Networks, advocacy and evidence in public health policymaking

Katherine E. Smith, Heide Weishaar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The past two decades witnessed the international consensus around the idea that health policy decisions should be ‘evidence-based’. These efforts have stimulated a wealth of studies explicitly concerned with understanding the use of research evidence in policy. The majority of such studies suggest there are few examples of public health policy outcomes that might reasonably be labelled ‘evidence-based’. Only a small number of these studies seek to explore how political dynamics interacted with evidence to shape policy outcomes. Here, we draw on two empirical case studies of efforts to promote public health evidence to decision makers (protection from secondhand smoke in Europe and tackling health inequalities in England), to highlight the primacy of ‘policy networks’ and ‘advocacy’ for understanding the role of evidence in achieving policy change. Reflecting on our empirical findings, we argue that the policy networks literature usefully foregrounds the roles that diverse ‘policy actors’ can play in connecting research and policy. However, our case studies also suggest that popular accounts of policy networks, such as Haas’ ‘epistemic communities’ and Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith’s Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), overstate the role of core values in driving policy network efforts, while underplaying the role of advocacy, leadership, network communication and trust, scientific consensus, political context and strategic policy trade-offs in network success. We conclude by arguing for further efforts to connect analyses of policy networks and evidence use. We also reflect on the implications of our findings for those seeking to employ evidence to effect policy change
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages403-430
    Number of pages28
    JournalEvidence and Policy
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018

    Fingerprint

    public health
    evidence
    health policy
    trade policy
    coalition
    decision maker
    leadership
    communication
    health
    community
    Values

