Investment decisions on physical activity promotion: a locality case study in complex public health policy making

Whitelaw, S. and Topping, C. (2023) Investment decisions on physical activity promotion: a locality case study in complex public health policy making. Social Policy and Society, 22(2), pp. 243-266. (doi: 10.1017/S1474746421000415)

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The role of ‘best investment’ methodology in shaping priorities in many health policy areas is becoming increasingly prominent. Whilst this has traditionally been seen as a technocratic exercise, the social and political context of such practices and the constructed nature of decisions are now considered significant. In this context, this article reports on a longitudinal case study of such a process that sought to identify ‘best investments’ in public health interventions related to promoting physical activity. Drawing on a series of conceptual resources, we describe and reflect upon the complex and invested elements that contributed to the grounded decision-making process. In conclusion we suggest the need to adopt a multifaceted and nuanced approach to resource investment decision making, including: deploying a range of appraisal assessment resources; maintaining a long-term processual perspective; involving a variety of stakeholders; accepting and embracing fallibility; and accommodating theoretical and empirical evidence-based principles.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitelaw, Dr Alexander
Authors: Whitelaw, S., and Topping, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:Social Policy and Society
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1475-3073
Published Online:16 September 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Social Policy and Society 22(2): 243-266
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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