Overview of CDC’s policy process
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Filetype[PDF-264.05 KB]


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      Policy is one potentially effective way to improve the health of populations. This document provides public health practitioners with a summary of the domains of the CDC policy process (see Figure 1). The goal of this overview is to foster a common understanding of what policy is and the process by which it is conceptualized, developed, adopted, and evaluated. Policy development is rarely a linear process; often the domains of the policy cycle overlap or occur out of order. However, in the ideal scenario, a problem is defined, potential policy solutions are identified, analyzed and prioritized, and the best solution is adopted and evaluated. Public health professionals play an important role in the policy process, for example, by conducting policy analysis, communicating findings, developing partnerships, and promoting and implementing evidence-based policy interventions. The primary audience for this document is CDC staff; therefore, we have highlighted the potential role of CDC for each of the policy domains. The secondary audience is CDC grantees and public health partners who may find this document useful in their efforts to translate evidence and science into policy. Note that federal law prohibits lobbying related activities by CDC at the federal, state and local level. There may be other restrictions on lobbying related activities of which public health professionals should be aware. "Policy" is defined as a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. CDC guidelines and recommendations are examples of CDC policies. Suggested citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overview of CDC’s Policy Process. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services; 2012. CS247166-A
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