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FREE online training course – A framework for analyzing public policies

Constructing a Logic Model for a Healthy Public Policy: Why and How?
669 K

A Framework for Analyzing Public Policies – Practical Guide
643 K

Method for Synthesizing Knowledge About Public Policies
  323 K

What Works for Health: Policies and Programs that can Improve Health  - A directory of short descriptions of different public policies. Each summarizes the data about the policy's effectiveness and provides a few indications about its implementation and its impact on inequalities. On the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps site (USA).

Prevention Policy Directory. A regularly updated, searchable inventory of Canadian policies as well as legal instruments (legislation, regulations, codes). The Directory is on Cancerview Canada.

How can the health equity impact of universal policies be evaluated? Insights into approaches and next steps
6.26 MB. Milton, B., et al. (Eds.) (2011). On the site of the World Health Organization. 

Practitioner opinions on health promotion interventions that work: Opening the “black box” of a linear evidence-based approach. Kok, M., et al. (2012). Social Science and Medicine, 74, 715-723. doi:10.1016/j. socscimed.2011.11.021   Abstract on the site PubMed.

Assessing equity in systematic reviews: realising the recommendations of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Tugwell, P., et al. (2010). BMJ 2010; 341: bmj.c4739. On the site of the BMJ.

Real world reviews: A beginner's guide to undertaking systematic reviews of public health policy interventions. Bambra, C. (2009). Abstract available on the site the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech.2009.088740 

Conceptualizing and Combining Evidence for Health System Guidance.  By Lomas, J., et al. (2005). Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF). On the site of the CHSRF

Systematic reviews in social policy: To go foward, do we first need to look back? By Pearson, M. 2007. In Evidence & Policy : A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 3 (4) pp. 505-526. Abstract on the site of ingentaConnect.

Florence Morestin

Example 5: Facilitating a Deliberative Process Focused on Interventions for Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Preventing Obesity
July 2018. Description.
Translation of an example presented by:
Yann Le Bodo, Research Officer, Plateforme d'évaluation en prévention de l'obésité [PEPO—platform for the evaluation of obesity prevention], Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec – Université Laval [CRIUCPQ – UL—research centre, university institute of cardiology and pneumology of Québec City at Laval University]
Chantal Blouin, Researcher, Direction du développement des individus et des communautés, Institut national de santé publique du Québec [INSPQ—Québec's public health institute]
Nathalie Dumas, Sociologist, research and communications, contractual research officer
Philippe De Wals, Scientific director, PEPO, CRIUCPQ – UL
Johanne Laguë, Assistant director of scientific programming and quality, Direction du développement des individus et des communautés, INSPQ

Context of use

The NCCHPP's analytical framework was used in the context of a deliberative process integral to the "Comment faire mieux?" [CFM—how can we do better?] project. This project was coordinated jointly by the Plateforme d'évaluation en prévention de l'obésité [the platform for the evaluation of obesity prevention] at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec – Université Laval [the university institute of cardiology and pneumology of Québec City at Laval University] and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec [Québec's public health institute]. The project, which was carried out in 2014-2015, had two main objectives:

  1. Establish a portrait of the Québec experience in promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity and in preventing obesity since 2006: this objective was fulfilled through a documentary search and a synthesis report spotlighting 166 public interventions in Québec and 120 international recommendations.

  2. Identify avenues for improving the implementation of current or future interventions: this objective was fulfilled through a deliberative process. It was at this point that the NCCHPP's analytical framework was used. 
Subsequently, the CFM project team formulated 50 avenues for improvement, taking into account both the synthesis report and the results of the deliberative process.

Adaptations made

In the context of the CFM project, in addition to the NCCHPP's six analytical criteria associated with the effects (effectiveness, unintended effects, equity) and the applicability of interventions (cost, feasibility, acceptability), we considered two cross-cutting criteria: the sustainability of interventions and their evaluability.

