Archive for November, 2011

Public Health – House of Commons Select Committee Report

November 24, 2011

The House of Commons Select Committee on Health recently published its report scrutinising the proposed changes in the delivery of Public Health. TCC had previously submitted its own detailed submission with an emphasis on the issue of behaviour and culture change – a summary of which was covered in a previous posting here.

Whilst there seems to be broad public consensus for the Government’s public health proposals, in contrast to the controversy surrounding other NHS changes, nevertheless, the Select Committee made a number of practical recommendations for improvements:

Government role

  • The Secretary of State for Health to be given (under the Health and Social Care Bill) an explicit statutory duty to reduce inequalities in public health as well as to protect the public from dangers to health.
  • The Department of Health should set public health budgets, both nationally and locally, that take account of objective measures of need.
  • The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Public Health to be given a clear remit to scrutinise the public health impact of policies across government.
  • The Chief Medical Officer to give professional leadership in respect of both the medical and public health professions.
  • The Government to review its opposition to the proposal that the Health Professions Council should regulate public health specialists as an additional profession, to accommodate specialists who are not members of another regulated healthcare profession.
  • The role of the Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to be clarified

Public Health England

  • MP’s argued that Public Health England (PHE) must be a fearlessly independent champion of public health standards and objectives. There is also the need for more clarity about who will be in charge in a public health emergency – such as a flu pandemic.
  • Public Health England must also be given a clear leadership and coordination role for developing – and when necessary – delivering ‘surge capacity’ at the supra-local level where public health emergencies cross local boundaries.
  • The work of the Public Health Observatories is valuable part of the public health system. MP’s expressed concern that three of these – in London, the North East and the North West – might be at risk of closure. They asked Ministers to clarify their plans for all the Observatories as a matter of urgency to ensure that this important resource is not lost before PHE is established.

Local Government and Public Health

  • Just as PHE needs to be visibly independent of central government, MP’s strongly recommended that the director of public health in each locality needs to be a chief officer of the local authority with a statutory duty to address the full public health agenda within the locality.
  • Directors of Public Health should also be members of the Board for each Clinical Commissioning Group and for a qualified public health professional to sit on the NHS Commissioning Board.

In terms of behavioural interventions, the Committee made two further important points. On the Public Health Responsibility Deal it expressed some scepticism:

“With regard to the national policy dimension of health improvement, we remain unconvinced that the new Responsibility Deal will, by itself, resolve major issues such as obesity and alcohol abuse. The Government must set out clearly how progress will be monitored, and when tougher action will be taken if ‘nudging’ does not work.

This comment was in a similar vein to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on Behaviour Change which we previously blogged about here. We have also previously suggested some changes to this to encourage business to engage at a much more local level.

The other concern expressed by the Committee was on the Health Premium, where it asked the fundamental question as to how one balances the need to target the most difficult public health challenges if incentives are then given to the areas that make the most progress, which may not be the objectively worst areas?

“We are concerned about the so-called ‘Health Premium’. The effect of this policy appears to be to target resources towards those areas which have made greatest progress with their public health challenges and away from areas which face the greatest outstanding problems. It is, of course, not only a question of the level of resources, but also of the use to which they are put; but if resources are not being used well in the areas of greatest challenge, the solution is to improve the way the resources are used, not to cut the resources”.

We know from our use of values segmentation to understand varying motivational needs that some segments of the population are more likely to respond to pro-social public health messages and behavioural interventions, so the danger is that some areas could always be the winners under incentives for maximum progress. Clearly the Premium is going to have to be much more sophisticated than that!

Hopefully the Government will clarify policy in these areas further. It would be a disappointing if such an important area of public policy with such a wide consensus so far was mired in political controversy.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

‘What makes people tick’? New book explains effective use of values in public policy

November 17, 2011

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be invited to the launch at the RSA of the latest book by Chris Rose, ‘What makes people tick‘, a detailed explanation of the benefits of utilising values based segmentation in gathering insight or running campaigns. The book is now available to buy online here.

Chris Rose has a long track record of campaigning and has previously distilled much of his knowledge into his highly regarded book ‘How to win campaigns‘, of which a well-thumbed copy is naturally on The Campaign Company (TCC) bookshelf.

Starting as Conservation Officer for the London Wildlife Trust responsible for handling planning inquiries and land management he moved on to Friends of the Earth as a campaigner on wildlife, agricultural pesticides and acid rain. In 1985-8 he worked on communications and campaigns for WWF International based in Switzerland. Then from 1988-92 he was Director of Media Natura, a media industry foundation working on environmental communication.Perhaps he became most well-known, when from 1992-8 he was Deputy Executive and Programme Director of Greenpeace UK and Strategic Adviser to Greenpeace International, during the battle over the future of the Brent Spar oil platform. He currently runs Campaign Strategy Ltd.

His latest book ‘What makes people tick‘, details, how the values mapping system developed by Pat Dade and Les Higgins at Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing (CDSM), enables us to look beneath the short-term opinions recorded by pollsters, and cut through the varied behaviours, undertaken for very different reasons, that are all recorded as the same thing by geodemographics such as MOSAIC and ACORN; in order to lay bare the needs, motivations and values that lie beneath and drives much of our individual behaviour, relationships, politics and social dynamics.

Based on a hugely detailed model of the UK population, gathered over 38 years, the CDSM model has been statistically calibrated to fit the internationally validated values measurements of the World Values Survey conducted by Professor Shalom Schwartz at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The differing values Chris describes exists in all countries, and thus the book is an effective guide to be able to recognize Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers wherever they live.

