What is the Policy Helper Corps?
The Policy Helper Corps is a pool of Green Party members willing to assist in the policy development process: some may be experts in a particular subject area, others may advise on governance, history, group process, writing, or advocacy. We want to bring to bear the full richness of our members’ skills and experiences to the policy development process. Those developing motions can think of the Policy Helper Corps as an elite squad of smart assistants, ready to deploy, as needed, to make policy better.
This assistance can take a variety of forms:
- Contributing your own expertise or background to help a member flesh out a policy idea;
- Providing constructive feedback on motions, with suggestions on supporting evidence to seek, stakeholders, or subject matter experts to consult;
- Helping and “coaching” members through the process of developing their motion, including basic assistance with policy analysis methods and processes, and help with organizing participatory sessions for this purpose (the party will provide you with basic training and tools)
- Helping members with wording, syntax, grammar etc. in their motions.
You would make a good Policy Helper if you have any of the following qualities:
- You are an active listener and able to give constructive feedback;
- You are willing to share expertise or experience that you possess;
- You have an understanding and appreciation of what makes good policy as described in our Members Guide to Policy Motions;
- You are able to understand and navigate formal processes
- You are able to commit some time for training and policy development group sessions.
As a member of the Policy Helper Corps, the Motion Submission Committee may reach out to you from time to time to see if you would be willing to work with a member working on a motion.
Since our motion development process is taking place on an ongoing basis, such requests may come at any time, although there are likely to be more of them as we approach General Meetings and Conventions. You may remove yourself from the Policy Helper Corps (or temporarily pause your volunteering) at any time, and it is always up to you whether to accept a help request, of course!
Helga is developing a policy motion around introducing universal pre-kindergarten to Island schools. She asks the Motion Submission Committee for help, and they recommend Horst, a former Deputy Minister of Education, Horlene, a recently-retired kindergarten teacher, and Hal, who teaches in the Early Childhood Education program at Holland College, from the Policy Helper Corps, to assist her.
With the help of the Party, Horlene takes the lead to organize a workshop with a small group of members (could be Helga, her motions’ sponsors, Horst, Hal, and Horlene herself ) to flesh out the motion using basic policy analysis and participatory techniques. The Party assists Horlene with a basic set of training and tools for this purpose as well as with any additional stakeholder consultations identified by the group.
After Helga has finalized her draft motion, she has now gained new skills in policy development and may be interested in becoming part of the PHC and assisting other members with their motions in the future.