SFU Masters Students To Look at Social Policy Framework for BC

spfMasters Students at the Graduate School of Public Policy at Simon Fraser University are
beginning a six month project to review BC’s current approach to social policy development and examine how a social policy framework could facilitate effective policy decision-making.

BC currently has no overarching framework to guide the work of social ministries and related community organizations. Social Policy Frameworks in other jurisdictions attempt to direct social policy and programs, clarify what they are trying to achieve, coordinate activities within and between government departments, and provide overall direction to planning and decision making.

Hannah Rabinovitch is one of the students undertaking the project. “We regularly see examples of how social policy is developed and then delivered in silos without overarching goals, principles and measurable outcomes. We are posing the question: Could a social policy framework overcome some of those issues here in BC and how could the province develop such an approach?”

Board Voice invited the group to explore this issue by identifying gaps and overlaps between Ministries, how the current system manages issues and identifying best practices for developing a social policy framework. The group will also examine how a social policy framework could facilitate effective policy decision-making.

They will report on gaps and overlaps of the BC Ministries in January 2014 and deliver the final report to Board Voice in March/April of 2014.

Michael Davis, Chair of Board Voice, believes the report could have a profound effect on BC. “If we can convince government that this is a conversation worth having, that we can deliver better outcomes for the money spent, I believe we can improve social service delivery across BC.”

“For students of public policy, this is an exciting project,” says Rabinovitch. “It goes right to the heart of how we can develop better public policy.”