Current projects
Public Health Responsibility Deal evaluation
Public Health Responsibility Deal evaluation

The Public Health Responsibility Deal was launched in March 2011. It aimed to bring together public sector, academic, commercial and voluntary organisations to help meet public health goals. Partners who signed up to the Responsibility Deal committed to taking action to improve public health by pledging to change services and/or products in ways that are regarded as positive for consumer health. The Responsibility Deal covered food, alcohol, physical activity and health at work.

PIRU has been conducting the official evaluation of the Public Health Responsibility Deal. The evaluation includes:

    • A study of the process and implementation issues associated with the Responsibility Deal.
    • A series of case studies of organisations involved in the Responsibility Deal.
  • A range of other research tasks including assessing the potential impact of the pledges and collecting data on similar voluntary approaches internationally.

PIRU’s work so far has included:

  • A scoping review of evaluations of voluntary agreements between government and business across a range of sectors, including health, outlining the types of agreements that exist, how they work in practice, the conditions for success of the agreement and different approaches to evaluation of the agreements.
  • Interviews with stakeholders and development of a logic model – a visual representation of how the Responsibility Deal mechanism is expected to work – in order to guide further evaluation work.
  • An assessment of how effectively the individual pledges can be evaluated, based on whether they are specific, measureable, health-relevant and time-bound.

The research is designed to focus on the development and implementation of the Responsibility Deal, its potential effects, and the costs and benefits to organisations that are participating. We have also been exploring what changes the pledges brought about and their potential impact.

Alcohol and health

Knai C, Petticrew M, Durand MA, Scott C, James L, Mehrotra A, Eastmure E, Mays N. The Public Health Responsibility Deal: has a public-private partnership brought about action on alcohol reduction? Addiction. 2015 Mar 26. doi:10.1111/add.12892. This article may be accessed here>>

Knai C, Petticrew M, Durand MA, Eastmure D, Mays N. Are the Public Health Responsibility Deal alcohol pledges likely to improve public health? An evidence synthesis. Addiction. 2015 doi:10.1111/add.12855. This article may be accessed here>>

Petticrew M, Douglas N, Knai C, Durand MA, Eastmure E, Mays N. Health information on alcoholic beverage containers: has the alcohol industry’s pledge in England to improve labelling been met? Addiction. 2016 Jan;111(1):51-55. This article may be accessed here>>

Diet and health

Knai C, Petticrew M, Durand MA, Eastmure E, James L, Mehotra A, Scott C, Mays N. Has a public-private partnership resulted in action on healthier diets in England? An analysis of the Public Health Responsibility Deal food pledges. Food Policy. 2015; 54:1-10. This article may be accessed here>>

Work and health

Knai C, Scott C, D'Souza P, James L, Mehrotra A, Petticrew M, Eastmure E, Durand MA, Mays N. The Public Health Responsibility Deal: making the workplace healthier? J Public Health (Oxf). 2016 Jun 14. pii:fdw047. This article may be accessed here>>

Physical activity

Knai C, Petticrew M, Scott C, Durand MA, Eastmure E, James L, Mehotra A, Mays N. Getting England to be more physically active: are the Public Health Responsibility Deal's physical activity pledges the answer? Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015 Sep 18;12:107. This article may be accessed here>>

Papers on the development and implementation of the Responsibility Deal

Durand MA, Petticrew M, Goulding L, Eastmure E, Knai C, Mays N. An evaluation of the Public Health Responsibility Deal: Informants' experiences and views of the development, implementation and achievements of a pledge-based, public-private partnership to improve population health in England. Health Policy. 2015 Nov;119(11):1506-14.The article may be accessed here>>

Bryden A, Petticrew M, Mays N, Eastmure E, Knai C. Voluntary agreements between government and business - a scoping review of the literature with specific reference to the Public Health Responsibility Deal. Health Policy. 2013 May;110(2-3):186-97.This article may be accessed here>>

The full scoping review may be accessed here >>

Petticrew M, Eastmure E, Mays N, Knai C, Durand MA, Nolte E. The Public Health Responsibility Deal: how should such a complex public health policy be evaluated. Journal of Public Health 2013;35(4):495-501. This paper may be accessed here>>

The Responsibility Deal logic model may be accessed here>>