Global Health Policy Briefs

Each paper should be written as a policy brief from you, an intern with the State Department in a low-resource country to the Secretary of Health. 

Each brief needs to be written in a manner that will allow the aide to the Minister of Health to brief him or her on it in about 3 minutes in a car on the way to some meeting, since that is what often really happens. The purpose of the brief is to present the details of the problem and propose a specific solution.

Each brief should be written about a country in a different region of the world. The papers should be written on low- or middle-income countries, since they are the focus of this course. This will allow you to use the papers to explore health and development issues in a variety of settings.

The briefing note should start with a single paragraph that summarizes for the minister all of the points you want to make. That summary paragraph would read something like:

“About xxx people die every year of TB in our country. The incidence of TB is YYY. About UUU people in our country get drug-resistant TB every year and about HHH% of those who are infected with HIV have active TB disease. TB affects largely the urban and rural poor and stems from poverty, general ill health, and the lack of coverage of our health services. TB causes illness for an extended period, stops people from working, causes them to spend large amounts on health, and leads many families into poverty. DOTs is a low cost approach to TB diagnosis and treatment that we are not using sufficiently. We must immediately expand our DOTs program, starting in the north, where the disease burden is highest. We must also pay special attention to the diagnosis and management of drug-resistant TB and to TB/HIV co-infection. I expand on these comments below.” 

Each brief must begin with this “one paragraph tells all summary.” The paper should answer the following questions:

What is the nature and magnitude of the problem?

Who is affected by it?

What are the risk factors for the problem?

What are the economic and social consequences of the problem?

What few priority steps do you recommend be taken to address the problem and 

what is your rationale for these recommendations?

What financial resources would be needed to pay for your recommended I 

initiative i.e. who would fund the initiative?

Policy briefs should be approximately 3 pages long and presented in a visually engaging format. They should be short, concise, and present a compelling argument for or against a particular issue. It should have an appealing presentation so that it will not end up “in the trash” of the Minister of Health.

Please look at Tips for Writing a Policy Brief on D2L as well as excellent examples.

The use of figures, tables, and strategic pictures is encouraged!! APA citations and references are required.

Policy Brief #1 should pertain to a country specific policy that you would like to advocate for, depending on a pressing problem in the country of your choice.

Policy Brief #2 should pertain to a policy that you would like to advocate for that pertains to capacity building in a country of your choice.

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