practice Legislative advocacy style – The goal is to secure the enactment of meritorious legislation or defeat ill-conceived measures – They work with advocacy groups, communitybased organizations, professional associations, and lobbyists – They try to convince legislators to adopt their measure or to defeat a measure that they dislike ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Styles of Policy Practice Analytic style – Using data to develop policy proposals or evaluate how existing policies are working – They often work in or with think tanks, academic units, funders, or government agencies ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Styles of Policy Practice Troubleshooting style – Used to increase the effectiveness of operating programs or to evaluate them with an eye to improving them – They need to work with planning groups that consist of members of the implementing team – They sometimes work with outside groups of consumers or others who bring pressure on the staff of a program to change it ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Styles of Policy Advocacy Advocates need a combination of each of the four skills to be effective In hybrid styles, policy advocates combine or move between the four different styles Policy practitioners who rely on a single skill are sometimes stereotyped: – opportunists rely on political skills – do-gooders rely on values – policy wonks rely on analytic data ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 1: Deciding What is Right and Wrong – Policy advocates use a combination of ethical and analytic skills to decide whether to launch an advocacy intervention – They may use utilitarian or first-principle ethical reasoning to decide that the status quo violates ethical precepts – They may draw upon research to decide that existing policies are not as effective as alternative or proposed ones ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 2: Navigating Policy and Advocacy Systems – Policy advocates use analytic and political skills to decide where to focus their policy advocacy – They may decide to try to change a specific state law, not only because it will best address a specific problem, but because it is politically feasible – They might use their analytic and political skills to focus on local public officials ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 3: Building Agendas – Policy advocates use analytic skills to demonstrate that a crisis exists and that the problem deserves serious attention – They use political skills to associate issues with political threats and opportunities in the minds of decision makers – They use interactional skills to place issues on the agendas of decision makers – They use value-clarifying skills when they seek a preferred position for a specific problem in policy deliberations ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 4: Analyzing Problems – Policy advocates use analytic skills to understand the social problems that they seek to address through policy initiatives how many persons are impacted by a specific problem what kinds of persons possess the problem by race, ethnicity, social class, place of residence, and other characteristics what causes persons to develop specific social problems such as homelessness – They use political skills to frame a specific policy proposal to attract the attention of decision makers ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 5: Writing Proposals – Policy advocates use analytic skills to develop criteria that they use to rank an array of policy alternatives that they wish to consider – They use political and value-clarification skills to decide when to accept or oppose amendments – They use interactional skills by working with committees to fashion proposals, and by having personal discussions with a proposal’s friends and foes to bolster friendly amendments and soften or avert hostile ones ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 6: Enacting Policy – Policy advocates use analytic skills when developing strategy to enact policy They analyze the context, identify power resources, and evolve a coherent political strategy – They use political skills to implement the strategy – They use interactional skills to gain inside information about the strategies their opponents use, to convert people to their side, and to keep opponents on the defensive – They use value-clarifying skills to decide what tactics are ethically meritorious and which are not ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 7: Implementing Policy – Policy practitioners use analytic skills to decide what kinds of organizational arrangements will help implement specific policies – They use political skills to develop strategy to offset barriers to the effective implementation of a policy – They use interactional skills to improve the implementation of a policy by mediating disputes, forging interagency agreements, and providing training sessions so staff know how to implement it – They use value-clarifying skills to decide who should receive priority in getting services when resources are insufficient ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Applications of Policy Tasks and Skills Task 8: Assessing Policy – Policy advocates use analytic skills to decide what kinds of data are needed, how to collect them, and how to interpret their findings – They use political skills to manage conflict, such as when they encounter disagreement about what evaluation criteria to use – They use interactional skills to develop an assessment methodology, gather data, and interpret findings ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Ballot-Based Advocacy The 8 tasks also apply to developing and managing a political campaign – A candidate may run for office because she believes her opponent lacks ethical grounding to decide what is right and what is wrong – She selects which office to seek as she navigates policy and advocacy systems – She decides when it is propitious to run for office in the context of background factors (agenda-building) – She needs to decipher why her likely opponent is defeatable (policy analysis) ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Ballot-Based Advocacy – She needs to build her case so that she stands a decent chance of winning (proposal construction) – She needs to actually wage the campaign by making correct strategy choices, mustering volunteers, raising funds, and using the mass media (policy enacting and policy implementing) – She needs to assess her strategy and campaign organization so she can decide whether to run again, if she loses, or to develop strategy for the next campaign, if she wins ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Ballot-Based Advocacy Political candidates also need the 4 skills – Political skills to devise strategy – Value-clarifying skills to decide what tactics are ethical to use during the campaign – Analytic skills to initiate and debate campaign issues and to devise solutions to them – Interactional skills to develop and maintain a campaign organization ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Variety of Policies Social workers confront policy issues at virtually every turn The services they provide are dictated by policies from many sources These policies shape the lives and work of citizens, clients, and implementing staff ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Variety of Policies These policies vary in their effects and importance – Some are trivial, others have considerable impact They vary in their malleability – Some are easier to change than others ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • The Variety of Policies Policy advocates need not focus on one particular kind of policy They can try to change simple or complex, agency or legislative, or controversial or noncontroversial policies This underscores the need for flexibility – Policy practice occurs in many kinds of settings, takes many forms, and varies with the issue and the context – We must understand the concepts, skills, tasks, and frameworks that apply to a range of policy practice situations ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Overcoming Discomfort with Power The use of power is crucial in policy advocacy – Power is used to: Persuade highly placed officials to prioritize an agenda Help enact or block proposals Gain access to networks of people who have information ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Overcoming Discomfort with Power It is NOT unethical for social workers to develop and use power In fact, they already use power in their professional work: – They use sanctions and penalties for clients whose responses to services fall outside expectations – They enforce (or choose not to enforce) agency procedures – They take sides in family or other conflicts, sometimes in subtle ways ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Overcoming Discomfort with Power We need to demystify power and declare it a professional resource vital to both clinical work and policy practice Power needs to be observed, modeled, and practiced as a professional skill Social workers also need to develop leadership skills so they can initiate and assume important policy-making roles Policy leadership is taking the initiative to develop new policies and to change existing ones to improve the human condition ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing
    • Social Policy’s Role in Ecological Frameworks When social workers fail to exert policy leadership, they allow other people with less commitment to clients’ well-being and to oppressed minorities’ needs to shape the human services delivery system Social workers who wish to help their clients have a professional duty to try to reform those policies that cause or exacerbate their clients’ problems Otherwise, they ignore key elements of the ecosystems of their clients Policy advocacy is thus a professional intervention because it is geared to improving the well-being of citizens and clients ©2011, Cengage Learning, Brooks/ Cole Publishing