Policy Briefing Paper – Mental Health

Topic: Policy Briefing Paper – Mental Health

Order Description
Structure:
– ISSUE
– BACKGROUND
– STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS AND CURRENT SITUATION
– OPTIONS
– SUGGESTED APPROACH
– RECOMMENDATIONS

GUIDELINE FOR BRIEFING PAPER

The briefing paper should be structured to include the following headings.

ISSUE
This should be succinct: one or two sentences summarising the topic and give an indication of what the brief will cover. For example: Options for increasing the rate of water recycling amongst NSW business, or Strategies for reducing the incidence of speeding vehicles on motorways, or Initiatives to promote higher rates of breast feeding amongst working mothers.

BACKGROUND
This should provide a general overview of the issue. This should include reference to essential pieces of information that are critical to understanding how the situation has developed or reached the current status it is in right now. This may include reference to legislation, key decisions, or events in the past that have been fundamental in defining the current policy or position of key stakeholders and other participants.

STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS AND CURRENT SITUATION
This section should include a more detailed description of what is happening now. The analysis should highlight the key issues of tension/concern for different stakeholders. This section should clearly describe the current dilemma/problem/issue that needs to be addressed by government action. Included in this section should be a clear identification of the main stakeholders and their position on the issue.

OPTIONS
This section should outline options for action and provide an analysis of the likely outcomes if each option is implemented. This may include some assessment of what you anticipate would be the likely response from key stakeholders in reaction to each option. You may need to include a comment on who gains and who loses.

SUGGESTED APPROACH
Based on the above assessment of options you need to identify a preferred option and if appropriate elaborate further on why this option is preferable. This is your opportunity to expand on the benefits that will result from selecting this option – who benefits, who loses and why such an outcome should be more acceptable to the government, community etc. You may also need to include an outline of any action that needs to be taken to compensate those groups/stakeholders that lose out by the government adopting your preferred approach. Do you need to include a strategy to compensate loses or offset the reaction from those that will not support this preferred option?

RECOMMENDATIONS
This is a very concise statement that defines the action you recommend the government adopt. It may be a series of recommendations or a simple request for the endorsement of the above strategy. Whatever your approach the recommendations should be brief, clear and action orientated i.e. “It is recommended that the Minister,
Agree…
Endorse the…
Approve the allocation of $xx millions towards…
Announce your decision at the … on the…
Refuse to support the position put by stakeholder…
Advise stakeholder … that you have decided…
Etc”

Your recommendations need to be clear and structured this way since how the Minister responds to your brief may be the only formal record of his/her decision on this matter.

REFERENCES
List all the sources you have used to research and write your briefing paper on a separate page. Appropriate academic referencing is required.