Policy - University of Victoria

Report
PUBLIC POLICY:
WHY IT MATTERS,
WHAT IT’S ABOUT,
AND HOW TO ADVOCATE
A d d r e s s to
“Searching for
Home:
A N a t i o n a l Fo r u m ”
By the Canadian
Association for
Community Living &
B C AC L
Va n c o u v e r, J a n u a r y
2 6 , 2 01 2
SO, WHY DOES POLICY MATTER?
Public policies are never neutral or universal
Policies always connect to particular interests
and groups of people, certain ideas and
values, and specific organizations
Policies interact with each other, often in ways
unintended or unappreciated by decision
makers
Policies have positive and negative effects,
rights and wrongs, opportunities and
obstacles
2
AND, POLICY MATTERS BECAUSE
Determine programs and services that affect
the material living conditions of individuals,
families, groups
Contribute to the formation of identities of
people as dependent or deserving or not
Shape relationships between people in terms
of inclusion/exclusion, or respect/stigma
Structure clientele as a potential basis for
political awareness, debate, and action
3
WHAT IS POLICY?
Courses of action or inactions by public
authorities
Made by governments: federal, provincial,
municipal, Aboriginal
And made by public sector agencies in
education, health, housing, social services
Existing policies may act as enablers or
barriers
The absence of policy can also have positive
or negative consequences
4
CORE ELEMENTS OF POLICY
1. People: citizens, officials, neighbourhoods,
communities
2. Purposes: a position, goals, objectives, intentions,
claims, hopes, expectations
3. Procedures: ways and means of designing, delivering
programs and laws
4. Products: income benefits, services, supports, rights
and responsibilities, words and symbols
5. Power: roles of authority, ideas of legitimacy, and
relations of advocacy and influence
5
HOUSING POLICY
1. People: people with intellectual disabilities, families, and
friends
2. Purposes: “real homes” with “real choice” on where and with
whom they live, housing control and safety
3. Procedures: financing, planning, land use and zoning
4. Products: social housing, cooperatives, group homes, home
ownership, and housing supports and services
5. Power: roles of all levels of government, non -profits, private
developers, banks and other financial institutions
6
CURRENT POLICY AND POLITICAL
CONTEXT IN CANADA
 Deficit reduction agendas for most provinces and the
federal government: emphasis on greater
efficiencies in delivering policies and programs
 Financial constraints on city governments and other
municipalities
 Devolution of most housing policy by the federal
government to the provinces
 “Advocacy chill” – the lack of resources to
community groups to undertake policy research and
engagement in policy processes; the active
discouragement of advocacy by governments
7
POLICY ANALYSIS
 A practical social activity concerned with:
 Developing and gathering knowledge of various kinds about
issues, groups, programs and gaps between needs and results
 Consulting and working with other agencies and community
groups
 Creating ideas and recommendations on desired policy
directions and preferred program reforms
 Responding to government plans, announcements and
inactions
8
POLICY ADVOCACY
 Helping public policy ideas make their way into
public awareness, general acceptance, and
implementation by governments and other
organizations
 Speaking up and out about what:
 governments and other public authorities are doing,
or not doing
 the public sector and other sectors should do, when,
and how
 governments or public organizations should stop
doing
9
POLICY ANALYSIS & ADVOCACY
 Both are part of the character of political citizenship
 Applied activities in building relationships, decision
making
 About making commitments and being involved and
knowing when to walk away from a process or issue
 Practising democratic politics
 Exercising human rights and duties
10
DISABILIT Y-RELATED POLICY ANALYSIS
AND ADVOCACY IN CANADA
Policy Issue
Jurisdiction and Reform
Ongoing Policy Work
Accessibility
ONT, AOD Act (2005)
Developing standards,
monitoring
Employment
NL, “Employment first”
policy
Across all provinces and
territories, and federally
Financial security
Canada, RDSP (2008)
Currently under federal
review
Human rights
Canada, UN Convention
(2010)
Central mechanisms,
progressive realization
Income assistance
SK, SAID
Ideas of a refundable
Disability Tax Credit, a
national basic income
Supports for adults with
developmental disabilities
BC, Twelve-point plan for
CLBC (2012)
Between BCACL and allies
and the provincial
government and CLBC
11
SOME REFLECTIONS
 Policy is about people and their lives
 Policy analysis and advocacy (individual, issue, policy
or systemic) are democratic politics
 Disability groups face challenges in doing policy
development and policy advocacy work
 Alliances and coalitions are important strategies
 Recent successes in some policy making and
advocacy campaigns
 UN Convention offers principles, a language to talk
about issues, and obligations on states to advance
the human rights of persons with disabilities
12
SOME REFLECTIONS
 Search for a real home is:
 a personal dream
 a practical need
 a public interest
 Housing policy is:
 social policy
 economic policy
 disability policy
13
POSSIBLE DIRECTIONS
 Federal role will likely be modest
 Recent federal action was time-limited for 2 years
 Perhaps advocate for another affordable housing
initiative by Ottawa with cost-sharing with the
provinces and territories targeted to low -income
households who include a persons with a disability
 Main focus on provincial governments and their
housing agencies
 Place of housing in poverty reduction strategies of
provinces with such strategies
14
QUESTIONS TO ASK
OF ANY HOUSING POLICY
 Who does this policy (program of proposal) af fect?
 From where does this policy get its justification? What
specific kind of reasoning is a government using?
 How are individuals, families and neighbourhoods included,
supported, and empowered in the policy development
processes?
 How does this policy enable people to express their skills, and
capacities, to have real choice and inclusion?
 How is the experience and knowledge of people with
disabilities valued and incorporated into decision making?
15
YOUR COMMENTS, IDEAS....
Thank you!
Michael J. Prince
Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy
University of Victoria
[email protected]
16

similar documents