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PolicyOptions Research - Overview

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 7 years, 10 months ago

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PolicyOptions Research 

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download



The Bonner Foundation, in partnership with it’s national network of 60+ colleges and universities, is seeking to establish “community policy institutes” that link the civic engagement mission of higher education with the information needs of local communities.  We will seek to address the need for timely, comprehensive and neutral information and analysis, as well as an opportunity to network with other people and organizations seeking to address pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.  


Through a network campus-based community policy institutes, we will train and mobilize faculty, staff, and student teams to: (1) maintain a website with reliable, neutrally presented issue briefs featuring model programs and funding opportunities, (2) respond to requests for community-baed and policy research, and (3) host working groups and issue forums on topics identified by local community members and organizations.  


We have developed two web-based platforms for this initiative:  a) PolicyOptions.pbworks.com for the collaborative research, writing, and sharing of PolicyOptions issue briefs and b) PolicyOptions.org for sharing local, state, and national policy news and information. 


These efforts will become an integral part of a more comprehensive set of civic engagement activities addressing issues of poverty, education, youth development, criminal justice, health, and sustainability.  



PolicyOptions Issue Briefs


More than 500 students from more than 25 colleges and universities have taken courses that have incorporated PolicyOptions Issue Briefs as a major research assignment.  Using a wiki platform allows the students to collaborate with others on this research not only at their institution but nationally.  


Each PolicyOption Issue Brief is made up of three sections: 


Issue Overview - for each issue brief topic the overview page contains the following:

  • Goal Statement - one sentence that further defines the topic
  • Policy Options or Model Program profiles - grouped in categories based on  distinct approaches, we profile each (see below)
  • Links to local, state, and national information on the topic (see below).
  • Glossary of Terms - key words or phrases that the layperson needs to know to understand this issue


Local/State/National Information - these pages provide the following information for specific geographical area covered:

  • Scope of the Problem - factual statements on the extent of the problem in the past, current, or future, with footnotes references data sources;
  • Past Policy - legislation, funding, evaluation, and major reports that signify key milestones related to changes in policy related to the issue;
  • Current Policy - summary of current policies in the form of legislation, programs, and funding;
  • Key Organizations/Individuals - contacts for government, non-profit, advocacy, and research organizations addressing the issue.


Profiles of Policy Options & Model Programs - Each summarizes the following:

  • Summary - one paragraph description of the policy option or model program 
  • Goal - short description of the policy or program goal  
  • Cost - total policy or program cost; also include per person cost if available 
  • Implementation — describe how the policy or program is implemented
  • Evaluation - summarize any evaluation findings that policy or program effectiveness
  • Status - indicate whether this policy or program has been adopted in more locations or remains a proposal 
  • Point of View - views from those in support or opposition to this policy or program 
  • Contact - contact information for sponsor of this policy or program 


We have more than 180 issue brief topics started since Fall, 2009.  We are now in the process of soliciting participation by issue experts to serve as “contributing editors” to help ensure the quality of the issue briefs.


PolicyOptions Campus Infrastructure