Policy Change Analysis

Policy Area Topic: Tobacco Smoke Control

Concern: Policies on Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Multi-unit Housing (MUH) in Ontario or North America

Why is it of interest: Protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure which way forward?


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate understanding of theoretical approaches to policy change. This will be accomplished through literature-based analysis of real public health policy change possibilities.

Length: approximately 3,000 words, but no more than 3,500 words.


Identify one or more policy changes within the policy area you described in your policy overview. (Please see attached policy area paper). Choose any one of the policy change frameworks (MST, PET, ACF, Critical Post-Structural), as your primary framework, to tell the story of why and how policy changed as it did, when it did. As appropriate, you may add use concepts from the other frameworks to supplement your analysis. Justify your choice of primary framework explaining why you think it is most appropriate for your context. Apply a critical lens to describe and explain the extent to which the policy change addresses systemic inequities (e.g., racism, classism or ableism) Please focus on Canada or North America.

Please include the following components (not necessarily in this order):

  1. A concise overview of the policy area, including the relevant institutions, interests and ideas. Please provide enough detail to situate the reader to the policy area so that they can understand the key problems facing the policy community when this change was proposed, including whether any relevant policies already existed. In other words, a concise (1- or 2-paragraph) synopsis of your policy overview paper (see attached copy), as it relates to this policy change.
  2. Justification of your choice of primary policy change framework and of your decision to supplement with any concepts from other frameworks
  3. A concise yet comprehensive summary of the primary policy change framework you are employing in your analysis.
  4. Use your chosen framework and supplementary concepts from other frameworks (as appropriate) to analyze the policy change process to explain why and how change has occurred as it did, when it did.
  5. A critical analysis describing and explaining the extent to which the policy change addresses systemic inequities (e.g., racism, classism, ableism)

A final discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your analysis, including limitations and strengths of the themes and concepts as employed in the policy change frameworks (either in general or specifically for this analysis).

Policy Change Analysis Criteria (Layout)

Introduction and Overview

  • Clear outline of the goals of the paper
  • Clear synopsis of the policy area as it relates to this policy change
  • Includes the 3I framework

Summary of Themes and Concepts that are used in the analysis

  • Clear and comprehensive articulation of concepts within frameworks
  • Identification and clear explanation of how each chosen concept is used in the policy change theories/frameworks
  • Key constructs are identified and explained in full

Analyze the policy change process using frameworks and concepts

  • A comprehensive application of the chosen framework and concepts to the policy change
  • Clear rooting of application of themes and concepts in the relevant policy change theories

Discussion of the utility of the analysis including strengths and weaknesses

  • Clearly stated rationale for choices of frameworks and concepts
  • Reflects students practical knowledge of the theories discussed in the course
  • Thorough discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of their analysis
  • Describe and explain the extent to which the policy change addresses systemic inequities
  • Critical reflection on the utility of the theory(ies) that could be either general (i.e., critiquing the theory itself) or specific (i.e., applicability to this policy area/change) in nature.
  • Students should bring their own insights into the discussion

Writing clarity and organisation, appropriate use of literature

  • Clearly and concisely written
  • Well organized and formatted
  • Polished and professional presentation
  • Well researched as evidenced by an appropriate number and use of references
  • Consistent referencing style
  • Sources should be diverse in nature and may come from peer-review, grey literature and media sources


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