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Analysis, in a theoretical context, of the effects of policies on health

There are a number of different methods for judging the effects of policy on health which are relevant depending on the scenario.  You may be asked to consider the health impact of an existing policy; a proposed policy or to compare different policies and make a recommendation on support for one above the other depending on the health impact.  The National Collaborating Centre for Health Public Policy, Quebec 2012 suggests a basic framework for considering any public policy

Dimensions for Analysing Public Policies


Effectiveness What effects does the policy have on the targeted problem?
Unintended effects[8] What are the unintended effects of this policy?
Equity[9] What are the effects of this policy on different population groups?


Cost What is the financial cost of this policy (some analysts also include tax credits in this analysis)?
Feasibility Is the policy technically feasible?
Acceptability[10] Do the relevant policy stakeholders view the policy as acceptable? 

This considers the important issues in two groups, including the effectiveness and the practicalities of implementation. 

The first group address the population issues i.e. is the policy going to effectively have the desired outcome; then will there be any negative unintended consequences to the health of the population and will the policy impact differently on different groups?  In public health we are keen to reduce inequalities in health and therefore policies should not increase inequalities. 

The second group of questions tackle the feasibility of the implementation of any policy.  All policies should be implemented with sufficient resources to implement them, and should be technically feasible.


© C Beynon 2017