Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


REPOPA Report Summary

Project ID: 281532
Funded under: FP7-HEALTH
Country: Denmark

Periodic Report Summary 3 - REPOPA (REsearch into POlicy to enhance Physical Activity)

Project Context and Objectives:
There is strong evidence on the health benefits of regular physical activity and how different physical environments influence active living. It is also well known that policies are most effective when being informed by evidence. However, there is still a need to get more knowledge on how to integrate evidence in health enhancing physical activity policies.
The overall mission of the REPOPA project is to integrate scientific research knowledge (=research evidence), expert know-how and the real world physical activity policy making processes to increase synergy and also sustainable structures and best practices for future health promoting. REPOPA applies evidence-informed approach meaning that researchers and policy makers are on equal footing in policy development. REPOPA brings in data and know-how from six European countries representing different regions plus Canada; altogether nine institutions representing universities, research and development institutions as well as policy and practice organisations.
The REPOPA work in its five project years (October 2011-September 2016) is carried out in four research work packages (WP, WP2, WP3, WP4), in an evaluation WP (WP5), dissemination WP (WP6), and management WP (WP7). REPOPA is EC FP7 project grant agreement number 281532.

The REPOPA objectives are the following:
WP1: To assess needs, role and use of research evidence in physical activity policymaking.
WP2: To study organisational and process aspects in cross-sector physical activity policy making by carrying out a game simulation intervention.
WP3: To study if a stewardship-based intervention – built on needs, context and stakeholder analysis increases the level of evidence-informed policy making in selected, real-world policy cases.
WP4: To further translate the results into guidance and tools for the future enhancement of evidence-informed policy development.
WP5: To evaluate the results and processes as well as impact of the REPOPA policy development.
WP6: To disseminate the results and lessons learned widely and to build structures to enhance sustainability in evidence-informed policy making.
WP7: To manage the project.

Project Results:
Work performed and the main results in the first 36 months of the project (already reported):

The first 3 years were used to build common structures and templates for the collaborative research, to develop and obtain ethical clearance in all six REPOPA countries and to
a) Carry out WP1 data gathering via policy analysis of 21 physical activity policies and 86 stakeholder interviews to assess needs, role and use of research evidence in physical activity policy making.
b) Carry out WP2 game simulation interventions to enhance communication and cross-sector collaboration.
c) To carry out needs-based WP3 stewardship interventions with the aim of increasing the level of evidence-informed policy making.
d) WP4 started January 2014 by collecting results and suggestions from WPs 1-3 for potential indicators for evidence-informed policy making, leading into a draft indicator list September 2014.

WP1main results showed that policies seldom used explicit research evidence; instead, recommendations and guidelines were used in addition to implicit and often value- and experience-based and political justifications. The most common barriers for evidence-informed police making seemed to be lack of organisational support, of locally applicable research evidence, and of contacts, different cultures and languages between researchers and policy.
WP2 main results: The game simulation was very attractive and enlightening as an intervention for local policy makers.
WP3 main results: The interventions had success in facilitating structured, intersectoral collaboration in integrating research evidence in HEPA policy making.
WP4 main results: Preparations started January 2014 by collecting results and suggestions from the previous WPs for potential indicators for evidence-informed policy making, led into a preliminary draft indicator list September 2014.
WP5 main results: All 7 WPs were meeting project milestones and deliverables. Enhanced management processes, WP leadership and Consortium collaboration processes supported WP and Consortium successes during an intensive, challenging period of scientific work that provided real-world learning related to contextualizing evidence-informed policy making in diverse settings.
WP6 main results: Project material was updated, guidance to launch national platforms for evidence-informed policymaking was developed; links to other networks were expanded.
WP7 main results: Publication guidelines were developed; administrative procedures related to contract amendments were completed; active cross-WP networking was supported e.g. by Skype meetings.

