The research aimed to evaluate the impact of the introduction of Cumulative Impact Zones to reduce alcohol related harms across the London Borough of Islington.
May 2014 - October 2016
July 2017 - June 2018
There is increasing scientific interest in using complex systems approaches to gain new insights that can drive effective public health action, particularly around health-related behaviours, inequalities and the effects of interventions. Alcohol use presents a useful case study for these issues.
Previous work from the SPHR alcohol programme delivered detailed analyses of local alcohol policy, which sought to understand policy effects, trends in alcohol use and how evidence on both can inform future practice within local authorities.
The work highlighted a failure within the published evidence on interventions to engage with the implementation context, difficulties capturing the emergent nature of some intervention effects and a need to account for the wide range of potential consequences (e.g. effects on drinkers’ families or work colleagues; effects on time use and thereby other behaviours such as smoking or eating; effects on household spending choices, effects on markets and the wider economy).
This project will harness collaborations and datasets established by the previous SPHR research to build on these themes and will analyse public health policy from a complex systems perspective. It will use the complex system of the drivers of alcohol consumption as a case study and explore applications to other areas of behaviour.
Particular attention will be given to the potential for advanced and emerging quantitative techniques (e.g. agent-based modelling, machine learning) to contribute to public health analysis of complex systems.
The project aims to establish a new collaboration of SPHR researchers with interests in evaluating interventions within complex systems, and provide a platform for a longer-term programme of work focused on using complex systems theories to understand the emergent effects of local and national public health interventions.