Policy Analysis Paper
social welfare issue TOPIC = ( DACA Immigration and why should stay ) issue or problem and a policy solution to describe and analyze, according to the instructions below. You may have heard about the policy on the news, read about it in a chapter of our textbook or the newspaper, or learned about it through your field placement or workplace. It may be an existing policy (law) and/or the program that the policy created or modified, or it may be a proposed policy under consideration in a state or federal legislature. Note that you may select a city, county, or tribal policy, but be forewarned that information related to state and/or federal laws will be significantly more readily available. When selecting a policy, keep in mind that you should be able to answer most of the questions listed on the pages that follow.
This is a research paper, requiring reference to the scholarly literature, so please cite your sources, in text with an end reference list, in APA style. Valid sources include:
• Peer-reviewed, scholarly research journal articles and book chapters documenting research on the social issue under study and its correlates, and on the actual or expected outcomes of the policy under discussion
• Government and non-partisan research institute web sites, which provide up-to-date statistics on the scope of the problem, vulnerable populations, and the impacts of social welfare programs
• Government web sites or other literature that document the policy regulations or eligibility for the program and the programs’ benefits.
• Web sites or other literature from non-partisan think tanks and advocacy groups involved in lobbying for a proposed policy or policy change.
Please write this in narrative (not outline) form, even though questions are listed by number. That means complete, well-formed sentences in well-organized paragraphs, grouping similar information together. I encourage you to use sub-headings to help with organization. While there are not right or wrong answers, you will always need to explain and justify your point of view or conclusions, demonstrating your critical thinking and understanding of the topic and the analytic model.
SOCIAL PROBLEM OR ISSUE: Please describe the social issue or problem that necessitates a policy/program:
a. What is the nature of the problem? Please describe and define.
b. What is the scope of the problem (i.e., how common is it)?
i. How many/what percentage of people (US & NM, if available) are affected by the problem or issue?
ii. What are the trends related to the problem? Has it been growing or shrinking in size?
iii. Who is most vulnerable or protected? Which groups have high rates of the problem? Which groups have low rates?
1. What demographic factors correlate with the problem (e.g. race, ethnicity, language, nativity, age, gender)?
2. What geographic factors correlate with the problem (e.g. urban, rural, suburban, or region of the country)?
3. What personal or circumstantial factors correlate with the problem (e.g. marital status, educational attainment, income, life history, health status)?
c. What are possible social and structural causes of the problem or issue? That is, in what ways might society place some people at risk for the problem and protect others, according to the research?
d. What are possible harmful consequences or costs of the problem, for individuals, communities, and/or society, according to the research?
2) DESCRIPTION OF DACA Immigration Policy CURRENT POLICY TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE: Describe the current policy. (Note, if you are proposing a new policy, you may have to first very briefly give an overview of current policy and then describe and analyze the new proposal):
a. What is the policy? What is the actual benefit (cash, in-kind, voucher) or service offered, or what is the regulation?
b. What are the short- and long-term goals or anticipated results of the policy?
c. Who are the beneficiaries (if relevant) or target population? What are the eligibility criteria (or to whom does the regulation apply)?
d. Who provides the benefit (government, private non-profit agencies, private for-profit agencies, some combination), if relevant?
e. Would you describe it as central (federal), state, tribal or local or some combination? Explain.
f. Who (or what agency) oversees the program?
g. How is it financed (if relevant) (government, private non-profit agencies, private for-profit agencies, beneficiary contribution, some combination)?
h. Who (what service workers or agency) will deliver the service, if relevant?
3) POLICY ANALYSIS: Using Dolgoff & Feldstein’s model, and citing scholarly policy analysis or impact data, where available, please assess and analyze the policy and associated program, using the following criteria, if relevant. Be sure to explain and justify your analysis:
a. Philosophically, would you describe the program as a residual, institutional, developmental, or socio-economic-developmental program or some combination? Explain.
b. Is the program selective or universal or some combination thereof? Explain.
c. Is the program horizontally adequate? Vertically adequate? Explain each thoroughly. Remember, it may be one, both, or neither.
d. Is the program cost efficient (applying Dolgoff & Feldstein’s use of the term)? Is it benefit efficient? Explain each thoroughly.
e. Do you think the program treats beneficiaries equitably (process equity)? Are the program impacts equitable (outcome equity)? Explain.
f. Do you think the program is coherent with other policies? Which? Explain.
g. What intended or unintended consequences have been documented? Can you foresee any others? Explain.
h. How do you think that the program does or will affect the distribution of resources and opportunities (and social justice) in society? To what extent do you think it is promoting individual and/or social equity? Explain.
i. In sum, do you think it will contribute to a better quality of life for the target population and/or will it adversely affect the target population or society in any way? Explain.
