Public Policy - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Enabling choice: Addressing barriers to abortion services in rural British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

Induced abortion is an extremely common procedure in Canada; 1 in 3 Canadian women terminate at least one pregnancy in their life time. It is a medically necessary service, but women living in rural communities in British Columbia face extreme barriers when accessing abortion services. Women face extra-legal barriers related to distance, cost, a lack of rural health care professionals, and a lack of health care facility resources. This study seeks to examine existing interventions in BC and other jurisdictions, and synthesize existing research to compile a complete list of policy options. Following a full evaluation of these options to better understand effectiveness and tradeoffs, the study culminates with a list of priorities for action. The final recommendations first address flaws in existing policies for short term more immediate interventions, and secondly, introduce new initiatives for longer term success.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Richards
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

On assistance, can work: The unrealized employment potential in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Date created: 
2017-03-30
Abstract: 

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood is home to around 2400 welfare recipients, many of whom can and want to work, but experience barriers in doing so. Many engage in a continuum of income generating activities that creates pathways from informal work to traditional employment. Currently there is inadequate movement along the continuum due to multiple systemic barriers. To understand these barriers, I undertake a qualitative thematic analysis of primary interview data with welfare recipients, representatives from community organizations/social enterprises in the DTES, and social policy experts. Using a series of evaluative criteria, I combine primary research findings with the literature to assess five policy options. I recommend a combination of these options to reduce administrative barriers, recognize the income generation continuum, and increase the financial incentive to work. This recommendation is designed to facilitate movement along the continuum and enhance economic security and well-being for DTES welfare recipients.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kora DeBeck
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Attracting talent to Vancouver's tech sector: Policy options for future growth

Date created: 
2017-04-07
Abstract: 

In BC’s shift toward a knowledge-based economy, growth in the tech sector and the ability of start-ups to evolve into globally competitive companies is vital for BC’s future economic viability. Vancouver is a leading centre for tech growth in BC, and an increasing number of firms are doing business in the city. Vancouver is also home to three “tech unicorns” – start-ups valued over $1B – in Hootsuite, Avigilon, and Slack, all of which have helped legitimize the city’s brand as a viable destination to do business. However, the sector faces a dire problem of finding adequate talent supply to fill over 2,000 immediate vacancies and 15,500 vacancies over the next five years in tech, specifically at the executive level. This capstone evaluates policy options using criteria and measures, and recommends changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program and immediate action on Vancouver’s housing affordability to ultimately increase tech talent supply.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Josh Gordon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Running out of Thread: Securing Bangladeshi ready-made garment factory safety given the looming cut-off for the Accord and the Alliance

Date created: 
2017-03-24
Abstract: 

In response to the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, Western clothing brands launched initiatives to inspect their Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) supplier factories and remediate violations of global electrical, fire, and structural standards. The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (Accord) and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) are scheduled to end in June, 2018. While significant progress has been made in the remediation of electrical and fire deficiencies, inspection data from the Accord show that about half of identified structural problems remain unsolved, including a large portion of structural repairs over two years past their deadlines. As brands have taken temporary responsibility for safety in much of the sector, this report considers policy options available to them given the near-impossibility that complete remediation will occur by the initiatives’ deadline. Recommendations for decreasing the risk of death or injury borne by Bangladeshi RMG workers are provided.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Richards
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

An underutilized resource: Investigating the role implementation of nurse practitioners in BC's primary care system

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-13
Abstract: 

Nurse practitioners (NP) are registered nurses who hold a Master’s degree in nursing and are trained to practise autonomously within a collaborative healthcare system. Extensive evidence indicates that NPs provide high-quality, patient-centred care; as a result, the BC Ministry of Health introduced the NP role in 2005 to help the province meet a growing demand for primary care. However, despite some targeted initiatives, NPs continue to be underutilized. Interviews with NPs and key stakeholders, coupled with a thorough literature review, are used to identify the barriers preventing NP role implementation in BC’s primary care system. While many barriers were identified, the absence of an appropriate funding mechanism was found to be the most significant barrier to NP role implementation, ultimately limiting their utilization in the primary care system. Policy recommendations centre on developing a sustainable funding model that allows NPs to practise autonomously in multiple primary care settings.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Richards
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Room to grow: Policy options for developing BC’s early childhood education workforce

