Introduction to the Assignment. The assignment comprises an individual, 4,000 word (+/- 10%), policy evaluation report. Students will undertake a policy evaluation of their chosen policy area, including consideration of policy implementation and evaluation. This will allow for depth of analysis, exploration and research of contemporary strategic policy issues (economic development, environmental sustainability, transportation etc) whilst also assessing students’ grasp of concepts and issues appropriate for level 7.
Reading and Research. Though this assessment is in the form of a professional document focusing on real world policy and evidence gathering you will still need to demonstrate that you have undertaken a high level of academic reading and research to inform the development of your work.
Introduction: The report needs to begin with an introduction which sets out the context to your policy evaluation. It needs to specify:
• what area of policy you are reviewing, including a brief summary of why the policy came about and what it is intended to achieve;
• why you are proposing to review that particular policy – what are the issues with it that make a critical evaluation worthwhile?
• the aims and purpose of the report?
Context: Your policy has not been written in a vacuum. To contextualise your policy and to help understand what issues it is a addressing and how, you need to consider its context. This needs to include a more academic and conceptual understanding of the issues and theory underpinning the spatial approach /es taken to addressing the issues. The next section needs to draw out the main policy issues and debates on your policy area and explain and critique the spatial approach taken to resolving those issues in mainstream planning. To do this you need to analyse a range of material which contextualises and had informed the production of the policy:
• academic material which informs our thinking on the topic and conceptualises what it is, how it should be addressed and any different ways of thinking;
• higher tiers of policy which informed the production of the policy you are evaluating;
• other strategies which should be integrated with the spatial strategy.
Evaluation Report Part 2: review methodology and evaluation framework 15% of module marks To demonstrate your review is rigorous and your results valid you need a good description, explanation and justification of the approach you are taking to your policy evaluation, i.e. a methodology for your evaluation. Your methodology needs to include a framework of criteria and indicators of those criteria as a rigorous basis for identifying what you are looking for in your evaluation. This can include:
• the translation of spatial concepts into spatial policy and proposals (how have ideas been translated into space and place specific policy and proposals)
• integration with other related policy areas (spatial policy from within the policy document and non spatial policy on the same topic but in other policy documents)
• the implementation of your policy (is it achieving what it is setting out to achieve?). The material in your context section will provide the basis for this evaluation framework. Evaluation Report Part 3: your evaluation. 50% of the module marks. The most substantive element of the report is the presentation and analysis of your data, explaining and justifying your evaluation of your policy, including:
• the translations of spatial concepts into spatial policy and proposals (how have ideas been translated into space and place specific policy and proposals)
• integration with other related policy areas (spatial from within the policy document and non spatial policy on the same topic but in other policy documents)
• the implementation of your policy (is it achieving what it is setting out to achieve?).
Evaluation Report Part 4: Conclusions 5% of the module marks. To conclude your policy review you need to comment on your main findings and the implications for both your policy and the policy making process. Presentation<br /> You should present your review in the form of a professional report i.e. to include an attractive and engaging fronts piece, a contents page and clearly number your pages. You should also provide clear information about the policy you are evaluating and the purpose of the evaluation. Tables, diagrams and any visual images should be numbered and titled and included in a separate list at the beginning of the report (after the contents page).