Action

Policy 2017-03-02T17:36:35+00:00

Policy

Photo - Gatherings around policy advocacyThe word policy is often frightening to people and many shy away from participating in discussions about policy for that reason. Yet, it is essential that all citizens be engaged at some level to learn about and shape policies that affect their daily lives; it is our democratic right as Canadians.

Through the resources in this section we seek to demystify policy, guide the development of new policy recommendations based on current opportunities and gaps in our food systems, provide tools for identifying key stakeholders, and ultimately begin influencing policy change and development.

In March 2014, a pilot Policy 101: Community Action Workshop was offered to over 30 partners of the Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and FoodARC. The workshop focused on demystifying policy, sharing stories from the field, tools for mapping key policy players, and effective strategies for influencing policy. All of the resources presented at the workshop are featured in this Action Stream and reports on the workshop are below.

Resources

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Title: Thought About Food, Chapter 4: What is Policy?
Type: Workbook
Author(s): Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre, Dalhousie University
Date: June 2005

Policy can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. In the most basic sense, policy is a guide for action and can include anything from guidelines, rules, regulations, laws, principles, or directions. This section is drawn directly from the Thought About Food Workbook and aims to help demystify policy through identifying:

  1. What is policy?
  2. Why would we want to change or develop policy?
  3. What policy can do
  4. Levels of policy
  5. Examples of policy tools

 

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Title: Stakeholder Analysis and Policy Mapping Tool
Type: Worksheet
Author(s): ACT for CFS, FoodARC

Now that you have a clear policy ask let’s identify the key organizations and individuals involved. The Stakeholder Analysis and Policy Mapping tools assist in identifying stakeholders who influence your policy change, determining the level of influence different stakeholders have and illustrating where to begin in order to effectively work towards your policy change goal.

Related Materials

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Title: Policy Readiness tool
Type: Website
Author(s): Nykiforuk, C.I.J., Atkey, K.M., Nieuwendyk, L.M., Raine, K.D., Reed, S., & Kyle, K.
Date: 2011

Once you identified the stakeholders, or groups of stakeholders, you want to approach, it is helpful to know how ready a stakeholder or group is for engaging in a policy goal. The Policy Readiness tool, developed by the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, helps groups assess how ready a municipality is for policy change. We feel the same tools can also be applied to other stakeholder groups.

Journal Citation: Nykiforuk, C.I.J., Atkey, K.M., Nieuwendyk, L.M., Raine, K.D., Reed, S., & Kyle, K. (2011). Policy Readiness Tool: Understanding a Municipality’s Readiness for Policy Change and Strategies for Taking Action. Edmonton, AB: School of Public Health, University of Alberta.

Related Materials

  • Municipal Food Policy Entrepreneurs (link )

    A preliminary analysis of how Canadian cities and regional districts are involved in food system change.

    ( Rod MacRae, Kendal Donahue , June 2013 )

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Title: Thought About Food, Chapter 5: How Can We Influence Policy?
Type: Workbook
Author(s): Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre, Dalhousie University
Date: June 2005

This section is drawn directly from the Thought About Food Workbook. The process of influencing policy can be broken down into four broad and interrelated steps:

  1. Do your homework – know your issues, goals, supporters and opposition
  2. Identify and engage stakeholders and develop networks – make connections between different people and different groups
  3. Know the policy process, policy tools and public policy makers
  4. Take action!

The worksheets provided in this section will help you with each of these steps. Use them to help you describe your issue, know the policies you need to address, and where to go, who to approach and what to do to make things happen.

We encourage you to refer to our Advocacy Action Stream to build upon these to influence stakeholders and work towards policy change.

Related Materials

  • Preparing Policy Briefs (link )

    A lesson on how to write effective policy briefs, including examples.

    ( Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , 2011 )

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