Work performed and the main results in the 3rd reporting period (months 37-54) of the project

The 3rd reporting period was used to
a) Carry out the follow-up measurements of the WP2 policy game interventions and WP3 stewardship interventions, to analyze their results and to start scientific reporting and other dissemination.
b) Carry out the WP4 international, online Delphi study to test and validate indicators for evidence-informed policymaking; 25 measurable indicators and 8 descriptive indicators were agreed upon. Further, national conferences in each REPOPA country were arranged to contextualize indicators.
c) Continue WP6 dissemination, especially by launching a new, mobile-friendly website, support launching national platforms for evidence-informed policymaking.
d) Continue WP5 annual evaluation rounds of team collaboration, research competency development, and internal and external networking.
e) Further enhance in WP7 both intra-project collaboration and links to other projects and networks.

Main results months 37-54:
a) WP2 policy game interventions, which were based on systems analysis of the local policy making contexts, increased understanding of the policy process, roles, positions of and relations between main stakeholders; they also increased commitment of the game participants to use of other stakeholders evidence in the policymaking, enhanced awareness of the importance of taking on the leadership role as well as the role of coordinated communication in the stakeholder network to enhance cross-sector collaboration.
b) WP3 the Stewardship interventions increased evidence-informed policy making in real-world case studies in all three countries. There was an increase in the access, requests and use of research knowledge, in using stakeholder knowledge as well as needs and values of the policy target groups. There was also a decrease in barriers for using research knowledge in policy making. There was a clear indication that different stakeholder groups became more aware and active in searching for knowledge and in networking, and more open to values of others. The initial results post-intervention and also the increased networking and appreciation of the local needs and values, provide a good starting point for further interventions, boosters, research and implementation.
c) WP4 internet Delphi panels tested and validated 25 measurable indicators and 8 descriptive indicators for evidence-informed policymaking and further contextualized them in six national conferences. The measurable indicators fall into four categories of resources, communication, monitoring and evaluation. Evidence brief and guidance resources development was started in the reporting period.
d) WP5 process evaluation of the project work helped to intensify collaboration between WPs to create more synergies.
e) WP6 dissemination increased by higher visits to the new mobile friendly REPOPA website, which also featured the umbrella platform supporting national platforms of evidence-informed policymaking; further dissemination used e.g. Horizon2020 website as a channel. Partners were active in conference participation, especially at the European Public Health Conference and more scientific publications are available and underway. Partnerships were continued with icSports and further enhanced at the meeting in Glasgow, UK where five EC funded projects under the same call, where invited to exchange experiences and ideas
f) WP7 intensified both internal and external collaboration; managed the fourth amendment due to withdrawal of one partner; developed further guidance for reporting in the Consortium towards EC, arranged two Consortium meetings with the help of partners, facilitated WP leader meetings via Skype; supported REPOPA overall dissemination via website and otherwise.

Potential Impact:
REPOPA project is providing new research knowledge, practical know-how and useful tools to enhance evidence-informed physical activity policy making. The interventions developed and tested such as policy game simulation in WP2 and stewardship intervention in WP3 provide (prototype) intervention models applicable in different settings. Interest for both interventions has already been presented. This applies both for trying out the interventions in other settings and for processes of adapting and scaling up the intervention. The WP4 Delphi study produced relevant and feasible indicators for evidence-informed policy making usable by policy makers and researchers, and provided inputs for the development of guidance tools. The national evidence- informed platforms and their umbrella web-based platform will function as a resource to learn from best practices in different countries and context but also strengthen structures for policy making in all different countries. Policy briefs to be developed will be usable for specific policy processes.

The know-how and tools to be developed will have impact on increased participatory and equitable policy making, which – with its cross-sectoral collaboration – will also lead to more cost- effective policy making- and in the long term enhance health of citizens and communities.

List of Websites:

Related information


Arja R. Aro, (Leader of research unit)
Tel.: +45 6550 4157
Fax: +45 6550 4283


Life Sciences
Record Number: 188165 / Last updated on: 2016-08-24
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