Steinberg, M., Jacobson, A. & Powadiuk, K. (2015). A guide to policy-influence evaluation. Cathexis Consulting.
Relevance for Public Health
The method was developed to help organizations use policy influence to improve the uptake and evaluation of evidence-based population health interventions. The guide includes three public health related case studies: healthy weights among Aboriginal children and youth; anti-bullying for primary schools; and food security and obesity.
The authors reference resources developed for health, public health and health promotion policy. Some resources were included from other sectors like social services or education. This method for evaluating policy-influence initiatives can be used to explore the uptake of population health interventions.
This guide helps organizations evaluate policy-influence work, which supports the uptake and spread of evidence-informed population health interventions.
The authors use an adapted definition of policy from the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy: policy is a means of governing action with the aim of promoting certain phenomena occurring in the population (NCCHPP, 2010).
The guide was developed for the evaluation of Innovation Strategy (IS) Projects funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. IS projects reduce health inequalities in Canada through testing and scaling up evidence-based interventions that address healthy weights and mental health promotion.
Resources are provided throughout the guide, which is organized by the four steps of evaluation planning. Case studies demonstrate how resources have been used to develop policy-influence evaluation plans and include a compilation of user experiences for each resource.
The process supports organizations and funders in their policy-influence evaluation with ongoing planning. It meets funders’ needs for accountability of policy-influence funding.
The authors selected resources for this method by compiling resources known to them, reviewing references and conducting web searches. Resources were included if they were of high quality, provided new information and were a good fit with IS policy-influence needs.
This process is divided into the four steps of evaluation planning. Each step includes two or more resources to support each step. The resources are summarized and important highlights are presented in the method.
Accessing the Method/Tool
Implementing the Method/Tool
Time for Participation/Completion
Information not available
Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation
The guide presumes the reader has a basic knowledge and understanding of evaluation.
Steps for Using Method/Tool
The four steps are:
- Identify and engage stakeholders
- Select the policy-influence goals and strategies
- Focus the evaluation: Develop the evaluation questions
- Choose data collection methods and tools.
Who is involved
Program evaluators, health promoters and program managers are involved in the delivery and/or adminstration of the policy-influence evaluation process. The method is appropriate for policy makers, funders, program managers and nutritionists to use in evaluation. Project teams from IS projects can apply the method in practice.
Conditions for Use
Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics
Information not available
Method of Development
The authors selected the resources for this method by compiling resources known to them, reviewing references, and then searching the web using search terms and selecting websites with evaluation resources.
The authors extracted key information from each resource based on its applicability to IS projects and its adaptability. Potential resources were classified by the type of information they provide on evaluation.
The authors reviewed the resources and selected the 3-4 best ones for each step.
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These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.