About Policy Briefs

About Policy Briefs

An important objective of the DSA Ireland is to communicate and disseminate the research of members in an accessible way, to achieve impact on policy, practice and innovation.  To achieve this objective, DSA Ireland are launching a policy brief series.  We invite submissions from all members who have completed research that has implications for how Ireland addresses global issues of extreme poverty, justice and sustainability.

What is a policy brief?

A policy brief is a statement of a policy relevant issue, the policy options to deal with that issue and recommendations on what next steps should be taken. A policy brief is aimed at government policy makers and other stakeholders involved in making or influencing policy.

Policy briefs should be presented on one A4 sheet and contain a maximum of 1000 words.  


The brief may include colour, graphics or photographs. Once accepted, the DSAI will publish the policy brief using a branded policy brief template.  Language in the policy brief should be clear and accessible to a lay reader. It should include the following sections:

  • Title
  • Summary
  • Recommendations
  • Main text
  • Policy implications

 In addition, a policy brief may contain the following:

  • Boxes and sidebars
  • Case studies
  • Tables & Figures
  • Photographs

Title: The title should be short, less than 12 words and to the point. 

Summary: The main points you want policymakers to take away from your brief

Recommendations: Should be clear, short and easy to understand. They should also be realistic. Highlight the feasibility of the recommendations and/or the conditions necessary for achieving them.

Introduction: What is the problem, why is it significant?

  • The problem
  • Context
  • Causes of current situation (evidence)
  • Effects of current situation (examples)

Main text: Simple, logical and relevant.

Policy implications

  • Suggested options for revising policy(What are the options?)
  • Effects(How will the proposed changes improve the situation? Can include examples)
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each option(What are the potential benefits, costs and side-effects?) 

Reference to original research article

The policy brief should include a reference and link to the original research article on which the policy brief is based.


Please submit the policy brief for publication to wps@dsaireland.org. The submission should include: author(s) details, acknowledgements, references, disclaimers or other publication information. 

Publication & dissemination

DSA Ireland will:

  1. Publish the policy brief on its website; and
  2. Disseminate to Irish Aid and other stakeholders in the policy and practice field.