The NCCHPP's François Benoit offered this presentation for the Public Health Agency of Canada's Centre for Public Health Infrastructure, in Ottawa on January 21, 2015. March 2015. This presentation illustrates how two public policy models, the stages model and the punctuated equilibrium model, can help public health actors to reflect on using data, knowledge and evidence in producing healthy public policies. It addresses the following questions: In general: How can public health actors support the production of healthy public policies?; More specifically: What leads decision makers to use knowledge in their policy formulation; or, in corollary, how do two main explanations of decision makers' evidence use (a linear model or a model that focuses on the cultural gap between decision makers and researchers) orient our conceptions of knowledge sharing?; What influences governments' policy analysts?; How do decision makers' styles open up windows of opportunity allowing policy analysts to then influence those decision makers?; While using public policy models, how can we adjust our knowledge sharing to maximize its use?; and; How does recognizing that the complex system of producing public policies influences our analysis of situations, our knowledge production and our knowledge sharing?
There are clearly big questions here that can't be fully answered in this presentation. Nevertheless, discussing them helps to remind us that, by analyzing the circumstances surrounding the production of public policy, public health actors can develop knowledge-exchange practices that take into account windows of opportunity as they arise. The study of public policy models offers the possibility to contribute to the production of evidence-informed public policies.