Population, Poverty and Policy Module Assessment

Posted on September 12, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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COIT20249 Assessment item 4—Portfolio


The assessment for this module will be a briefing paper of 2,000 words excluding figures, tables and bibliography. No more than 3 tables or figures should be included.

Coursework (2,000 briefing paper): 100%

What is a briefing paper?

A briefing paper is a widely used method by which a person with a particular set of knowledge and skills provides a clear summary of their analysis of a particular topic, often including policy or programme recommendations.

The audience for a briefing paper is typically someone who is familiar with the general topic, data sources and analytical methods but is looking to the expert to:
-synthesise a lot of information in a succinct form
-highlight for them the key issues
-explain whether and why there are divergent views about the topic
-explain whether there are gaps, problems with data, methods or interpretation in what has already been published
-discuss opportunities going forward to improve knowledge about this topic
-discuss implications for policy or programmes

Among examples of briefing papers that you may be familiar with are: a) briefing papers written by scientists for ministers and other government civil servants to assist them with interpreting the evidence-base and understanding the potential impact of different programmes or policies. b) briefing papers

written by statisticians and demographers to provide other users of census and survey data with a summary about issues such as the quality of data, data management and statistical post-processing, by way of providing the reader with guidance about using and interpreting the data and/or findings.

Steps in writing the briefing paper for this module

In preparing for this assessment, we would like you to look at the learning outcomes and skills provided in the module outline. What issues in population, poverty and policy most interest you? Are there issues or questions that you would like to know more about? Are there particular sources of data and methods of analyses that you feel competent in critically appraising? Are you interested in exploring these issues globally, in one region or country, among particular sub-groups? What population processes, events, periods would you like to consider? Are you interested in learning more about issues of measurement, analyses, determinants, outcomes, trends, policy formation or policy impacts?

  • Identify a particular issue by setting yourself a question that you imagine a particular person or group of people would like you to answer as a population expert.
  • Briefly set out the background to this issue and explain why it is an important, timely topic for the readers of your briefing paper.
  • Summarise the evidence-based related to this issue or, if focusing on a methodological or policy question, you could explore the main applications and assessments of the method or approach. Keep your description concise and focus on the most salient points.
  • Critically appraise the material you are summarising. You are the expert and the audience is looking to you to explain to them why some evidence or approaches might be more robust or relevant to their situation than others.
  • Present possible solutions or recommendations. These might be for how the audience might respond to a current problem or challenge, or prepare for an emerging one. Think about several possible solutions or recommendations. If you favour one, say why supporting your argument. If you don’t know yet, say how you might need to try to find out. This might be across different population or poverty-related activities or policies.
  • Be prepared to justify your solutions or recommendations and show that you are not generating a wish-list but thinking about the kind of resource, political, ethical or other constraints that your audience may be facing.

Population, poverty and policy are areas covered by many disciplines and practice sectors. We encourage you to develop knowledge and skills that will strengthen their own disciplinary expertise, for example in demography or social statistics, but to also to read widely and draw on work in other areas so that you are familiar with different perspectives, data and methods.

Advice and support in preparing the assessment

You will have two opportunities to discuss your progress with the assessment during the student-led seminar sessions in week 23 and week 25. Be prepared to talk about your ideas and raise questions so that staff can give input to the group and your efforts become learning opportunities for other students.

During these sessions staff will also be able to guide you as to the suitability and relevance of your chosen topic and approach. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have spent time working on your assessment ahead of these two sessions in order to make the most of feedback and input. The tutors will not provide the same input to individual students outside of these two sessions unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Handing in the coursework

Please remember that as with all assessments it is your responsibility to ensure that your work meets the standards of academic integrity

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