Mission Statements of the Committee and the SfAA
SfAA Public Policy Committee Statement of Goals
SfAA Mission Excerpts
The Society for Applied Anthropology aspires to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives and methods in solving human problems throughout the world; to advocate for fair and just public policy based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of anthropology as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field.
In order to affect policy at all levels, the Society must promote anthropological interests, tools, methods and insights with a very broad array of policy makers. Legislators, lobbyists, funders, government agencies, international organizations, nonprofit organizations, community-based leaders are only a handful of actors in the policy arena with whom applied anthropology must interact. Through effective use of the media, press relations, conferences, products and other forms of dissemination, the Society should promote anthropology to the public and should facilitate training programs for members to work effectively with the press. Increasingly, the Society will use resources such as the Internet, the SfAA homepage, and ANTHAP to stimulate timely discussions of current policy related issues. By encouraging and supporting anthropologists to take leadership and decision making positions in public policy, the Society can influence policy decisions at all levels. The careful selection of the theme for the annual meeting is an important way to direct members' efforts to special issues.
Committee Goal Statement Excerpts
We seek to increase the ability of SfAA to bring the results of anthropological research to bear on policy issues. SfAA as an organization should speak on policy issues of particular importance. Primarily, however, increased effectiveness in public policy must come through the actions of the membership. Ideally, each of us should develop a better understanding of how to translate his or her own expertise into recommendations that are relevant and cogent in a policy domain. Equally important, each of us should seek a better grasp of the policy process relevant to his or her expertise, to recognize the key players, the relevant interest groups, and the critical decision points, with the aim of becoming an effective actor within a given policy network.
Specific goals include the following. (1) SfAA should increase its capacity to deliver relevant training to its membership on effective intervention within the policy process. (2) SfAA should encourage policy-relevant research to improve our ability to demonstrate expertise that is valid, reliable, and credible in a variety of policy areas. (3) SfAA should be able to react quickly and effectively on time-dependent issues to present anthropologically sound information and recommendations.