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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Ensuring the policy relevance of population health research: experiences from the Drug Policy Modelling Program Volume 22 Issue 1-2

Alison Ritter

NSW Public Health Bulletin 22(2) 19-22 Published: 19 April 2011

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Alison Ritter


Illicit drugs are an important public health concern. A unique approach to tackling this problem is represented in the work of the Drug Policy Modelling Program which aims to improve evidence-informed policy by reducing the gap between research and policy. There are three elements to the Drug Policy Modelling Program: generating new knowledge; translating evidence into information of relevance for decision makers; and studying policy processes. Key aspects include the use of computer modelling as a translational tool and the focus on understanding policy processes such as the role of media and politics, important in contextualising the research-policy nexus. Other features of the Drug Policy Modelling Program approach include engagement of diverse disciplines, and government researcher partnerships.