    Keywords

    • advocacy
    • health inequalities
    • policy networks
    • tobacco control

    Cite this

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    title = "Networks, advocacy and evidence in public health policymaking",
    abstract = "The past two decades witnessed the international consensus around the idea that health policy decisions should be ‘evidence-based’. These efforts have stimulated a wealth of studies explicitly concerned with understanding the use of research evidence in policy. The majority of such studies suggest there are few examples of public health policy outcomes that might reasonably be labelled ‘evidence-based’. Only a small number of these studies seek to explore how political dynamics interacted with evidence to shape policy outcomes. Here, we draw on two empirical case studies of efforts to promote public health evidence to decision makers (protection from secondhand smoke in Europe and tackling health inequalities in England), to highlight the primacy of ‘policy networks’ and ‘advocacy’ for understanding the role of evidence in achieving policy change. Reflecting on our empirical findings, we argue that the policy networks literature usefully foregrounds the roles that diverse ‘policy actors’ can play in connecting research and policy. However, our case studies also suggest that popular accounts of policy networks, such as Haas’ ‘epistemic communities’ and Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith’s Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), overstate the role of core values in driving policy network efforts, while underplaying the role of advocacy, leadership, network communication and trust, scientific consensus, political context and strategic policy trade-offs in network success. We conclude by arguing for further efforts to connect analyses of policy networks and evidence use. We also reflect on the implications of our findings for those seeking to employ evidence to effect policy change",
    keywords = "advocacy, health inequalities, policy networks, tobacco control",
    author = "Smith, {Katherine E.} and Heide Weishaar",
    note = "Bauld, L, Day, P, Judge, K, 2008, Off target: a critical review of setting goals for reducing health inequalities in the United Kingdom, International Journal of Health Services 38, 3, 439–54 Borgatti, SP, Everett, M, Freeman, L, 2002, Ucinet for Windows: software for social network analysis, Harvard, MA: Analytic Technologies B{\"o}rzel, T, 1998, Organizing Babylon: on the different conceptions of policy networks, Public Administration 76, 2, 253–73 Conference of the Parties (CoP), 2007, Guidelines for implementation of Article 8 of the WHO FCTC (decision FCTC/COP2(7)), http://www.who.int/entity/ fctc/cop/art{\%}208{\%}20guidelines_english.pdf?ua=1 Council of the European Union, 2009, Council Recommendation of 30 November 2009 on smoke-free environments (2009/C 296/02), Official Journal of the European Union, C 296/4 Department of Health, 1999, Reducing health inequalities: an action report, London: The Stationery Office Department of Health, 2002, Tackling health inequalities: summary of the 2002 cross-cutting review, London: Department of Health Department of Health, 2005, Tackling health inequalities: status report of the programme for action, London: Department of Health Department of Health, 2010, Healthy lives, healthy people: our strategy for public health in England, White paper, London: Department of Health Gaskell, G, 2000, Individual and group interviewing, in Bauer, MW, Gaskell, G (eds), Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: a practical handbook, London: Sage, 38–56 Gener{\'a}ci{\'o} 2020 Egyes{\"u}let, 2007, Opinion on the Green Paper of the Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/health/archive/ph_determinants/life_style/tobacco/ documents/r-074_en.pdf Haas, P, 1992, Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination, International Organization 46, 1, 1–35 Haynes, L, Service, O, Goldacre, B, Torgerson, D, 2012, Test, learn, adapt: developing public policy with randomised controlled trials, London: Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team Henderson, M, 2012, The geek manifesto: why science matters, London: Bantam Press Latapy, M, Magnien, C, Vecchio, N, 2008, Basic notions for the analysis of large twomode networks, Social Networks 30, 1, 31–48 Laumann, E, Marsden, P, Prensky, D, 1992, The boundary specification problem in network analysis, in Freeman, L, White, D, Romney, A (eds), Research methods in social network analysis, New Brunswick: George Mason University Press, 61–79 Lynch, J, 2017, Reframing inequality? The health inequalities turn as a dangerous frame shift, Public Health 39, 4, 653–60 Marmot, M, 2010, Fair society, healthy lives, http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/ projects/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review Marsh, D, Rhodes, R, 1992, Policy networks in British government, Oxford: Oxford University Press Marsh, D, Smith, M, 2000, Understanding policy networks: towards a dialectical approach, Political Studies 48, 1, 4–21 Masood, S, Kothari, A, Regan, S, 2018, The use of research in public health policy: a systematic review, Evidence & Policy, http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ tpp/ep/pre-prints/content-ppevidpol1700011r2# Mulgan, G, 2005, Government, knowledge and the business of policy making: the potential and limits of evidence-based policy, Evidence & Policy 1, 2, 215–26 Pawson, R, 2006, Evidence-based policy: a realist perspective, London: Sage Pearce, W, 2014, Scientific data and its limits: rethinking the use of evidence in local climate change policy, Evidence & Policy 10, 187–203 Portuguese Confederation on Smoking Prevention, 2007, Response to Green Paper: Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level, http://ec.europa. eu/health/archive/ph_determinants/life_style/tobacco/documents/r-078_en.pdf. QSR International, 2007, QSR Nvivo, Version 7.0.281.0.SP4, Southport: QSR International Republic of Ireland, 2002, Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 (Commencement) Order 2004, Statutory Instrument No. 110/2004, Dublin: Republic of Ireland Royal College of Nursing, 2007, RCN Response to the European Commission’s Green Paper: Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level, http://ec.europa. eu/health/archive/ph_determinants/life_style/tobacco/documents/r-112_en.pdf Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H, 1993a, The Advocacy Coalition Framework: assessment, revisions, and implications, in Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H (eds), Policy change and learning, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 211–35 Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H, 1993b, Policy change and learning: an Advocacy Coalition approach, Boulder, CO: Westview Press Smith, K, 2013, Beyond evidence based policy in public health: the interplay of ideas, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Smith, K, Katikireddi, S, 2012, A glossary of theories for understanding policymaking, Epidemiology and Community Health, doi:10.1136/jech-2012-200990 Waarden, F, 1992, Dimensions and types of policy networks, European Journal of Political Research 21, 1–2, 29–52 Warner, K, Mendez, D, 2010, Tobacco control policy in developed countries: yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Nicotine & Tobacco Research 12, 9, 876–87 Weishaar, H, Amos, A, Collin, J, 2015, Capturing complexity: mixing methods in the analysis of a European tobacco control policy network, International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18, 2, 175–92 World Health Organization, 2003, WHO framework convention on tobacco control, Geneva: WHO Yousefi-Nooraei, R, Dobbins, M, Brouwers, M, Wakefield, P, 2012, Information seeking for making evidence-informed decisions: a social network analysis on the staff of a public health department in Canada, BMC Health Services Research 12, 118",
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    Networks, advocacy and evidence in public health policymaking. / Smith, Katherine E.; Weishaar, Heide.

