495 Analyze Issue

Module 3: Analyze the Problem/Issue

The second paper focuses on issue analysis. The process of analysis can be defined as “breaking something down into its components” (Beaney, 2012). A breakdown of an issue will allow the author to identify the cause and the symptoms, as well as the true impact of the issue. “To analyze something, we may first have to interpret it in some way…all in the service of identifying fundamental principles by means of which to explain it” (Beaney, 2012).

To solve a problem, you must determine the cause.  It may be helpful to think of the issue in question as consisting of the following components:

1. Resources: With many issues, limited resources are a factor in either preventing a process from working efficiently, or in some cases, working at all. By breaking down an issue, try and determine if you can identify the limiting resources.

2. People: In some instances, people can be considered a resource, but in analyzing the issue, you may find the issue is a result of not having the right people. Do these people have the right amount of experience and training? Are those people working under an effective organizational structure?

3. Processes: What are the current policies and procedures? Were they appropriate or were the proper checks and balances in place?

As part of the analysis stage, you also need to focus on stakeholders and the constraints and opportunities that are part of the problem and could affect the outcome. (Erskine et al., 1997).

Research is also important in this phase. Your Public Safety Research and Technology class taught you the basics about the research process. Research methods and statistics help public safety administrators to become critical thinkers. These skills allow you to determine what is relevant and what is not when looking at possible solutions to problems. You have learned that it is important to know how to investigate facts and how to consider alternatives—it is a problem-solving method. Use research when looking at problems and solutions—take what others have done (and spent money in developing) to help you solve your issues. You can use websites identified in courses during your field of study for this paper.

Homeland security, for example, has numerous resources with unbiased data. One such source is the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Papers written by this group on various homeland security issues can be found using the following link , or you can search CRS reports using this link. Other resources for homeland security topics include the Naval Postgraduate School’s Digital Resource Library and the Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) page managed by the US Department of Homeland Security. The featured section of LLIS has recent information on many of today’s most pressing public safety security topics, including active shooters, wildland fires, disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks, civil disturbances, and transportation incidents. US policy documents related to public safety can be found in the Homeland Security Digital Library . The key to your case study is the use of peer-reviewed resources to explain an issue, research the problem, and determine viable recommendations.

This websiteprovides additional information on how to understand a problem. Also refer to your syllabus for readings that will help you in analyzing the problem or issue.


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