Health Policy Analysis

Health Policy Analysis

 What Is the Definition of Health Policy Analysis?

An analysis that provides informed advice to a client that relates to a public policy decision includes a recommended course of action/inaction and is framed by the client’s powers and values.

Client-Oriented advice: The client is the particular stakeholder that requests the policy analysis, and the analysis must be developed to suit the need of the client.(e.g. The policymaker who hires you, or could be an employer who asks you to analyze a problem).

Informed Advice: that means the information included in the analysis must convey all sides of the issue. Not just the facts and theories supporting a particular perspective.

Public Policy Decision: A Public Policy problem goes beyond the individual sphere and affects the greater community.

Providing Options and a Recommendation: A policy analysis is not simply a background report that identifies a variety of issue related to the problem. It should provide the client with several options to consider, analyzing those options, and settling on one recommendation.

Your clients Power and Values: The analysis should be framed be the client’s powers and values. The options and the recommendation made must be within the power of client to accomplish.

Systematic Guide to Writing a Policy Analysis

The Five Steps Structure:

1-Problem Statement



4-Options Analysis


Step1: Problem Statement:

– The problem statement is to clear define the problem you are analyzing.

-How a problem framed is one of the most important steps in a policy analysis and most difficult one.

  • Problem Statement Requirements:
  • The problem statement should be succinct and written in the form of a question that identifies the problem abbesses in the analysis.
  • One to two sentences.
  • Could be broad or narrow;be careful because some broad problem statement is unmanageable. Examples:

A-What is the best use of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s resources to improve the health status of our citizen?

-This PT is not manageable. It is extremely broad and unfocused. Using this PT, your analysis could address any health issue, so your analysis will be endless.

B- What preventive health issue should be the top priority for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention next years?

This PT is manageable;it focuses on prevention measure specially and is limited to determining the top priority.

  • Must lead to the possibility of several options
  • Do not include recommendations.

Step 2: Background:

  • The background informs the reader why a problem has been chosen for analysis
  • Provides much of the facts and information necessary to understand the problem being addressed
  • May have to tailor some background information based on the knowledge base of the client
  • Much of the information provided in the background is necessary regardless of client


  • -Landscape provides the overall context of the analysis by identifying key stakeholdersand the issues that must be considered when analyzing the problem
  • Which stakeholders must be included depends on the issue at hand and the phrasing ofthe problem statement.
  • Identifying key stakeholders: the policy analysis discussion focused on one

stakeholder( the client who asks for the policy analysis. The landscape brings in otherstakeholders who have an interest in the issue. E.g. page 283

  • The overall context refers to the mix factors that are relevant when the decision is being made. See box 14-1 page284

Step 4 : Options Analysis

  • When the client finish reading the background and landscape section, he should understand the problem and overall context in which decision will be made.
  • The policy analysis should provide three to five options for a client to consider.
  • All options must:
  • Be within the power of the client to do
  • Be consistent with the client’s values
  • Address the issue identified in the problem statement
  • Identify criteria that will be used to evaluate your options.
  • Steps to write options:

 Write a list of your possible options

  1. Choose the best 3-5 options (base your decision on your client’s values and power).
  • Analyze your options (must include a discussion of the pros and cons in your analysis) for each option.
  1. Assessing your options by applying criteria to do that (you May choose a side-by-said table to assess your options) see Table 14-1 page 287.

Step 5 : Recommendation

  • Choose one of the options, as the recommended course of action for the client.
  • Discuss why this option is better than the others despite the cons associated with the option.
  • Identify any action that may be taken to ameliorate the cons associated with the option.
  • In almost all cases, do not choose a hybrid option that mixes two or more of your options.

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