    In: Evidence and Policy, Vol. 14, No. 3, 31.08.2018, p. 403-430.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Networks, advocacy and evidence in public health policymaking

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    AU - Weishaar, Heide

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The health inequalities turn as a dangerous frame shift, Public Health 39, 4, 653–60 Marmot, M, 2010, Fair society, healthy lives, http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/ projects/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review Marsh, D, Rhodes, R, 1992, Policy networks in British government, Oxford: Oxford University Press Marsh, D, Smith, M, 2000, Understanding policy networks: towards a dialectical approach, Political Studies 48, 1, 4–21 Masood, S, Kothari, A, Regan, S, 2018, The use of research in public health policy: a systematic review, Evidence & Policy, http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ tpp/ep/pre-prints/content-ppevidpol1700011r2# Mulgan, G, 2005, Government, knowledge and the business of policy making: the potential and limits of evidence-based policy, Evidence & Policy 1, 2, 215–26 Pawson, R, 2006, Evidence-based policy: a realist perspective, London: Sage Pearce, W, 2014, Scientific data and its limits: rethinking the use of evidence in local climate change policy, Evidence & Policy 10, 187–203 Portuguese Confederation on Smoking Prevention, 2007, Response to Green Paper: Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level, http://ec.europa. eu/health/archive/ph_determinants/life_style/tobacco/documents/r-078_en.pdf. QSR International, 2007, QSR Nvivo, Version 7.0.281.0.SP4, Southport: QSR International Republic of Ireland, 2002, Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 (Commencement) Order 2004, Statutory Instrument No. 110/2004, Dublin: Republic of Ireland Royal College of Nursing, 2007, RCN Response to the European Commission’s Green Paper: Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level, http://ec.europa. eu/health/archive/ph_determinants/life_style/tobacco/documents/r-112_en.pdf Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H, 1993a, The Advocacy Coalition Framework: assessment, revisions, and implications, in Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H (eds), Policy change and learning, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 211–35 Sabatier, P, Jenkins-Smith, H, 1993b, Policy change and learning: an Advocacy Coalition approach, Boulder, CO: Westview Press Smith, K, 2013, Beyond evidence based policy in public health: the interplay of ideas, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Smith, K, Katikireddi, S, 2012, A glossary of theories for understanding policymaking, Epidemiology and Community Health, doi:10.1136/jech-2012-200990 Waarden, F, 1992, Dimensions and types of policy networks, European Journal of Political Research 21, 1–2, 29–52 Warner, K, Mendez, D, 2010, Tobacco control policy in developed countries: yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Nicotine & Tobacco Research 12, 9, 876–87 Weishaar, H, Amos, A, Collin, J, 2015, Capturing complexity: mixing methods in the analysis of a European tobacco control policy network, International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18, 2, 175–92 World Health Organization, 2003, WHO framework convention on tobacco control, Geneva: WHO Yousefi-Nooraei, R, Dobbins, M, Brouwers, M, Wakefield, P, 2012, Information seeking for making evidence-informed decisions: a social network analysis on the staff of a public health department in Canada, BMC Health Services Research 12, 118

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