Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Policy Memo Writing Workshop
•The way you frame a problem directs the set of recommendations that are likely to
•The diagnoses/prognoses set up is very important
•Those in conflict zones will frame the facts associated with the conflict to suit their
oIf you have a hammer you construct your problem as a nail
oHave the reader in the position to accept the dispositions you suggest
•What are the problems and why are you making these recommendations is so well
framed that the person already knows what you’re going to say the solutions should
•The form follows the function
•Which desk are you writing from, from which country?
•Who are you writing for?
•What are you writing?
•Policy recommendations in an excerpt/speech for the UN GA
•Have concrete suggestions/recommendations with analysis with evidence to justify
•What kind of arguments with the audience find convincing?
oAssume a hurried reader make the paper front-loaded
oAssume a sceptical reader if you don't have to deal with the
recommendations and reduce the number of problems it is easy so engage
Counter-arguments should be addressed
•If there are 2 avenues for one recommendation, find out why one is more practical
•Peer-review + academic journals, government websites
oNever replace an academic source with a non-academic source but supplement
oUse it to understand a dimension of the country and the non-academic to add
•2-3 policy items to defend at the opening session at the UN GA and propose language
for the actual speech
oNot only policy recommendations, you’re proposing the exact language
•Need to cite sources still
•The purpose of each sentence is to keep the reader hooked to read on
•Genuine information using concrete problems with concrete solutions
•Propose language for the speech