A policy hack is a collaborative method of developing policy that solves a pre-defined problem. It is also an opportunity to validate a policy idea or concept, testing the features and coming up with a better defined way to address the problem, receiving feedback along the way from a variety of stakeholders.
The community collaborative identifies one specific area of focus related to policy that, if improved, could provide maximum benefit to the client group. The proposed policy will be continually refined and validated throughout the policy hack via open an honest communication between all key stakeholders. This approach also recognizes that no one stakeholder can solve the problem on their own or by acting in isolation.
Prior to the hack, participants are provided with “homework” that will ensure everyone has access to foundational information related to the policy of focus.
At the hack, the policy idea is refined through collaboration of the stakeholders and then brainstormed. As each potential barrier is identified, stakeholders in the room identify solutions and secure commitment from partners to make the change. As each iteration of the policy is refined, the group works towards the best solution possible to meet the needs of the clients.
At the end of this process, the group presents the final version to a panel of experts to receive independent critique of the proposed solution.
Following the event, an implementation team is established to test the policy in a pilot setting to assess the impacts and refine if necessary.
If the pilot has a positive impact on the client group, the results of the pilot are reported back to the collective for further refinement and expansion.