Evaluating and Evidencing Asset-Based Approaches and Co-Production in Health Inequalities

In a new article published in Critical Public Health, Measuring Humanity PI, Marisa de Andrade, along with Nikolina Angelova, explores how public health interventions are designed, delivered and evaluated. They address calls to ‘revitalise’ the evidence-base by progressing evaluations using asset-based approaches and co-production. Utilising empirical and methodological findings, the authors examine how these approaches can be used to define, implement, evaluate and measure impacts of creative community engagement on health and inequalities. They seek to do this via the development, critique and implementation of a co-produced methodological evaluation framework – the Asset Based Indicator Framework (ABIF).

By presenting data across three phases of research with Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities (especially Gypsies) and practitioners, the authors move from data collection and research, to the development of evaluation and indicators using the ABIF. In doing so, they cite the difficulties of understanding the interrelation of assets at individual, community and structural levels; identify mechanisms through which change happens; and apply participatory and empowering methods to capture actions on assets leading to community-defined outcomes.

The experiences highlight the need for organisations to recognise that how health interventions are conceptualised – and where evidence is sought – may actually limit research findings and, consequently, what can be learned about health and health inequalities. Rather, there is a need to explore creative engagement and innovative approaches decided upon and designed by communities themselves, whether this be, for example via art, media, sport, music etc.

This work contributes to important global health topics, including the need to expand and diversify the evidence-base for interventions and the need for policymaking to tackle inequalities, as well as the importance of vulnerable and excluded minority groups in designing, delivering and assessing health interventions.

To read more about these issues, see:Evaluating and evidencing asset-based approaches and co-production in health inequalities: measuring the unmeasurable?’ Critical Health: https://bit.ly/2r6Rkf4