Shaping Policy Change in Population Health: Policy Entrepreneurs, Ideas, and Institutions

Int J Health Policy Manag. 2018 May 1;7(5):369-373. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2017.143.


Political realities and institutional structures are often ignored when gathering evidence to influence population health policies. If these policies are to be successful, social science literature on policy change should be integrated into the population health approach. In this contribution, drawing on the work of John W. Kingdon and related scholarship, we set out to examine how key components of the policy change literature could contribute towards the effective development of population health policies. Shaping policy change would require a realignment of the existing school of thought, where the contribution of population health seems to end at knowledge translation. Through our critical analysis of selected literature, we extend recommendations to advance a burgeoning discussion in adopting new approaches to successfully implement evidence-informed population health policies.

Keywords: Evidence; Ideas; Institutions; Policy Change; Policy Entrepreneurs; Population Health.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Policy Making*
  • Population Health*