Master of Science
While health care and social service students in Ontario are expected to graduate with competencies in policy advocacy, the lack of knowledge and skills negatively impacts their participation as licensed providers. This study used an exploratory, comparative case study methodology with a critical theory lens to identify the process of how community-based organizations engaged in public policy advocacy to create educational competencies for undergraduate curricula. Eight organizational leaders participated in semi-structured interviews that were transcribed and analyzed both inductively and deductively using major concepts from Kingdon’s multiple streams theory to distinguish the policy advocacy process and Bloom’s taxonomy to identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes involved in public policy advocacy. Seven major educational competencies were formed by inductively analyzing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes and the activities outlined in the process model. This research provides professors with direction for program development to better prepare students for their role as advocate.
Summary for Lay Audience
Public policy advocacy involves persuading decisionmakers to take action on making large-scale changes in policies, programs, and environments and influencing the general public to support these actions. Students from health care and social service programs in Ontario, Canada are expected to graduate with competencies in policy advocacy, but despite this expectation, problems still remain: graduates reveal that they lack the knowledge and skills to participate in advocacy after completing their programs, knowledge and skills in policy advocacy are not taught to the extent where they can be practiced without additional education, and the lack of educational competencies in policy advocacy constrains professors from having the guidance they need to design university courses that teach policy advocacy. Major risks to career exist when errors are made in advocacy, with theory being described as not keeping up with practice.
This research looked to uncover the process of how community-based organizations, where health care and social service providers work, conduct public policy advocacy. The aim of identifying this process was to uncover the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are involved in public policy advocacy so that educational competencies can be created and applied to undergraduate health care and social service university programs. Educational competencies are the desired knowledge, skills, and behaviours that students must achieve and apply to be successful in a particular subject. Findings from this study include a process of public policy advocacy; the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are involved in this work; and educational competencies that can be applied to designing university courses for health care and social service students.
Lewis, Amy L., "Developing Competencies for Public Policy Advocacy: A Comparative Case Analysis" (2020). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7500.
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