Health Policy at the European Level
Full course description
The module focusses on the analysis of EU policies and includes also the analysis of EU policy making. It is based on the following experiences:
- Public health professionals often aim to support evidence-informed policy making. They contribute to analyzes and assessment of situations, description of problems, assessment of policy options and evaluation of policies.
- Public health professionals, as individuals or through organizations representing them, engage also in policy making by setting the agenda or working towards the prioritization of ‘their’ topic on the policy agenda
- Producing and using evidence is important, but policy making is not at all exclusively based on evidence.
With reference to selected EU policies with public health relevance, students will be introduced to topics like “assessing public health situations/problems, “problem structuring”, “problem perceptions”, “comparing policy options”, “problem framing”, “policy decisions” and “implementation”.
The introduction of the topics is linked with the application of theoretical knowledge in form of practical exercises (students will work in groups on so-called "policy issue papers"). This is supported by trajectory events with lectures and workshops:
- The skills trajectory will address how to write policy briefs and other policy issue documents and also include a training on negotiation skills.
- Methods: Methods lectures will address document and discourse analysis, both being of relevance for the analysis of policy documents. They are both linked with analysis of as well as for policy making.
- Epidemiology: Epidemiology units will address systematic literature reviews and train students in the development of search strategies and the critical appraisals on the quality of different kinds of studies.
- Academic Thinking: Lectures will address policy perceptions and policy framing.
- Statistics will address logistic regression.
With regards to knowledge and understanding
- possess detailed understanding of the strategic European health policy developments
- get insights in selected EU health policies
- possess knowledge and understanding of policy analysis theories and methods
- possess knowledge and understanding of EU multilevel policy making
- possess understanding of needs, opportunities, challenges of evidence-based or evidence informed policies
- develop a better understanding of the relevance of theories for policy
- develop knowledge and understanding of qualitative (document analysis, discourse analysis) and quantitative (logistic regression) methods in policy analysis
With regards to application of knowledge and understanding
- can apply theories and methods for “evidence informed policy making”
- can apply theories and methods for policy analysis for “analysis of policies” to study the process of policy making
- can use knowledge and insights from “analysis of policies” for professional engagement in policy making (practical PH professional activities)
With regards to making judgement
- can make judgements about the need for public health interventions, identify, describe/explain and communicate the problem, and assess policy options and implementation strategies
- can make judgements about problem framing, policy shaping and decisions, implementation strategies of policy makers
- can apply both topics above on EU health policies
With regards to communication
- develop communication skills in line with professional qualifications for academic public health experts as well as policy consultants
- be able to work in a group to develop a critical and reflective paper
- be able to present content and discuss findings
With regards to learning skills
- have improved their critical thinking, research, negotiation and moderation skills
- have practised their active and self-directed learning skills
- have applied and improved their team working skills and team management skills
Versluis, E. (2011). Analyzing the European Union Policy Process: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. (e-book available) Buse, K., Mays, N., & Walt, G. (2012): Making health policy. Maidenhead,Berkshire/New York: Open University Press (e-book available) Dunn, W. N. (2017): Public Policy Analysis. An Integrated Approach. 6th edition.New York / London: Routledge (Taylor Francis Ltd.) (e-book available)