Memo Review

Good policy memos are clear and concise. They use effective structure and well-conceived arguments. They are persuasive. Hitting all of these marks is a challenge for policy writers. In order to demonstrate best practices of policy writing, the blog posts below evaluate policy memos and consider both strengths, and areas for improvement.

Health Economist sends memo to U.S. Treasury Secretary-Urgent Need for Changes in Health Reform Implementation

Healthcare reform

Memo review by Oriol Solé Borràs, HSPH Masters candidate, 2021

        David Cutler, a Harvard health economist and an advisor to President Obama’s 2008 campaign sent in May 2010 a memo to Larry Summers, the Treasury Secretary at that time, arguing that the White House had the wrong team in charge of health reform, and they needed to overhaul their implementation strategy.... Read more about Health Economist sends memo to U.S. Treasury Secretary-Urgent Need for Changes in Health Reform Implementation

Memo from Director of U.S. Dept. of Interior RE: Recycling and Reduction of Disposable Plastic Bottles in Parks

    Plastic Bottles in trash

Memo review by César Monarrez, 2021 MBA/MPA candidate, MIT Sloan and HKS

        The National Parks Service (NPS) memo PM 11-03 regarding disposable water bottle policies is a mildly compelling document that, despite having some noteworthy elements, loses potential impact due to a lack of urgency and a muddled argument structure.... Read more about Memo from Director of U.S. Dept. of Interior RE: Recycling and Reduction of Disposable Plastic Bottles in Parks