Briefly on Policy Briefs…


Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.57.47 AMWhat: “A policy brief is: A short document that presents the
findings and recommendations of research
• A stand alone document
• Focused on a single topic
• No more than 2-4 pages” (or 6-8 or 10-12, or…. This varies…)

Why: “Policy briefs are designed to support more informed evidence-based policy-making or decision-making within relevant organizations”.

For whom:  “The most common audience for a policy brief is the decision-maker but it is also not  unusual to use the document to support broader advocacy initiatives targeting a wide but knowledgeable audience (e.g. decision makers, journalists, diplomats, administrators, researchers).”

How:  “A policy brief must advance a persuasive argument in a concise, clearly organized fashion. A policy brief does not include a lengthy analysis or review of the literature.”

Scholarly Paper vs PB:

Great Resources:


The best policy brief instructions I know:  Policy_Brief_instructions.

Another source of clear instructions.

A visual slideshow on how to write a policy brief.

More discussion about PBs, here.

A not-so-good policy brief. And a better version.

Issue that emerged during PB workshops: The importance of visualization. Here, a basic overview (“the quick and dirty”) by Harvard Business Review on how to visualize data.


**** A MUST READ policy brief by the World Bank on Media Governance.****

A policy brief of GOOD GOVERNANCE  by Institute on Governance (ICM835 will use this late in the semester to discuss ASSESSMENT of governance).

A policy brief on GOOD GLOBAL GOVERNANCE (UN post-2015), by Transparency International (ICM835 will use this late in the semester to discuss ASSESSMENT of governance.)

A policy brief about media pluralism, by the London School of Economics.

A policy brief about copyrights and content creation, by the London School of Economics.

A policy brief about migrants and open internet, by Media Action Grassroots Network.

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