Master of Data Science for Public Policy   Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Writing policy memos: When and how to communicate what

This workshop teaches how to write policy memos. Students will learn through teaching and exercises based on real-life communication in former foreign policy and development contexts. Among them, a case study and an exercise on the international perspective regarding the current situation in Ethiopia. The learning objective is to better understand when and how to communicate what and gain better insights into the craft of writing policy memos.

The course will present different policy settings where communication is required, for instance:

  • How to inform and advise policymakers about current events;
  • How to inform and advise policymakers on important decisions;
  • How to prepare memos for foreign policymakers when they are discussing specific subjects with their counterparts (for example, other Ministers of Foreign Affairs);
  • How to communicate an issue to the press; and
  • How to report from an Embassy abroad (cable writing).

In summary, the learning outcome will be about:

  • Awareness and understanding of different communication situations;
  • Awareness and understanding of different forms of policy memos; and
  • An introduction to situation-based communication and a better understanding of the kind of information policymakers need.