An issue paper (sometimes called a “white
paper”) is a staff report to a decision-maker which provides an
assessment of everything that is readily available about a particular
problem. It is not an in-depth analysis,
nor does it require extensive data gathering.
It is, rather, a systematic first phase which provides the foundation
for further analysis.
An issue paper should focus on four key questions:
Generally speaking, a white paper follows a standard format:
Depending on the situation and the problem, this format may
be modified as long as the four key questions are dealt with. While “Recommendations” are
important, the process by which they were derived is equally important in a
white paper. While the “Executive
Summary” is not always listed as part of the format, it is good practice
to include it in any policy paper.
For more detailed information, refer to: Quade, A.S. (1975) Analysis for Public
Decisions. NY: Elsevier.
For more detailed information, refer to: Quade, A.S. (1975) Analysis for Public Decisions. NY: Elsevier.
© 2004 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 16 April 2004