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

Receive updates for this collection

Weighing in on the health and ethical implications of British Columbia's weight-centered health paradigm

Date created: 
2011-03-21
Abstract: 

Promotion of the weight-centered health paradigm through weight reduction policies and programs may lead to negative health outcomes such as eating disorders, mental health issues and harms from weight cycling and social stigmatization. This study asked why the weight-centered paradigm is uncritically relied upon in public policy and identified effective alternatives to it. Methods used to explore this were discourse analysis of policy documents, case studies of research on Health at Every Size and stakeholder interviews to evaluate policy alternatives. Three policy options are recommended for government adoption: i) weight bias training for health care professionals; ii) framing health promotion in “healthy weight” not “obesity reduction” language; and iii) ensuring health surveillance is not limited to measuring weight alone and involves tracking for unintended outcomes (e.g. eating disorders). A further recommendation suggests that eating disorder prevention professionals take a lead role in advocating for health- rather than weight-centered approaches.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Judith Sixsmith
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Bolstering adult basic education in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-03-21
Abstract: 

Recent policy and funding reforms by the provincial government have affected fundamental aspects of Adult Basic Education (ABE) programming in British Columbia. This study explores the systemic problems faced by ABE programs because of these reforms. It focuses on understanding factors, which in recent years have impacted program quality and outcomes. The study relies on qualitative data compiled through interviews and case study analysis. Finally, the study formulates and assesses policy alternatives for program improvement.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

In the public interest: Enhancing public participation and engagement in BCUC proceedings

Date created: 
2011-03-11
Abstract: 

The British Columbia Utilities Commission (the Commission) is responsible for making decisions in the public interest and is legally required to ensure its processes are fair, transparent and inclusive. Public hearings are the major source of public input to the Commission’s decisions. A lack of understanding about complex and technical information and limited resources (both money and time) can inadvertently exclude the public from participating in these hearings. As the mandate of the Commission evolves, its obligation to engage and seek input from the public about issues affecting them is increasing. This study provides recommendations for enhancing public participation and engagement in public hearings conducted by the Commission. The study draws on best practices to develop an implementation strategy and to highlight decisions critical to advancing public participation and engagement initiatives.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Nancy Olewiler
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Shifting streams: increasing recyclable material recovery in Vancouver

Date created: 
2011-02-03
Abstract: 

This study examines public policy approaches to increase the recovery of residentially generated recyclable materials in Vancouver, British Columbia. Four policy options are considered: a bylaw-oriented approach, changes to the City’s Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) garbage system, single-stream recycling, and expanding product deposit programs. Each is analyzed and assessed on a number of key criteria, with ratings and findings based on existing literature and extensive consultation with industry experts. I conclude that changes to the current PAYT fee structure along with a transition from weekly to bi-weekly garbage collection would provide residents strong, effective incentives to increase their recycling efforts. I also recommend improved solid waste container labelling, and continued expansion of deposit programs for appropriate products, primarily as measures to increase the lacklustre recycling performance of multi-family residences.

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

Social impact bonds in Canada: from theory to implementation

Date created: 
2011-03-16
Abstract: 

This paper analyzes the theoretical underpinnings of the Social Impact Bond and attempts to determine applicability in a Canadian context. No previous substantive study of this kind has been performed in a Canadian context. In this study empirical research of potential SIB applications is undertaken for an employment program for persons with disabilities, a social housing program and a preventative healthcare program for hypertension management. Findings suggest that the two latter cases are more suitable for future SIB application than the first. A general course for implementation and future research of the SIB is then developed. Recommendations for future paths of development in the area include: internationally coordinated research of existing SIB strategies; developing a long-term vision for the concept locally; identifying promising applications through the methods used in this project; identifying, partnering or creating a social impact bond delivery agency to deliver and monitor a SIB.

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

Canada’s innovation gap: policy options to increase business sector R&D

Date created: 
2010-12-14
Abstract: 

A key culprit for Canada’s lagging productivity growth is weak innovation in the business sector. Using the level of business R&D as a main indicator, I explore policy options for Canada to close its innovation gap with other countries. I first review previous research on the determinants of business R&D and highlight reasons for Canada’s lacklustre performance. I then examine the innovation system in three business R&D intensive countries (Israel, Finland, and Sweden) to gain insights on critical success factors that drive business R&D. Based on these case studies and my literature review, I draw implications for Canada through comparative analysis and propose four main policy options to increase business sector R&D. Using a set of criteria, I evaluate these options along with the status quo. The strongest option is to remove foreign investment restrictions in R&D intensive sectors.

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

In-SHUCK-ch nation building: the treaty option

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-12-07
Abstract: 

Over 17 years of treaty negotiations, three First Nations collectively known as In-SHUCK-ch have been rebuilding a governance system with the objective of bridging In-SHUCK-ch inherited jurisdictions with treaty jurisdictions. Today, substantive treaty negotiations are over. The study analyzes the difference between the status quo represented by life under the Indian Act and the treaty option represented by the draft In-SHUCK-ch Nation Final Agreement as completed in December 2009. Results of this study indicate that the treaty option outranks the status quo option based on five criteria.

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

Policy Options for Overcoming Systematic Barriers to Employment for People with Vision Loss

Date created: 
2010-11-12
Abstract: 

Working age adults with visual impairments in BC are not achieving the same level of employment as people with disabilities in general. People with visual impairments perceive three main barriers to employment: employers’ attitudes or willingness to hire people with visual impairments, lack of ongoing support for employers in the recruitment and retention of people with visual impairments and employers’ lack of understanding of the job candidate’s capabilities. This study investigates the barriers employers face in hiring people with visual impairments through two methodologies; semi-structured interviews and case studies. My analysis finds that the most effective mechanism for helping employers understand the workplace capabilities of people with visual impairments is to expose employers to working with people with visual impairments. Recommendations include implementing a BC Public Service Agency initiative to encourage public sector leadership in employing people with visual impairments.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Continuity of care measures and self-rated health: survey of Vancouver's Mid-Main Community Health Centre patients

Date created: 
2011-02-22
Abstract: 

This study examines why some primary care clients report higher self-rated health and tests for statistical relationships between healthy self-rated health and a variety of continuity of care measures. Using original survey data collected at Vancouver’s Mid-Main Community Health Centre, the study finds 80 per cent of patients surveyed rate their health as healthy. Further multivariate statistical testing indicates patients visiting the clinic over five times annually are 78 per cent less likely to report healthy self-rated health than those who visit less than five times. Chronic conditions also negatively correlate to self-rated health. Based on these findings the study recommends Mid-Main continue providing its current range of services while tracking high-frequency Mid-Main visitors using expanded electronic medical record functionality.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Kennedy Stewart
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Women's Nutrition in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Abstract: 

This study investigates the prevalence of malnutrition amongst poor women in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The literature states that malnutrition is both a consequence and a cause of poverty and is exacerbated by low levels of education. The direct causes of malnutrition are inadequate dietary intake and disease. Quantitative analysis of the survey instrument reveals that some of the factors that worsen the nutritional status of Dhaka women are: low socioeconomic status (exacerbated by a rise in global staple food commodity prices – like rice – in recent years), low levels of education and literacy, smoking and betel nut chewing behaviour within households, intra-familial food distribution that favours males, drinking unsafe water and an unhygienic environment. The study proposes several policy alternatives to address these issues by increasing women’s understanding of adequate diet, improving the quality of the diet that is within their financial means and lessoning their vulnerability to disease.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project