Evidence Library

Title: Conceptualising the use of public involvement in health policy decision-making
Author: Li, K., Abelson, J., Giacomini, M. and Contandriopoulos, D.
Date Published: 2015
Reference: Social Science & Medicine,138,14-21
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known

Abstract: Aim: To examine how public involvement influences health policy decision-making. Method: A review of the literature on public involvement, and semi-structured interviews with people who have theoretical or practical insights into involvement in policy decision-making. Findings/ recommendations: This article reflects on ideas around what ‘use’ is made of public involvement in policy decision-making. The literature suggests that if policymakers are ‘willing to listen’ then they are more often prepared to do something with the input from the public. This study shows that this willingness is linked to policymakers’ attitudes to involvement as well as the culture of the organisation they work in. The results of public involvement often require interpretation as policymakers may have difficulty with using the ‘raw’ data. This leads to an important role for ‘public involvement brokers’, people who able to establish relationships with all stakeholders and facilitate the exchange of ideas between policymakers and the public. Finally, it is important for policymakers to respond to the public and make clear how their input has been considered and/ or incorporated into any decisions. This helps to meet the public’s desire for greater transparency and accountability in public policy-making.

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Categories: health
public health
social care
reflecting on public involvement in research
journal article

Date Entered: 2015/07/30

Date Edited: 2015/07/30

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