REPOPA is an international five year research project funded by the European Commission with nine collaborating partners from seven countries. The aim of the project is to assess the needs, role and use of research evidence in physical activity policy making and to study ways research evidence is combined and negotiated with ‘other kinds of evidence’ in cross-sector policy making process with the focus on physical activity policies (WP1); to explore innovative ways to translate research evidence into policy making process (WP2 and WP3 interventions) and to further translate the results into guidance, tools and infrastructures for the future enhancement of evidence-informed policy making in Europe (WP4, WP6).
The importance of physical activity to promote health is supported by research evidence. Physical activity depends not only on individual factors and health care action but also on policies, social factors, the environment, transport etc.
In spite of abundant research knowledge as well as existing physical activity recommendations and policies, there is very little know-how on how to link research and policy making, especially across sectors in societies.
- Integrate research knowledge, expert know-how and real world policy making process to increase synergy and sustainability in promoting health and preventing disease
- Promote physical activity theme in structural policy making
- Establish structures and best practices for future health promotion
Results from the first 18 project months (WP1):
- The WP1 analysis of 19 policies and interviews of 89 stakeholders in six EC REPOPA countries showed that research evidence was used, especially on the local level, although not systematically and transparently. Other kinds of evidence used were e.g. good practices, media, economic information, political values and citizen opinions.
- Administrative and organizational structures and traditions seemed to function both as facilitators and barriers in using research evidence; access to timely and easily understandable research information was a facilitator; media functioned as trend setter or pressure.
- Increased collaboration and networking between researches and policy makers seemed to be a promising approach for increased integration of knowledge.
Ongoing project work:
- The ongoing WP2 in three countries investigates if a policy game strategy could be used to improve communication and collaboration between stakeholders in a multi-sector policy development process; the ongoing WP3 intervention, also running in three countries, is studying if the stewardship approach based on needs, context and stakeholder analysis increases the level of evidence-informed policy making.
Arja R Aro
Unit for health Promotion Research,
Institute of Public Health,
University of Southern Denmark
Niels Bohrs vej 9,
6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
Ien A.M. van de Goor
Tranzo/Universiteit van Tilburg
Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB,
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Via Palestro 32, 00185
Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement (CBO)
P.O. Box 20064,
University of Ottawa,
School of Nursing
118K-451 Smyth Road,
K1H 8M5 Ottawa, Canada
National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
P.O. Box 30, FI-00271
The Capital Region of Copenhagen,
Research Centre for Prevention and Health (RCPH),
Ndr. Ringvej 57,
Afsnit 84-85, 2600
Razvan M Chereches
Universitatea Babes Bolyai (UBB)
Traian Mosoiu 71,
400132 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Public Health Department,
Town Hall, St Owen Street,
Hereford, HR1 2PJU.K.