Economic Evaluation

Economic evaluation is a process that compares the respective benefits and costs of different interventions, programs and policies.

The objective of this technique is to measure the efficiency, or the utility of the money spent on an intervention as compared to another.

Image of four buckets, one with money© Yegor Korzh        Economic evaluations aim to produce evidence to clarify decisions around the value of investing in programs, where value can be understood at different levels (economic, social, political, etc.)

Economic evaluation is therefore seen as one of the available tools that can help decision-makers to make judicious choices among a vast range of options and to make wise use of public resources. It is in demand by decision-makers, and it is therefore no surprise that many knowledge syntheses contain economic analysis as part of their analyses.

This is particularly the case in the work of the Guide to Community Preventive Services  produced in the United States (Briss, 2000). However, the use of these methods is not immune to questions.

How can the instruments and methods arising from economic analysis me made useful for public health actors working to promote healthy public policies?

For this project, the Centre has collaborated with Professor Laurie Goldsmith of Simon Fraser University. A series of documents can be found on our site.

Innvaer, S., et al. (2002) Health policy-makers' perceptions of their use of evidence: a systematic review. J Health Serv Res Policy Vol 7 No 4 October 2002

Petticrew, M., et al. (2004). Evidence for public health policy on inequalities: 1: The reality according to policymakers. J Epidemiol Community Health 2004;58:811–816. doi: 10.1136

Briss, P., et al. (2000) Developing an Evidence-Based Guide to Community Preventive Services—Methods. Am J Prev Med 2000;18(1S), Pages 35-43 

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© Yegor Korzh
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The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.