PPA Home

Project TIPS

Defining the Social Problem

As a public policy analyst, you will first need to select and define a social problem. The Global History Public Policy Analyst (GHPPA) is intended to focus on social problems that resulted in a major public policy.

Here are some steps to consider in selecting and defining a social problem for your public policy analysis:

  • Read the section that discusses social problems
  • Review the list of Topics for Developing Global History Social Problems
  • You may then:
    • Select one of the examples from the list and use it to identify a specific social problem related to a major public policy enacted in global history, or
    • Use your textbook topics to identify a social problem, time period and theme related to a major public policy decision in global history, or
    • Select a social problem based on your teacherís recommendations
    • Identify one or more Global History themes related to your social problem
Some other points to keep in mind in selectingyour social problem:
  • Start your research by first selecting the major public policy decision (the GHPPA also views revolutions as public policy decisions)
  • Be sure that you develop a specific social problem within a particular period of time related to one or more general concepts and themes.
  • Many of the examples on the sample list are intended to be used as a starting point
  • Avoid developing a problem statement that is too specific or too general. The GHPPA will involve quite a bit of research. Therefore, a problem that is overly specific may result in your spending a great deal of time on something relatively trivial. On the other hand, a problem that is too general may be unsolvable.
  • Try to develop a problem within a theme that can be compared to other similar types of problems in other time periods.

Worksheet 1: Identify the Problem (HTML version)
Worksheet 1: Identify the Problem (MSWORD version)


Step 2: Gather the Evidence