THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2020/2021

Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Postgraduate Course: Advocacy, Lobbying and Health Policy (SCPL11016)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a course about strategies and activities to influence policies impacting on health. It will introduce students to theories that help explain the role of interest group influence within policy, including social movement theories and literature focusing on the third sector as well as more traditional interest group, political and ideational theories. The course will also provide empirical examples of lobbying and advocacy for health related issues and will encourage students to link theoretical frameworks with empirical examples. It assumes no prior background in political science or social policy and will provide a basic introduction to key theories developed across these disciplines that concern policy change and the role of advocacy, lobbying and policy influence. The first part of the course (the first three sessions) will focus on introducing students to key concepts and relevant theories. The second part will then introduce students to some contemporary, empirical examples of advocacy and lobbying in health contexts (students will also be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to provide further empirical examples). This part of the course will encourage students to draw on the theoretical literature covered in the first part of the course to examine the efforts of various actors to influence policy outcomes, considering the rationale for various actors involvement in policy debates, the tactics and arguments employed by different actors and any evidence relating to outcomes/impacts of these activities.
Course description This is a course about strategies and activities to influence policies impacting on health. It will introduce students to theories that help explain the role of interest group influence within policy, including social movement theories and literature focusing on the third sector as well as more traditional interest group, political and ideational theories. The course will also provide empirical examples of lobbying and advocacy for health related issues and will encourage students to link theoretical frameworks with empirical examples. It assumes no prior background in political science or social policy and will provide a basic introduction to key theories developed across these disciplines that concern policy change and the role of advocacy, lobbying and policy influence. The first part of the course (the first three sessions) will focus on introducing students to key concepts and relevant theories. The second part will then introduce students to some contemporary, empirical examples of advocacy and lobbying in health contexts (students will also be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to provide further empirical examples). This part of the course will encourage students to draw on the theoretical literature covered in the first part of the course to examine the efforts of various actors to influence policy outcomes, considering the rationale for various actors' involvement in policy debates, the tactics and arguments employed by different actors and any evidence relating to outcomes/impacts of these activities.

Outline content

1. Health Advocacy, Lobbying and Policy Change - An Introduction
2. Advocacy and Lobbying in non-communicable diseases
3. Civil Society and Social Movement Theories
4. Advocacy, Lobbying & Policy Influence in Health Care: Part 1: the Push for Universal Health Coverage; Part 2: Getting Local Voices Heard case studies from Scotland
5. Advocacy, Lobbying and Policy Influence - Part 1: In Health Equity Debates (Dr Kat Smith); Part 2: In Communicable Diseases Debates

This course will provide students with a range of basic transferable skills that relate to research impact beyond academia and policy influence. In particular, students will gain skills in constructing short, accessible research briefings designed for various non-academic audiences (advocacy organisations, policymakers and journalists). Students will also gain some basic skills in social media campaigning and in engaging with the mass media.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. examine the roles of advocacy and lobbying in health policy and to think critically about them
  2. understand key theories of policy change and the potential role of advocacy and lobbying within these various theoretical frameworks
  3. situate analysis of advocacy and lobbying within social movement theories and the growing literature concerning the third sector and civil society
  4. critically assess of the complex relationships between evidence, ideas, advocacy, lobbying, policy and practice in health settings
  5. apply theoretical accounts of advocacy, lobbying and policy change to empirical examples of health policy debates
Reading List
Best, R.K. (2012) Disease Politics and Medical Research Funding: Three Ways Advocacy Shapes Policy. American Sociological Review 77(5): 780803.
Brown, P. and Zavestoski, S. (2004) Social movements in health: an introduction. Sociology of Health & Illness 26(6): 679-694.
Callard, C. (undated) How Governments Work and How to Convince them to Control Tobacco (Practical Tips to Improve your Political Game). Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada. URL: http://www.smoke-free.ca/pdf_1/KievGov.PDF
Cave, T. and Rowell, A. (2014) The truth about lobbying: 10 ways big business controls government. The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/12/lobbying-10-ways-corprations-influence-government
Chapman, S. (2004) Advocacy for public health: a primer. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 58(5): 361-365.
Doyle, C. and Patel, P. (2008) Civil society organisations and global health initiatives: Problems of legitimacy. Social Science & Medicine 66(9): 1928-1938.
Field, P., Gauld, R. and Lawrence, M. (2012) Evidence-informed health policy the crucial role of Advocacy. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 66(4): 337341.
Hearne, S.A. (2008) Practice-Based Teaching for Health Policy Action and Advocacy. Public Health Reports,123(2): 65-70.
Jones, K., Baggott, R. and Allsop, J. (2004), Influencing the national policy process: the role of health consumer groups. Health Expectations, 7: 1828.
Kelly, C., Tumblety, J. and Sheron, N. (2016) Perspectives: The art of medicine - Histories of medical lobbying. The Lancet, 388: pp1976-77.
Smith, K.E. and Katikireddi, S.V. (2013) A Glossary of Theories for Understanding Policymaking and Policy Change. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(2):198-202.
Tillmann, T., Baker, P., Crocker-Buque, T., Rana, S., & Bouquet, B. Correspondence: Shortage of public health independence and advocacy in the UK. The Lancet, 383: 213.
Vernick, J. S. (1999) Lobbying and advocacy for the public's health: what are the limits for nonprofit organizations? American Journal of Public Health 89(9): 1425-1429.
Wallack, L. and Dorfman, L. (1996) Media Advocacy: A Strategy for Advancing Policy and Promoting Health. Health Education & Behavior 23(3): 293-317.
Zoller, H. M. (2005) Health Activism: Communication Theory and Action for Social Change. Communication Theory 15(4): 341-364.
World Health Organization (1992) Advocacy Strategies for Health and Development: Development Communication in Action, prepared for an inter-agency meeting on advocacy. RUL: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70051/1/HED_92.4_eng.pdf
World Health Organization (2014) Strategies, tactics and approaches - Conducting & evaluating national civil society advocacy for reproductive, maternal & child health. URL: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/100626/1/9789241506687_eng.pdf?ua=1
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Katherine Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1461
Email: Katherine.Smith@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMr Lee Corcoran
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
Email: Lee.Corcoran@ed.ac.uk
Navigation
Help & Information
Home
Introduction
Glossary
Search DPTs and Courses
Regulations
Regulations
Degree Programmes
Introduction
Browse DPTs
Courses
Introduction
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Prospectuses
Important Information