Evidence-informed policy and practice
Public health policy and practice that improves population health and reduces health inequalities are tPH goals. Translation of best available evidence into effective and efficient public health policy and practice is core IPH business.
Below is an overview of IPH work in this area.
A rigorous, systematic and inclusive approach
IPH adopts a rigorous and systematic approach to the development and application of relevant health knowledge.
Figure: A framework for translating research into policy and practice
IPH works closely with government, health and social services agencies, the community and voluntary sector and the general public. Established links with universities and colleges across the island is part of IPH efforts to bridge the gap between what we know and what we do.
IPH work with:
- Department of Health (RoI)
- Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI)
- Public Health Agency
- Health Service Executive
- HRB Centre for Health and Diet Research, led by UCC and UCD
- UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI) led by QUB
Conducting relevant research and data analysis
IPH contributes to the knowledge base by conducting relevant research and data analysis on a range of public health priorities aligned to its strategic objectives. This includes
- Developing estimates and forecasts of the population prevalence of chronic conditions
- Monitoring health inequalities their determinants and consequences
- Developing and evaluating public health policies, programmes and interventions
- Reviewing the health impacts of a range of factors such as education and transport
Increasing access to relevant health knowledge
In addition to building the knowledge base, IPH helps policy makers and practitioners access, manage and share information they need. IPH manages a number of unique health information websites that bring together information resources - of different types covering a broad range of factors – needed to develop and manage effective systems-wide approaches to complex health problems. These include:
IPH also helps policy makers and practitioners use this information to develop better policy and improve public health and clinical practice. IPH:
- Supports groups wishing to undertake a health impact assessments of local and national initiatives
- Contributes to key strategic groups charged with the development of national policy and strategy, and responds to public consultations undertaken by others
- Provides online mapping and charting tools to help users explore the local, national and international health related numerical data
Building research and information infrastructure across the island
To strengthen the capacity of the public health community to effectively use information, IPH provides training and resources in:
- Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
- The use of IPH health information websites and online data tools
- The development, operation and evaluation of effective partnerships
- Supporting public health related communities of interest
Ireland and Northern Ireland’s Population Health Observatory (INIsPHO)
Evidence-informed policy and practice received a substantial boost in 2005 when Ireland and Northern Ireland’s Population Health Observatory (INIsPHO) was established within IPH. INIsPHO is a member of the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) in Britain and Ireland, and aims to supports evidence informed policy and practice across the island. It provides a focus for evidence informed policy and practice within IPH, contributes to its strategic objectives and manages The Health Well and its thematic hubs.