Date created: 
2017-03-14
Abstract: 

The recruitment and retention of a qualified workforce of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) is vital to ensuring the provision of high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). British Columbia faces chronic challenges of high turnover and workforce shortages in regulated center-based ECEC, with significant negative consequences for children, parents, educators, and BC’s population overall. Despite well-known historical problems, little research has investigated recent changes, or attempted to develop comprehensive workforce strategies specific to BC. This study seeks to address this gap, using a mixed methods approach of interview data, survey analysis, literature review, and statistical evidence to highlight causes and assess potential solutions in the current BC context. Evidence is found of recent worsening in BC’s early childhood educator workforce challenges. Findings confirm that persistent issues of low pay and poor social recognition remain major problems; highlighted also is a high proportion of small centres, weak workplace and institutional supports, and a recent trend of increased competition for qualified workers from education and health sectors. A set of policy options is systematically analyzed according to a set of criteria, and recommendations are presented.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Surviving the courts: Improving how provincial courts respond to sexual assault cases

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-11
Abstract: 

This paper is concerned with how provincial courts respond to sexual assault cases, in light of their imperfect record on convicting perpetrators as well as their negative impact on the well-being of many survivors. I first conduct research to identify the causes of both these problems, and then I develop and assess several potential government policies to improve the court process. My research is informed by a literature review and eight interviews with victim support workers, advocates, academics, lawyers, and judges. I conclude that governments need to take multiple actions to address these problems, beginning with policies that specialize court actors and processes, educate judges, and inform survivors.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Abandoned Mining Sites in British Columbia: Managing Environmental Liabilities

Date created: 
2017-03-08
Abstract: 

Mining is a core industry in British Columbia’s economy. However, the economic benefits of mining exploration, development, and production, have corresponding environmental risks and liabilities. To protect against the risk of public assumption of environmental liabilities, the Government of British Columbia collects financial securities for mine reclamation from proponents of mining operations. A gap between the amount of held financial securities and total estimated reclamation liability has characterized this policy for decades. This gives rise to disproportionate public exposure to mine reclamation liabilities. This study examines several policy approaches to reforming the approach to financial assurance. I examine four other jurisdictions, conduct interviews, and analyze quantitative data. The result is the articulation of three policy options, the advantages and disadvantages of which are presented. One option is recommended to provincial decision-makers as the best approach to reforming mine reclamation and financial assurance policy.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J. Rhys Kesselman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

HPV Social Marketing Campaigns: Novel Applications for Social Media Use

Abstract: 

Social media is contributing to the decline of traditional media such as newspapers, television, and radio. Public health organizations often conduct awareness campaigns through the media to reach the public with health messages. While many campaigns use social media, few have been formally evaluated and many established best practices are out of date due to the rapidly evolving nature of social media. Despite presenting public health organizations with an opportunity to reach and engage a large population, social media also poses a significant risk of loss of message control. Using a recent, innovative social marketing campaign, this capstone will employ a mixed methods approach to weigh the potential risks and benefits, evaluate three policy options, and recommend promising practices for using social media in HPV-related social marketing campaigns.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Olena Hankivsky
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Closing the gap: Primary prevention approaches to child protection in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-07
Abstract: 

The child welfare system in British Columbia requires a re-orientation towards prevention. Structural factors drive substantiated maltreatment rates, which are predominantly for neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence. Many at-risk families receive no support services until crisis. The BC Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) serves high-risk families where maltreatment has occurred, filtering out at-risk families to navigate a fragmented net of community services. This research study examines British Columbia’s continuum of services for at-risk families to identify service gaps. A literature review informs the rationale of primary prevention programs and community development. Interviews with frontline professionals show the need for “user-informed” services. Three policy options are analyzed: increased provision of services for at-risk families through MCFD’s Support Services stream, primary prevention through Nurse Family Partnerships, and population-level primary prevention through Family Connects. Family Connects is recommended to achieve a population-level effect in reducing maltreatment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rhys Kesselman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.