Date of this Version


Document Type



Public policy plays a key role in improving population health and in the control of diseases, including non-communicable diseases. However, an evidence-based approach to formulating healthy public policy has been difficult to implement, partly on account of barriers that hinder integrated work between researchers and policy-makers. This paper describes a “policy effectiveness–feasibility loop” (PEFL) that brings together epidemiological modelling, local situation analysis and option appraisal to foster collaboration between researchers and policy-makers. Epidemiological modelling explores the determinants of trends in disease and the potential health benefits of modifying them. Situation analysis investigates the current conceptualization of policy, the level of policy awareness and commitment among key stakeholders, and what actually happens in practice, thereby helping to identify policy gaps. Option appraisal integrates epidemiological modelling and situation analysis to investigate the feasibility, costs and likely health benefits of various policy options. The authors illustrate how PEFL was used in a project to inform public policy for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in four parts of the eastern Mediterranean. They conclude that PEFL may offer a useful framework for researchers and policy-makers to successfully work together to generate evidence-based policy, and they encourage further evaluation of this approach.


© 2012 The Authors; licensee the World Health Organization.

This is an open access article distributed under th e terms of the Creative Commons Attribution IGO License ( /igo/legalcode), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provi ded the original work is properly cited. In any reproduction of this article there should not be an y suggestion that WHO or this article endorse any specific organization, products or services. The us e of the WHO logo is not permitted. This notice should be preserved along with the article's origin al URL.

doi: 10.2471/BLT.12.104968