Let's get healthy Arkansas!

Policy Analysis and Change (PAC)
We work together to inform, improve, and help make change for a healthier Arkansas.

Policy Analysis and Change

We are a team working with communities, community organizations, schools, faith-based groups, grass roots leaders, healthcare systems and businesses to help create policies and places that are more nutritious, physically active and overall healthier.

Policy is a set of guidelines that inform a course of action for governments, businesses, organizations and institutions. Health can be impacted by policies in many different ways. Through policy, we can make positive changes in community health.

Policy Analysis is looking for policy options that help solve a health problem and then comparing those options for the best one to solve the problem.

Check out these Key Questions to further explain the policy analysis process.

Policy analysis makes sure you have chosen the best policy option for your health issue and problem.

Using a policy analysis table like this one can help in the policy analysis process.

Health issues and problems can be found through problem identification.  Problem Identification is:

  1. Clearly identifying the root cause of a problem
  2. Developing a problem statement that clearly defines the problem’s impact on a population’s health

To identify a problem, you need to:

  1. Identify the root cause of the problem by collecting information.
  2. Create a problem statement by describing how the problem occurs, how serious it is, and the impacts and outcomes relating to the problem.
  3. Write an information or issue brief describing the problem.
  4. Talk with stakeholders about the problem.


Read about the different types of policy briefs and how to write them here.

Stakeholders are people or groups impacted by or concerned with the problem and are interested in policy solutions for it.

Stakeholders include:

  • Community members and leaders
  • Neighborhood associations and networks
  • Those with strong influence in the community (e.g., media, clergy, doctors, CEOs)
  • State and local health departments
  • Interest groups (e.g., business, activists, academics)
  • Funders and other resource providers
  • Schools and educational groups
  • Funders and other resource providers
  • Evaluators
  • Legislators, government officials, and other policymakers

You need to make sure you are finding the root cause of the health problem—and sometimes this is not always crystal clear. This helps in creating the best solutions for a problem.

Visit the CDC’s Fast Stats to view topics that are important for population health. These may help guide you in problem identification.

CDC Policy Process

CDC Policy Process

Our Policy Change Agenda

Through specific policy, we can make positive changes towards a more nutritionally dense and physically active state to help improve the overall health of Arkansans.

Some policies we are working towards to create a more nutritious environment for Arkansans include:

  1. Expand current public policies to assure inclusion of healthy foods, such as increasing state food-purchasing program to include fresh fruits and vegetables for distribution to low-income Arkansans.
  2. Encourage adoption of Baby-Friendly guidelines as outlined by The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies.
  3. Ensure support for breastfeeding within child care centers and in schools.
  4. Work with employers to develop worksite lactation support programs.
  5. Reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in worksites, public places, and recreation.
  6. Reduce consumption of SSBs in schools.
  7. Eliminate use of SSBs in licensed day care centers.
  8. Use policy incentives and disincentives (such as limits on time SSBs are available, size of containers and/or product mix) that will impact sugar-sweetened beverage purchases.
  9. Increase healthy vending machine guidelines.
  10. Provide mandatory, evidence-based nutrition education to improve the health of children attending early child care centers through college.
  11. Increase participation in federally-funded school meal programs.
  12. Create school environments with easy access to healthy food choices.

Some policies we are working towards to create a more physically active environment for Arkansans include:

  1. Create master community, park and recreational facility plans that encourage physical activity.
  2. Create master pedestrian and bike plans at community level that encourage physical activity.
  3. Develop plans and policies to create public spaces for people using all forms of mobility (wheelchair, stroller, bicycle, etc.).
  4. Work with city, county and other planners to incorporate increased Connectivity Index Scores into relevant policies and regulations to support healthy roadways and streets.
  5. Support zoning legislation that increases access to healthy foods (e.g. community gardens, groceries, restaurants.)
  6. Increase formal joint-use agreements between communities and organizations such as schools and faith-based organizations to provide access to physical activity areas.
  7. Promote grassroots support of Complete Streets principles in every community across Arkansas.
  8. Create incentives to encourage denser, more walkable communities and multi-use developments.
  9. Create an environment that complies with appropriate physical activity federal standards.
  10. Create school environments with easy access to physical activity choices.
  11. Integrate physical activity with learning in schools.

HAA Framework

HAA Framework
LRSD Model Water Bottle Policy
Model Joint Use Agreement Resources

Want to learn more about HAA or get involved with one of the three areas of change? Send us your contact information and we’ll be in touch.