Simple is Best: Thuan Tran, Guest Blogger

Thuan Tran is the HIV Services Planner/Principal Planning Analyst for the Minneapolis-St Paul Ryan White program:

One of the lessons glean from the first week of glass is the importance of communicating a policy problem clearly. From the class lecture, Karen reminded us that people often assumes that everyone understands the meaning of terms we use that are technical or field specific. There are sometimes assumptions about operational and systems knowledge. It is therefore, important to communicate efficiently (the elevator speech) and clearly so that the audience understands the actual problem. Communicating in shorthand that works efficiently in your office settings runs the risk of the policy problem getting lost or appearing more complicated than it actually is.

Throughout the readings, a clear theme emerges: The identification of the problem can be boiled down clear and short messaging. According to Nicola Alexander (2011), for conditions to be transformed to policy problems, they must contain three basic characteristics.
(1) They must be shown to be negative.
(2) They must be solvable using public resources.
(3) They should be solved using public resources.
Prioritizing a democratic policy development process, a guiding principle to the above characteristics is the importance of utilizing language that is accessible to all stakeholders.

Alexander, N (2011) Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders: A Step-by-Step Approach. Allyn
& Bacon Educational Leadership. Pearson.

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