4) PROGRAM FEASIBILITY/SUSTAINABILITY: Please assess feasibility of the program or policy. If it is a proposed policy, answer whether the policy is do-able. If it is an existing policy, answer whether it is sustainable. You may find some of the answers to these in the analytic research literature, or you may have to surmise the answers to these questions for yourself, but in both cases, justify/explain your position.
a. Is the policy politically feasible? Explain.
i. Is there popular and/or political consensus on the need for the policy?
ii. Is the policy coherent with fundamental social values?
b. Is the policy economically feasible? Explain.
i. Does the money needed for the program currently exist?
ii. If not, what is public and political sentiment toward funding the policy?
c. Is the policy administratively and technically feasible? Explain.
i. Is there an institution in place to administer the program? Does it have the personnel and expertise to implement the policy?
5) Conclusion: SUMMARY and PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:
a. Briefly summarize your analysis of the policy’s capacity to address the problem or issue, its strengths and weaknesses.
b. What, then, is your own opinion of the policy, based on your analysis?
c. What is your recommendation related to the policy – support it as is/as proposed, modify it, or eliminate and replace it?
Again, cite your sources in-text, using APA style, and thoroughly explain your statements and opinions. Also, a complete end reference list of all sources cited, in APA style, must be included at the end of the paper (and will not be included in page limit).
Advocacy letter (30 points)
Using the DACA social issue and policy you researched for your policy analysis term paper, please write a letter to a local, state, tribal, or federal elected official or bureaucrat to raise awareness of a social issue and to urge government intervention. Letters to lawmakers aim to influence lawmaker priorities and votes. Letters to agency/bureaucratic officials aim to influence how a policy or program is implemented.
No citations need be included in the letter, but they should be available upon request – in case the lawmaker asks for more information. We can actually send these letters, so please look up and include a correct mailing or email address for the recipient. Be sure, if you are addressing a lawmaker, that you address federal lawmakers for federal laws, and state or local lawmakers for state or local laws. Alternatively, if implementation of a law is your primary concern, you may find it more appropriate to address a government agency (bureaucracy) leader (usually, a Secretary). You will be graded in part on selecting an appropriate recipient and on finding the person’s address.
The letter should be no more than one typed page, single spaced (including address, return address, date, and signature.) Any longer, and you may lose the interest of the reader. Thus, you will need to be concise and persuasive. Choose your words carefully, making every word count.
Your letter should include (not necessarily in this order), and continued on the next page:
1. A statement of who you are and what is your expertise related to the problem (e.g., you are a user of services, a provider of services, a researcher…)
2. A concise, clear statement of the social problem or issue, including a definition, if not commonly understood.
3. A brief summary of key data that documents the size and characteristics of the population impacted and the trends in recent years related to the problem (i.e., research and statistics about the scope and possible causes of the problem, which help document the need for action.) It may be useful to present this data in bullet format for digestibility.
4. Brief summary of current policy (if not commonly understood) and its weaknesses, to document the rationale for corrective action. It may be appropriate to also acknowledge strengths, proactively addressing counter-arguments.
5. If appropriate, a short statement summarizing your personal story, or the story of a client, or someone you know who has been impacted by this problem or policy, protecting confidentiality if applicable.
6. A presentation of a policy or programmatic alternative to address the problem. This may be a proposal currently under consideration by the governing body (including renewal of an existing policy), a proposal presented by an advocacy group, or your own new idea.
7. A very short summary of the strengths of this proposal.
8. A concluding statement reviewing the need for action and a clear recommendation for change (i.e., renew, expand, modify, or replace the policy), written in persuasive and very clear language. (Make