Global Health Priorities

Inclusive Evaluation of Public Health Interventions

Public health interventions (PHIs) are critical for meeting many of Norway's and the world's greatest challenges. Sedentary lifestyles, overweight, and non-communicable diseases are among them. Rigorous evaluation of PHIs is indispensable for ensuring that these interventions are properly prioritised.

Cycling/walking in the city
Illustration: Colourbox.no

Main content

Previous evaluations of PHIs have often been narrow: omitting costs, benefits beyond health, and impact on inequalities. Interventions promoting physical activity are among the PHIs for which we need more evidence. Moreover, today's process for evaluation tends to be fragmented and poorly linked to the policy-making process, thereby jeopardizing the implementation of even favourably-evaluated PHIs.

The objective of this project is to generate new tools and evidence to promote PHIs that are cost-effective, that generate both health and non-health benefits, and that reduce inequalities. Specifically, we will: I) further develop newly proposed methods for inclusive evaluation of PHIs, i.e. economic evaluation that incorporates non-health benefits and distributional concerns; II) evaluate three clusters of PHIs promoting a) walking and cycling, b) lifestyle services for overweight or obese children, adolescents, and adults, and c) physical activity among socioeconomically disadvantaged women using the new methods; and III) identify and assess new ways to bridge the evaluation and implementation of PHIs.

We will employ both quantitative and qualitative methods, including method development, cost-effectiveness analysis, and comparative policy analysis and interviews. We will utilise data from multiple sources, including health surveys and the national burden of disease project. 

The project will help improve the evaluation and implementation of PHIs, in particular physical activity interventions. The findings are directly relevant for municipalities, national authorities, and a wide range of other stakeholders.