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Please complete the following template, using the sections and section descriptors given to develop your brief into a comprehensive paper outlining a clear policy recommendation. Please visit the website linked above for more thorough descriptions of what is expected for each section. Leave all black font text in the paper, and remove any blue text once you have finished writing that section, with respect to your chosen health topic.
Title: A good title quickly communicates the contents of the brief in a memorable way.
Executive Summary: This section is often one to two paragraphs long; it includes an overview of the problem and the proposed policy action.
Scope of Problem: This section communicates the importance of the problem and aims to convince the reader of the necessity of policy action. For example, describe mental and physical health benefits of exposure to green space if your brief will advocate for policies that encourage the construction of green space in the city. Be sure to cite credible sources of information to support your statements. You might also describe how food environments contribute to overweight and obesity, then explain how those conditions underlie some of our most common causes of death (cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and some cancers). Explain how important this policy issue is for decision-makers to consider, and support your explanation with evidence.
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.
Structure this section in two paragraphs. In your first paragraph, describe the current approach to the issue (the city does not have a clear process for planning to include green space in urban design and building). You will then describe strengths and weaknesses of this approach (this approach facilitates the construction of buildings that serve our desire to conduct business and access services, but it does not necessarily promote human health). Next write a separate paragraph about the policy change you are proposing. Describe the strengths (explicit planning for green space in urban environments will increase our exposure to green spaces that benefit health). Fairly estimate the weaknesses of the policy change (there may be additional costs associated with planning for greenspace, but these are worthwhile costs, as exposure to nature has direct health benefits for humans). Use citations from scientific research and other credible sources of information to convince the reader that the policy change you believe is superior is actually the best course of action.
Policy Recommendations: This section contains the most detailed explanation of the concrete steps to be taken to address the policy issue. You do not need to determine enforcement strategies or funding but do clearly state what you recommend decision-makers do. Use bullet points to state each distinct element of your recommendation, if there are several. For example: Based on evidence of the success of the Complete Streets Initiative in other cities, it is recommended that [city name] implement Complete Streets as well.
• Establish walking paths to encourage pedestrian transportation
• Construct safe crosswalks to protect pedestrians
• Build bike lanes throughout our most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridors
Appendices: 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. Please remember to use APA formatting that is provided in the course directions.