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Five good ideas about policy with Sherri Torjman

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Torjman, Sherri
Publication Date: 
28 May 2012


The purpose of policy work is to improve the quality of life for all citizens. As part of that overall goal, it seeks to reduce poverty and inequality, and to promote the inclusion of individuals who typically are underrepresented in the social, cultural, political and economic life of a community -- and of a nation. Policy work generally seeks to shift the way in which resources and opportunities are distributed in a society. This change could involve, for example, the provision of higher benefits or the reduction of income taxes. Policy work may also enable access to opportunities, notably advanced education or paid employment. It may build capabilities, such as literacy or skills development, to promote self-sufficiency in the long term. All policy work shares a common goal: to effect some form of change deemed to be in the public interest. But policy efforts can also affect the people who do this work. Each attempt at reform comes with lessons that can be applied not only to future policy initiatives but also as guidance to the non-profit world.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Trust your knowledge
  2. Dream big
  3. Go the extra mile
  4. Hold that thought
  5. Find your Karasima

Sherri Torjman is Vice-President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.