Writing Policy Briefs: A Guide to Translating Science and Engaging Stakeholders

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Date Developed: 5/1/2011. Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center. Presenter(s): Marjory Ruderman, MHS. Type: Narrated Slide Presentation. Level: Introductory Advanced. Length: 18 minutes.


The challenges, art and craft of writing documents intended to translate science to action (policy, programs, services) are the subjects of this distance education module. While the primary intended audiences are public health students and practicing professionals, faculty at public health and other MCH training and education programs may find useful tools in this module. Learning objectives give emphasis to basic elements and structure of policy briefs, and to skills development in synthesizing data and information in order to communicate effectively with non-science audiences. The module offers an introductory lecture, examples of the skills in action, and structured exercises for completing the process of writing your own policy brief.

Learning Objectives

• Understand the basic elements of a policy brief.

• Identify the information needs of different audiences.

• Synthesize data to convey policy implications.

• Craft concise language.

• Organize information effectively.

Special Instructions

To access video, click “Play Lecture” next to “A. Video Lecture: The Art and Craft of Policy Briefs.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.