Policy Analysis and Consultation Considerations (Application of Policy Lenses)

One of the inherent challenges in the development of public policy is the anticipation of potential positive and negative impacts on various populations of people within our society. It is incumbent on policy analysts and decision makers to avoid recommending and implementing policies which infringe upon the rights and/or well-being of these groups such as women, the disabled, seniors and those living in poverty, as well as sub-populations and cross-sections of these groups. In much the same way public policy considerations are also applied to specific impact areas such as the environment, natural resource management, employment and unemployment, etc.

Accordingly, policy professionals apply a variety of analytical lenses to see potential policy implications more clearly, to guide consultation and, ultimately, to provide more informed policy advice. Finally, it is important that these considerations be taken into account during the Policy Analysis and Consultation phases of the policy development process and not simply "tacked on" as a part of the final policy proposal writing exercise.

Following is a sampling of the most common policy lenses and resources developed to guide and inform policy analysis

Gender-Based Analysis

The Women's Policy Office applies gender based analysis to government policy in such forms as legislation, programs and services. By applying gender based analysis to government policy, the Women's Policy Office provides advice to departments on how women are affected, highlights needs and gaps and advises on how gender equity can be better achieved. http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/exec/wpo/genderbased/index.html

Considerations for Persons with Disabilities

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Disability Policy Office works with all government departments and agencies to develop policies and programs that include people with disabilities and that are barrier free. This work is important to make sure everyone has the same opportunities. Initiatives of the Provincial Strategy for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador will apply a variety of approaches, such as using a disability lens to identify barriers within policies and programs, building knowledge of disability related issues, making structural changes and providing supports that enable inclusion.

Rural Lens

The Government of NL is committed to the sustainability of rural regions within the province. As such, it has developed a rural lens tool which ensures that rural concerns and priorities are considered fully in policy- and decision-making processes.

The rural lens policy assessment tool helps to identify potential rural impacts of policies and decisions - positive and negative, direct and indirect - in a proactive, objective and uniform manner. It helps decision-makers to assess the potential impacts on rural regions and stakeholders of impending decisions or policies before they are made or approved.

Other Policy Lens Documents

Provincial Healthy Aging Policy Framework, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

B.C Psycho-geriatric Association. Seniors Mental health Policy Toolkit

Environmental Assessment Guide, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

VON Canada. Respite Policy lens Framework

Guidelines for Gender Inclusive Analysis, Women's Policy Office, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2003