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Writing Effective Policy Briefs Workshop

Policy and Advocacy Self-Assessment (114KB) [download]
Overview of Policy Briefs: Translating Science and Engaging Stakeholders PPTs (61KB) [download]
Exercise: Translating a Research Article into a Policy Brief (10KB) [download]
Template for Policy Brief (13KB) [download]

Briefly describe the activity and its purpose.

Trainees/Fellows in the UW LEND Program at the University of Washington, Center on Human Development and Disability, participated in a fall workshop on advocacy and policy development.  The goals of workshop were to provide:

  • Knowledge and skills to advocate for programs and policies that affect the lives of individuals with developmental and related disabilities and their families; and
  • Knowledge and skills to examine the policy process, current issues, and specific pieces of legislation that affect the lives of individuals with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.

The session centered around policy briefs, as short policy briefs are useful for conveying the implications of scientific evidence for policy and practice.  Writing effective policy briefs requires a specific set of communication skills.

The agenda for the policy and advocacy workshop was:

  • Lecuture from Carolyn Gleason, HRSA, Region X MCH Consultant: "Why Should a MCH Fellow / Trainee Care about Public Health" 
  • Policy and Advocacy Self-Assessment, Pre-Test (Attachment 1)
  • Overview of Policy Briefs: Translating Science and Engaging Stakeholders (Attachment 2)
  • Break and transition to small groups
  • Read article* and use template to draft a policy brief (Attachments 3 and 4)  
  • Present your Policy Brief - 5 minutes per group

Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Children's Receipt of Health Care in the First 3 Years of Life

** Documents and article are from the Johns Hopkins Women's and Children's Health Policy Center: Documents and article are copyrighted but can be used for nonprofit educational or research purposes provided that the following attribution appears in all copies: "Reproduced with permission of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD."

What are the expected learning outcomes for trainees?

During the session, LEND Trainees / Fellows translated a research article into a policy brief, with specific learning objectives:

  • Understand the basic elements of a policy brief
  • Identify the information needs of different audiences
  • Synthesize data from a research article to convey policy implications
  • Organize information effectively
  • Write an effective policy brief


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