These eight criteria were used in a flexible manner during the deliberative process: they were not systematically assessed when a proposal was made, but participants were invited to refer to these criteria when expressing their views and, afterward, when prioritizing the proposals that had been formulated. 

Data collection methods

The CFM deliberative process brought together a group of 25 participants representing a diversity of stakeholders (experts, representatives of different government departments and of civil society organizations), who were invited based on criteria such as experience in health promotion, scientific excellence and experience with decision-making processes. The process involved two steps:

  1. A forum held over two days (December 2014) during which the content of the synthesis report prepared by the CFM project team structured exchanges. This report had been shared with the participants prior to the forum, along with an abridged version, as recommended by the NCCHPP's Method for Synthesizing Knowledge About Public Policies. The participants appreciated this tool as it fostered reflection. At the forum, the six criteria of the NCCHPP's framework were presented. Participants were able to refer to these criteria when expressing their views, as were the facilitators when summarizing the discussions. Throughout the design and implementation of the deliberative process, the CFM project team also benefited from the advice of an expert from the McMaster Health Forum.

  2. At the forum's conclusion, the participants and facilitators agreed on the need to prioritize the proposals that had been formulated. Therefore, an online survey was conducted among the 25 participants in the forum so that they could express their views regarding a list of proposals generated by the CFM project team based on the suggestions made at the meeting. Respondents were invited to refer to the criteria in the NCCHPP's framework along with the cross-cutting criteria of sustainability and evaluability; definitions of these various criteria were available for reference throughout the survey.

Lessons learned

Given the very flexible manner in which the NCCHPP's framework was used in the context of this project, its use posed no real difficulties. However a more systematic use of the framework would probably have required some reflection concerning the relevance and feasibility of using tools for collecting or analyzing data that would allow for a criterion-based analysis of each proposal.

Early integration of this analytical framework and clarification, in the early stages of project design, of how it might be used likely increases the benefits of its use. In our case, the deliberative process made it possible to enrich the knowledge contained in the synthesis report by drawing on the experience of participants. Owing to the scope of the criteria considered in the NCCHPP's analytical framework, the discussions focused on a wide range of considerations, making it possible to truly take into account the Québec context when developing proposals. Thus, this process enabled the CFM project to achieve its objective of offering decision makers and concerned actors priority courses of action for promoting healthy lifestyles that are both consistent with and complementary to measures already in place in Québec.

Impact on public policies, programs and/or interventions

The CFM project resulted in the publication of a document including 50 courses of action (to consult this work, please refer to the section heading To learn more). This document was presented at several events and distributed to many stakeholders in Québec in 2016. It may have contributed to the broad-based momentum that supported a renewal of commitments in the area of health prevention and promotion in 2016 in Québec, but its impact has not been formally evaluated. Whether the document was a contributing factor or one indicator among many, it is nevertheless a positive indication that many of the courses of action that emerged during the CFM project are congruent with the Politique gouvernementale de prévention en santé, the provincial policy for prevention and health which was presented by the Québec government at the end of 2016. Some courses of action also tie in with proposals from other organizations, such as those proposing the redevelopment of school infrastructures to promote healthy eating and physical activity among youth.

To learn more
  • Complete work and summary:

    Le Bodo, Y., Blouin, C., Dumas, N., Laguë, J., & De Wals, P. (2016). L'Expérience québécoise en promotion des saines habitudes de vie et en prévention de l'obésité: comment faire mieux? Québec, Canada: Presses de l'Université Laval. Retrieved from:

  • Articles:

    Blouin, C., Robitaille, É., Le Bodo, Y., Dumas, N., De Wals, P., & Laguë, J. (2017). Aménagement du territoire et politiques favorables à un mode de vie physiquement actif et à une saine alimentation au Québec. Lien social et Politiques, 2017(78), 19-48.

    Le Bodo, Y., Blouin, C., Dumas, N., De Wals, P., & Laguë, J. (2017). The Quebec experience in promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing obesity: How can we do better? Obesity Reviews, 18(9), 967-986.
The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.