A guide to policy analysis as a research method

Browne, Jennifer, Coffey, B, Cook, K, Meiklejohn, S and Palermo, C 2019, A guide to policy analysis as a research method, Health Promotion International, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 1032-1044, doi: 10.1093/heapro/day052.

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Title A guide to policy analysis as a research method
Author(s) Browne, JenniferORCID iD for Browne, Jennifer orcid.org/0000-0002-6497-2541
Coffey, B
Cook, K
Meiklejohn, S
Palermo, C
Journal name Health Promotion International
Volume number 34
Issue number 5
Start page 1032
End page 1044
Total pages 13
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Place of publication England
Publication date 2019-10-01
ISSN 0957-4824
Keyword(s) interpretive policy analysis
mainstream policy analysis
public health
sugar sweetened beverage tax
Summary Summary Policy analysis provides a way for understanding how and why governments enact certain policies, and their effects. Public health policy research is limited and lacks theoretical underpinnings. This article aims to describe and critique different approaches to policy analysis thus providing direction for undertaking policy analysis in the field of health promotion. Through the use of an illustrative example in nutrition it aims to illustrate the different approaches. Three broad orientations to policy analysis are outlined: (i) Traditional approaches aim to identify the ‘best’ solution, through undertaking objective analyses of possible solutions. (ii) Mainstream approaches focus on the interaction of policy actors in policymaking. (iii) Interpretive approaches examine the framing and representation of problems and how policies reflect the social construction of ‘problems’. Policy analysis may assist understanding of how and why policies to improve nutrition are enacted (or rejected) and may inform practitioners in their advocacy. As such, policy analysis provides researchers with a powerful tool to understand the use of research evidence in policymaking and generate a heightened understanding of the values, interests and political contexts underpinning policy decisions. Such methods may enable more effective advocacy for policies that can lead to improvements in health.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/heapro/day052
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
HERDC Research category C2 Other contribution to refereed journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30129428

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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