I agree completely:
Good policy advice/writing:
- is timely – it is ready when Ministers and other decision-makers need it;
- has been prepared based on adequate consultation with stakeholders inside and outside government;
- clearly articulates the purpose for which it has been prepared;
- has a sound logical basis – there is a clear description of the facts and assumptions upon which the advice is based, and a clear articulation of the links between fact and assumptions on the one hand, and conclusions and recommendations on the other;
- has a sound evidentiary basis – the underlying evidence is accurate and complete;
- is balanced – it presents a representative range of viewpoints;
- presents an adequate range of viable options for action;
- is relevant to the current situation faced by decision-makers – it takes into account current realities (including political realities) and anticipates related developments;
- is well presented to the reader – the prose is concise; the text is well organized;
- is pragmatic – it bears in mind implementation issues.
But perhaps, policy advice is rarely prepared to these standards, possibly because requests for advice are often given under short time pressure, and then what becomes most important is timeliness.
And also, there are many factors that can influence whether or not good policy advice is ultimately taken, so it is not clear whether putting more time and effort into improving the quality has any impact.
Latergram by the lake
Food: potato, orange, strawberry, wasabi peanuts, noodles, peas, coffee.
Workout: 13km bike ride, 14km bike ride