How is a policy audit conducted?
To complete the policy audit the CSTL Task Team will need to identify a researcher who can compile the relevant policy for consideration and who can support the Task Team to identify the policy agenda for the CSTL Programme. A researcher with an appropriate background may be available within the MoE, in a local service / research / academic organisation offering support to the MoE, or as a local consultant.
In this section you will find an outline of the terms of reference for a researcher. However, this is only an outline and it will need amending to meet the requirements of your context.
There are three steps involved in conducting a policy audit.
• Step 1: Collecting policy documents
The first step is the comprehensive collection of policy documents relevant to care and support for teaching and learning both in and outside the education sector. A list such as the one under the heading Which policies are relevant? will help structure the collection of documentation. Usually officials in the MoE can be requested to support your collecting. It is often helpful to complement the desktop collection of documents with interviews with key stakeholders. These interviews can ensure that sub-national differences in policy interpretation and implementation are captured. For example, the researcher with key informants can establish the following:
- how widely the policy is understood and implemented;
- how the policy is interpreted and implemented differently;
- existing successes and challenges in policy implementation.
• Step 2: Opportunities
Once the full range of relevant policy is identified it is analysed to assess the opportunities and existing gaps for care and support. It is important to examine policy to identify the following:
- policy statements that reflect the ethos and principles of care and support;
- policy positions that encourage or involve teachers in aspects of care and support;
- possible additional resources that can be allocated for care and support;
- directives that guide school-level interaction with the local community;
- policy that frames inter-sectoral collaboration and the national response to vulnerable children;
- policy that describes exactly what services and support vulnerable children are entitled to in your environment.
• Step 3: Policy agenda
The final step of the policy audit is to use the conclusions to frame a policy agenda for the CSTL
Programme. Policy agenda is the term that describes what needs to be done to create an enabling policy environment for the CSTL Programme. The policy agenda can include one or more of the following:
- revision to existing policy;
- preparation of new policy;
- advocacy of existing policy to enhance interpretation or implementation;
- advocacy for new policy positions.
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