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Intelligence Unit 6 - Mandates for Action

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Intelligence Unit 6 - Mandates for Action. Policy exerts a powerful influence on public health nutrition (PHN) practice because it affects: service delivery models resource allocation supports or resists actions required

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Unit 6 - Mandates for Action

  • Policy exerts a powerful influence on public health nutrition (PHN) practice because it affects:
    • service delivery models
    • resource allocation
    • supports or resists actions required
  • Governments the world, are taking action on PHN issues by developing national nutrition policies and action plans
  • National nutrition policies set the priorities, strategic direction and provide the framework for PHN action in local communities

Mandates for Action

The Policy Context
  • The term policy is used in different ways to describe the direction of an organisation or government, a decision to act on a particular problem or a set if guiding principles
  • Most mandates for action important to PHN are considered policies, examples include:
    • Local and national health policies and guidelines
    • Pan-European and global policies and guidelines
    • Legislation and regulation
    • Organisational mission statements and strategic plans
    • Professional standards and ethical guidelines

Mandates for Action

The Policy Context
  • A vast array of policy areas are considered to impact on population nutrition-related health problems including, education, food, urban planning, transport, advertising and marketing
  • The policy context is largely considered a top-down process but practitioners can contribute to policy development through public consultation
  • → the outcomes of well evaluated PHN interventions contribute to the evidence-base utilised in policy development

Mandates for Action

Policy Development
  • National governments generally set the fundamental policy direction, while locally policies tend to develop incrementally
  • Policy development follows a basic pathway (similar to program planning and intervention management)
  • → Problem identification, policy formulation, policy implementation, policy evaluation
  • However policy is rarely a purely rational process:
    • applies scientific and pragmatic intelligence
    • highly contextual - sensitive to political, economic, social and cultural factors
    • Influenced by political self-interest, lobby groups, media and public opinion

Mandates for Action

Competing Policy Agendas
  • Traditional food policies ensured a safe food supply and have been popularly and politically supported
  • →development of national, and international policies (e.g. Codex Alimentaris)
  • Gaining consensus for policies that encourage the availability and promotion of a healthy food supply is more complex
    • → many competing and vested interests contributing to the debate:
    • power and dominance of food manufacturers and retailers
    • interests and needs of primary producers
    • demands of health and consumer groups
    • consumer confusion

Mandates for Action

National Nutrition Policies
  • 1992 World Declaration on Nutrition, First Action Plan for Food & Nutrition 2000-2005 and Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity & Health
  • →development of national policies and action plans to address PHN issues across Europe
  • Nutrition action areas include:
    • Infant feeding, food security, food safety, nutrition, physical Activity, reducing obesity
  • Many Member States have developed policies related to food and nutrition however implementation appears to be a major challenge, specifically:
    • lack of funds, political commitment, coordination and expertise

Mandates for Action

Mandates for Action in PHN Practice
  • Nutrition policies and action plans (mandates) provide a national government level mandate for action on PHN issues
  • Nutrition mandates codify priorities for action by:
    • Stating the PHN issues, target groups and settings for action
    • Focusing the PHN workforce effort for more effective outcomes
  • Implementation of the strategic priorities requires local practitioners to build the capacity of communities to effectively design, plan, implement and evaluate sustainable strategic interventions

→ national mandates and local intervention management are both needed to solve PHN problems

Mandates for Action

Mandates for Action in PHN Practice
  • Nutrition policies and action plans are not the only mandates that need considering in PHN intervention management
  • Need to consider existing mandates of:
    • Your own organisation
    • Potential partners or competitors
    • Potential funding agencies
    • Relevant legislation and regulation
    • Professional association policies, guidelines and ethical standards
  • Assists secure managerial support for intervention, financial support and awareness of potential barriers/ objections

Mandates for Action

Mandates for Action - examples
  • European Union - Commission of the European Communities
  • WHITE PAPER: A Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues
  • National Board of Health Denmark – Centre for Health Promotion and Prevention
  • National Action Plan Against Obesity.
  • Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust (PCT) is the National Health Service organisation responsible for health services in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Mandates for Action