Our approach and objectives are intended to capture the broader objectives of the NHMRC Partnership Centres program, which:
- Focuses on research-informed change in practice, management or policy as the driving force behind activities (this includes a push to have priorities determined by healthcare system organisations rather than researchers)
- Recognises that clinicians, managers and policy makers are as equally qualified as researchers to be investigators
- Promotes broad objectives that go well beyond producing and translating research and recognise that links and exchange between research producers and users are the key to its application and use in clinical practice, management or policy.
Building evidence and capacity
Our approach is unique across four broad areas.
We recognise the need for systems approaches
The lifestyle-related behaviours that cause chronic health problems are complex and embedded into everyday life. Achieving and sustaining meaningful change requires a different way of intervening. We need a systems perspective, which recognises the role of social, economic and environmental factors and how each of these interacts, if we are to achieve sustained prevention of complex chronic health problems.
We equally value evidence from research and practice
A fundamental pillar of our approach is that public health practice and practitioners should inform prevention research as much as research should inform policy and practice. We will develop and apply new ways to systematically capture practice knowledge and combine it with research evidence.
We support collaboration
Our funding model and structure ensures that researchers and the end users of the research – policy makers and practitioners – work together to develop research questions, conduct the research, and interpret and apply the findings.
We are building skills and knowledge
We are offering training and other skills development opportunities to increase the understanding and use of systems approaches among researchers and policy, program and service delivery decision makers.