In your opinion, what are one or two key elements of strong policy writing?
My preference is for a succinct, two page (or so) memo that focuses on the key recommendations or decisions needed, including a very clear statement as to why the policy is needed and timely. The memo should always include a concise background on the issue, and detail the next steps if the recommendation/s are adopted.
If you were to give advice to a student or rising policy analyst, what would you say are the best practices of policy writing?
I generally like to see supportive materials, key reports, newspaper articles, etc. attached with the memo, but not provided in place of the memo. I don't generally prefer powerpoint slides or decks, but I know that others do.
I like to think of the 2-4 questions that a decision-make would most likely ask in response to the proposal and make sure that the answers to those questions are included in the memo.