Researching Healthy Public Policy: Navigating the ‘Black Box’ Means Thinking More About Power; Comment on “Developing a Framework for a Program Theory-Based Approach to Evaluating Policy Processes and Outcomes: Health in All Policies in South Australia”

Document Type: Commentary

Author

University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Abstract

Lawless et al provide a valuable narrative of using program logic to develop an evaluation of Health in All Policies (HiAP) in South Australia. In this commentary I argue that the paper and analysis is an extremely useful example of navigating the supposed black box of policy-making. However the original makes the reader work too hard and is distracting from the main narrative of explaining the logic behind the HiAP approach in South Australia. My response covers avoiding epistemological traps and weighing up the pragmatics of collaborative policy research with more complex institutional policy issues like power.

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