The CDC Policy Process

Image of the CDC Policy Wheel, split into slices, with each one representing a domain. It consists of the following domains: problem identification, policy analysis, strategy and policy development, policy enactment. The process also has two overarching domains that should be considered throughout the policy cycle: stakeholder engagement and education and evaluation

CDC’s Policy Process provides a systematic way to develop policies that can help you address public health problems in your community. The policy process is like a journey that takes you through five domains, including stakeholder engagement and evaluation. It ultimately results in implementing a policy.

Just like any trip, you need to decide where you want to go, weigh the pros and cons of different destinations and routes, plan your itinerary, and then travel to your destination.

Here’s a peek at what that journey looks like at each domain of the policy process:

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Problem Identification: Determine the root cause of a public health problem and write a problem statement. This is the step where you decide you want to go on a policy journey.

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Policy Analysis: Identify possible policy options and pick the one you think is best. Here, you are considering several destinations and decide between them.

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Strategy and Policy Development: Plan how to develop, draft, and enact your policy. In this step, you are choosing the route to your destination.

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Policy Enactment: Follow official procedures to get your policy authorized. This is when you actually depart on your journey.

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Policy Implementation: Plan for successful policy implementation and achieve the desired outcomes. This is successfully traveling to your destination.

Let’s start this policy journey together and learn more about how you can use the policy process to develop or change policy to address public health problems.