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The influence of a partnership on public health policy and practice: A systems approach to evaluation

Project status



2016 - present. 

Ethics approval

Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee (HRE2017-0090).


Ms Rochelle Tobin (Curtin University), Dr Jonathan Hallett (Curtin University), Dr Roanna Lobo (Curtin University), Professor Bruce Maycock (Curtin University).

Brief overview

Partnerships, like SiREN, that bring researchers, policymakers and practitioners closer together are gaining traction as a strategy to overcome the gap between what is known in research and what is done in policy and practice. Yet, there is little evidence of how these partnerships work, or indeed if they do work.

This study aims to understand the ways in which SiREN influences research and evaluation practices within the sexual health and blood-borne virus sector and to develop an evaluation framework and evaluation tools that can be used to assess the impacts and outcomes of SiREN. To do this, a systems approach will be used. A systems approach is a way of thinking that brings together components of a system, describes the interactions between them and how they interact as a whole.


  • Construct a systems map to articulate the influences of evidence-informed practice, research capacity and evaluation capacity within the SiREN network.
  • Develop and validate an evaluation framework that outlines indicators for assessing the impacts and outcomes of SiREN.
  • Identify, develop and pilot test evaluation tools to support the evaluation framework.


Australian Government's Research Training Program Scholarship and SiREN Scholarship.

SiREN’s role


Project outputs and impacts

There is a lack of understanding of how partnerships between researchers, practitioners and policymakers influence research and evaluation capacity in public health. In order to ensure that the growing investment in these types of models is warranted, research is needed into how they work and their impacts on practice. This study will contribute to the understanding of how partnerships, like SiREN, influence public health policy and practice and develop tools that can be used to assess their impacts and outcomes. It is anticipated that these findings could be used to provide support for the establishment of similar models in other public health sectors.