Developing the Keep Queenslanders Healthy Evaluation Framework

26 Feb 2020

In response to the growing trends in suicide and concerning number of overweight and obese Queenslanders, the Queensland Government identified the Keep Queenslanders Healthy priority as part of Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities. Queensland Health has responsibility for the Keep Queenslanders Healthy priority and its two key targets to:

  • Increase the number of adults and children with a healthy body weight by 10% by 2026
  • Reduce the suicide rate by 50% by 2026

The Keep Queenslanders Healthy priority, its targets and associated actions are founded on the understanding that health is influenced by complex and interrelated social, economic, environmental and political factors. It incorporates a systems-level, multi-pronged approach that recognises the complex interplay of the multiple determinants of health and is ambitious in its breadth, depth and scale. This requires an evaluation framework that is comprehensive and overarching, but also adaptable to change over time.

In October 2019, ISSR was commissioned to develop The Keep Queenslanders Healthy Evaluation Framework, led by Professor Lisa McDaid. The Keep Queenslanders Healthy Evaluation Framework was co-designed with Queensland Health and developed through systematic engagement with key stakeholders to provide a shared conceptual framework for the evaluation. This started with the initial inception and planning with Queensland Health, through three interrelated stages of stakeholder consultation, policy review and data audit – all designed to inform the development of program logics (the pathways through which the program’s processes are intended to achieve the desired impacts and outcomes) and evaluation plans. Experts in the fields of obesity and healthy weight, mental health and wellbeing, and Indigenous health also provided critical feedback on, and contribution to, the evaluation framework.

We conducted a systematic process of stakeholder engagement and consultation with each of the departments and agencies responsible for delivering Keep Queenslanders Healthy.  This involved a key stakeholder workshop to explore the anticipated outcomes of Keep Queenslanders Healthy and the data sources that would be required to evidence these.

The stakeholder workshop identified a substantial range of potential data sources for the evaluation plan. Alongside this, we conducted a rapid, but comprehensive review of all of the documentation and strategies that Keep Queenslanders Healthy draws on, builds upon or incorporates – these documents are highlighted on the picture below.

Keep Queenslanders Healthy Policy Review
Keep Queenslanders Healthy Policy Review

Identifying all of the activities and actions covered by Keep Queenslanders Healthy and mapping these against potential data sources enabled us to identify appropriate data sources for the primary outcomes. The data audit demonstrated that there is evidence to support the high-level indicators used to map progress towards achieving the overall targets for reducing suicide and increasing healthy body weight.  It also allowed us to identify gaps and the opportunities for new data collection to fill these.

The overarching evaluation plan recommends ongoing review of the Keep Queenslanders Healthy domains, logics and actions to monitor progress and enable assessment of which activities are being implemented, their impact, and what adjustment might be required to secure the outcomes they have set out to achieve.

The Keep Queenslanders Healthy Evaluation Framework provides a statewide, flexible and coordinated approach to tracking progress and impact in process and outcomes. It has provided Queensland Health with a flexible, iterative and responsive framework to support informed, evidence-based decisions about what works best, for whom and in what circumstances, alongside measuring the high-level outcomes of reducing suicide and increasing healthy body weight.