Aim: To examine evidence about a policy and formulate immediate and longer- term recommendations on how to change the policy itself and / or its implementation.

Context: This tool can be used individually or with a group. It can be applied to evidence gathered by the group itself or to evidence gathered by others.

How to use this tool

Step 1: Review the evidence on policy implementation. Use the information to make a comprehensive list of problems, relating to the programme or policy you are monitoring.

Step 2: Consider which of these problems may be relatively easy to address. Identify which problems are more systemic and will call for more demanding, longer-term solutions. If possible, write each problem on a separate card and arrange them along a continuum like the one below:

Step 3: In relation to each problem, consider what actions you think government could or should take to resolve the situation – or to move in the direction of finding a solution.

Step 4: Formulate these suggested actions as recommendations. You can use a table like the one below to help you differentiate between:

  • Immediate or first-aid remedies – steps that should be taken now to ameliorate the worst affects of a policy or programme
  • Longer-term remedies – the systemic changes that are required to address the root causes of poor or inadequate policy outcomes. 
Attach time-frames to the longer-term remedies. This will indicate when you think the actions should have been taken.

Step 5: Make sure all your recommendations are clear, reasonable, viable and affordable.

Example: Recommendations relating to a feeding programme in a school

Source: CAFOD, Christian Aid and Trocaire (2007) Monitoring Government Policies: A toolkit for civil rights organisations in Africa: p.94