Project LEGAL's

Public Policy Analyst

Public Policy Steps


Identifying the cause of the problem

Medical researchers try to identify the causes of various diseases. They can develop a vaccine to immunize people from contracting that disease. For example, Dr. Jonas Salk virtually eliminated polio when he identified the virus that caused it, and then developed a vaccine. Likewise, if policy makers can identify the causes or factors that contribute to a social problem, then they can try to develop public policies to eliminate or lessen those causes or factors.

Unlike the specific virus that causes polio, most social problems have numerous causes and contributing factors. Some of the Internet resources that you used to complete the previous step probably also contain information about causes and contributing factors. Review those articles and brainstorm the causes and factors that contribute to your social problem. Record that information on Worksheet 3.