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Exploring relationships between evidence and public health policy

thesis
posted on 31.01.2017, 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.

History

Principal supervisor

Charles Livingstone

Year of Award

2014

Department, School or Centre

Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Campus location

Australia

Course

Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type

DOCTORATE

Faculty

Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences