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Fault lines between policy and practice in local partnerships.

Marks, L. (2007) 'Fault lines between policy and practice in local partnerships.', Journal of health organization and management., 21 (2). pp. 136-148.


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore gaps between policy and practice in relation to the involvement of voluntary and community sector (VCS) members in local strategic partnerships (LSPs), using the example of inequalities in health. Design/methodology/approach – Documentary analysis; semi-structured interviews with VCS representatives from a sample of LSPs in one region of England; semi-structured interviews with key researchers and national stakeholders. Findings – National policy imperatives to expand the role of the VCS in decision-making and to make LSPs an important avenue for addressing inequalities in health are not always translated into practice. VCS members are at the sharp end of tensions in LSPs between thematic and neighbourhood approaches, local views and strategic priorities and between democratic and participatory approaches to decision-making. Effective engagement in addressing inequalities in health requires a strategic approach across the LSP which is reflected in the priorities of each of the constituent partnerships. Research limitations/implications – This is a snapshot of LSPs at one point in time and local interviews are restricted to one region of England. Practical implications – The article illustrates good practice and barriers to VCS involvement in addressing inequalities in health through LSPs. This is relevant to a range of public health partnerships. Originality/value – The views of VCS members on addressing inequalities in health through LSPs have not previously been researched, despite their key role. Lessons are relevant for multi-agency strategic partnerships with a public health focus in England and internationally

Item Type:Article
Keywords:England, Partnership, Public health, Voluntary organizations
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Record Created:26 Aug 2008
Last Modified:31 Jul 2015 12:54

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