Monash University

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Reason: Under embargo until May 2017. After this date a copy can be supplied under Section 51(2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library

Exploring relationships between evidence and public health policy

posted on 2017-01-31, 01:14 authored by Tobin, Claire Louise
Evidence-based practice is considered a core competency of public health practitioners. Similarly, the discourse and methodology of evidence-based policy has become a minimum standard expectation of public policy. This thesis assembles a portfolio of internal government reports, a policy statement and peer-reviewed publications, demonstrating professional and scholarly contribution to public health knowledge and practice. These outputs are used as case studies to examine relationships between evidence and public health policy. The policy processes of government departments, statutory bodies, expert taskforces and non-government organisations are examined. In each case the relationship between evidence and policy is shown to be as varied as the diverse public health policy and practice contexts in which the decisions were made. The findings challenge the ideal of evidence-based policy; policy is rarely determined rationally and evidence utilised for policy extends well beyond scientific or scholarly contributions. An alternate model of policy making is proposed, utilising multiple forms of evidence, in order to value context and transparently represent political influences on decision-making.


Principal supervisor

Charles Livingstone

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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    Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Theses


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