The building blocks of prevention in the first 2000 days



TYPE Prevention Centre News

The synthesis of our findings includes reflections on what we have learned, the implications of our program of work and how they can be applied by the end user. Our aim is to work with partners to make recommendations. We are producing a suite of user-friendly summaries on important topics to help enhance the value of our findings for policy and practice.

Our first knowledge synthesis looks at the first 2000 days – the period from birth to age five – as a window of opportunity to establish and support healthy behaviours among parents and their children to reduce the likelihood of chronic disease.

We have combined the expertise of research, policy and communications experts to draw out policy-relevant lessons from research conducted by the Prevention Centre and the NHMRC Centres of Excellence within the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI).

The team found that implementation and scale-up of effective interventions in the first 2000 days requires collaboration between researchers, policy makers, health and social care practitioners, and consumers. We also identified the need for research into design, implementation and evaluation of interventions for priority populations, and increased monitoring of risk factors across the first 2000 days.

Led by Dr Alexandra Chung, the findings are based on evidence drawn from 60 peer-reviewed articles, synthesised and interpreted with guiding input from 12 prevention policy makers from eight jurisdictions convened over two national roundtables.

The research is designed for policy makers with the identification of a number of interventions that are effective (and cost-effective) to give children the best start in life.

There’s a really strong impetus in this work to bring policy partners into the knowledge synthesis process, so that we could answer research questions that were of interest to policy partners and discuss findings and implications from the research evidence with policy partners to produce findings that are relevant for policy and practice, and not just based on research experience.

Dr Alexandra Chung

A new page on our website is dedicated to knowledge synthesis and we have launched the first products including Prevention in the first 2000 days report, synthesis summary and a policy brief. We have also released a Prevention Works podcast on the project with Dr Alexandra Chung in discussion with Professor Helen Skouteris on the policy-relevant findings from the research project.

All children deserve the best start to life, and if we can get it right in those first 2000 days then we are more likely to see better outcomes for children, for families, and for society.

Professor Helen Skouteris

Our next knowledge synthesis will cover research in public health law, policy and regulation looking at the determinants and relationships between law, policy making and health.

About CERI

The Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI) is a joint initiative between the Prevention Centre and several NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence, established in June 2020 to enhance the profile and impact of chronic disease prevention in Australia. We are working together to find alignment in the policy and practice implications of our work and to develop shared communications across our various projects and participating centres.

CERI develop shared communication across research projects and participating centres.