Workshop series on the use of information and evidence in local government
The overarching goal of this study is to extend our understanding of policy decision-making processes in areas of UK local government that have impacts on public health. Specifically, through a series of several workshops with decision-makers in non-health sectors, it will explore the types of information and evidence that inform these decisions, focusing on policy-making in the built environment aiming to improve social determinants of health and reduce health inequalities. This is intended primarily to be a foundation for future research to build on ways to improve policy-making for public health, and to identify potential interventions which could be tested to improve the uptake and use of research evidence in decision-making.
a) To explore what policy-makers understand by ‘evidence’
b) To explore policymakers’ views on, and experiences of, using various sources of information and evidence in policy processes in built environment policy sectors;
c) To understand the relationship between researchers and policy-makers in different policy settings, and to explore how this could be improved;
d) To reflect on the findings of the policy workshops, and to explore academic perspectives on how researchers may better understand and respond to evidence and evaluation needs of Local Government
At the end of this study, we aim to be able to answer the following questions for our locality:
– How is evidence understood by built environment practitioners working outside the health sector?
– What counts as evidence in making decisions about practice (i.e. development of policy and implementation of interventions)?
– What drives and hinders evaluation in Local Government?
– What new evidence do users in local authorities need to help them take on new public health functions?
March – June 2013