The Australian Health Policy Collaboration work objective is the translation of evidence to policy and practice information and influence to reduce preventable chronic diseases in the Australian population and to improve health across the lifecourse, particularly in early and school years, in vulnerable or socio-economically disadvantaged communities and population groups.
The AHPC promotes and supports a national policy agenda to improve population health. This requires nimble, innovative and strategic analysis of emergent issues of national significance. Our experienced policy advisers and collaborators produce policy issues papers that contain high quality evidence, measured analysis and clear pathways for action.
Our health policy papers include:
- analysis of mental health policy
- socio-economic disadvantage in early childhood
- health care financing.
Prevention and reduction of chronic diseases
Chronic diseases are the biggest health challenge of the 21st century. The AHPC chronic disease program was designed to help facilitate strategic opportunities for governments, public health, community and industry to work together to meet this challenge.
We lead a national collaborative accountability and action project which is based on the WHO’s noncommunicable disease global action plan.
In 2015 we worked with collaborating organizations and experts to develop chronic disease prevention and reduction targets for Australia and in 2016 we released the first national report card - Australia's Health Tracker - measuring progress against the targets. This national project was supported by our signatories as listed on our Statement of Commitment. In 2018 the national collaboration is reviewing both the targets and indicators to again measure progress towards the 2025 targets.
Evidence and Community Implementation:
The Growing Brimbank Program
AHPC at Victoria University has worked in collaboration with the City of Brimbank in Melbourne’s west since 2013 to deliver a long-term, place-based program called Growing Brimbank.
It aims to:
- lift health and education outcomes for the community of Brimbank
- demonstrate what works in reducing the impact of health and development risk factors and preventable chronic conditions in the community of Brimbank
- apply evidence-based social research to public policy reform to improve population health outcomes in disadvantaged communities in Australia
- use measured impact of interventions on health and education outcomes to influence and inform local, state and national policies and practices.
As AHPC has a mandate to improve health and education outcomes, Brimbank is being developed as a beacon site for similarly disadvantaged communities. Significant work is going into developing resources and materials to guide and support implementation of change.