The publication of the book is timely as it adds to the increasing recognition that surveys based on occupational class designations some of which  date back to the 1920’s and more latterly geodemographics are not enough on their own to understand complex modern society. Recent reports in the Guardian and a forthcoming pamphlet by the IPPR to follow-up their recent report ‘Still partying like it’s 1995‘ on understanding the ‘new sources of dynamism within society’ show the relevance of values research to long-term public policy challenges in public health, community resilience, cohesion and social mobility. They are also helpful in understanding contemporary events such as the recent riots as this blog posting demonstrates.

For experienced values practitioners there will of course be much that you will already know. This book is clearly aimed to introduce the concepts. However Chris said at the book launch that he had enough material already for a more detailed follow-up.

As well as TCC; companies and campaigners, from Greenpeace to Shell, from the National Trust to Unilever, from the US Marines to the BBC and from McDonald’s to Arsenal Football Club, have used the values segments that are described to build strategies that work, in marketing, in environmental change campaigns, in team building and in communications. The book gives examples, principles and also excellent checklists and guidelines to enable others to utilise this form of segmentation too.

A taster of some of the issues it covers is available online in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Expert Resource Centre document: Consultation and Communication in relation to motivational need. The final Chapter 6 of the new book covers this practical guidance in much more detail and it  alone is worth the price of the book!

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

A Young Mayor for the Olympics!

November 14, 2011

The Campaign Company (TCC) designed and pioneered the first Young Mayor election in Middlesbrough in 2002. Years later and there are now four Young Mayors in London, in the boroughs of Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Lambeth.  Outside of London, you can find Young Mayors across the country, in Melton, Wyre Forest, Worthing, North Tyneside, Mansfield, Southend, and more.

The most recent Young Mayor election result was announced on 3 November. A total of 10,082 young people cast their vote and elected Abraham Male as the new Young Mayor of Newham – the host borough of the 2012 London Olympics. Abraham, 15, will be in office when the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in the borough next year. TCC were very proud to be involved in the project, providing candidate training.

The new Young Mayor received 1,055 votes and the turn out for this year’s election count was 43.37%, significantly higher than the 34.6% turnout at the 2006 Newham local Council elections! More details of the candidates and the election is here at the dedicated Young Mayor of Newham website.

Abraham Male - Young Mayor of Newham

Abraham Male - Young Mayor of Newham 2011/12

Hundreds of thousands of young people have taken part in these elections across the country. Turnout in these elections is regularly higher than the equivalent turnouts in adult elections; some of the most impressive examples being North Tyneside and Lewisham, with turnout reaching 59% and 53% respectively. Thus Young Mayor elections provide demonstrable examples of high levels of youth involvement.

TCC have extensive experience working with young people in a variety of different settings, ranging from youth councils to young citizen’s panels.  As part of the Young Mayor programme TCC can project manage the entire election process and also deliver candidate training.

In May 2008, TCC established the Young Mayor Network (YMN) which gives Young Mayors across the country the opportunity to support each other and come together with a view to getting their voices heard on a national stage. This has now merged with the British Youth Council to enable Young Mayors to contribute to wider UK youth issues.

In the next year we could see more local government  elected Mayors across the country as 12 cities hold referendums on whether to move to a Mayoral system. As a result we may also see more elected Young Mayors established to democratically represent young people to those elected Mayors.

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. Thanks go to Darran Martin at TCC for providing background to the Newham result. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.

TCC at the UK Social Marketing Conference

November 10, 2011

This week TCC delivered two presentations to the UK Social Marketing Conference, an annual event for those involved in social marketing and behavioral outcomes within public policy to share good practice. As is the custom these days, the event even had its own Twitter hashtag which was #wsmconference, so people could also contribute to it online in real-time.

The TCC contribution was about some of the more challenging areas in the field: Status Dogs and Community Cohesion.

TCC Managing Director David Evans and Justine Pannett of the RSPCA delivered one of the six seminars on ‘My Dog Ain’t no Pussy’ – insight about young urban dog owners. The project sought to understand the key motivations, values and behaviours of young urban dog owners. The project aimed to gain insight into the role that bull breed dogs play in the lives of young people. It is informing the design and delivery of interventions to improve animal welfare in areas that have previously been unreachable. The detailed conclusions of the research has already been blogged about here.

David Evans and Matthew Wood of Brighton University also delivered one of the closing keynote presentations to the entire conference entitled Social marketing engagement to address Big Society challenges. Social Marketing has the opportunity to address new challenges around the Government’s Big Society programme including the new Public Health arrangements and Social Care re-ablement. In particular it can address engagement, to enable new behaviours and social norms to secure greater personal and community involvement and build more social capital and community resilience.

The presentation drew from work in social marketing on community cohesion for the Capital Ambition programme in four London Boroughs and explains how a methodology combining deep insight, psychographic motivational values segmentation, social network mapping, training for staff, the development of lay ‘Community Communicators‘ and a strategy of actions that match communications can be used to address these new challenges. More information is here. The centrepiece of the presentation featured a video about the collaboration between the Police, Council and local ‘Community Communicators‘ to reassure the public following a tragic murder at Thamesmead in Bexley.

David Evans said after the event, “It was very worthwhile to engage with both practitioners and commissioners delivering in this field of work. Social Marketing faces new opportunities in the coming years. This includes creating value for money programmes to improve communications with the public at a very local level, strengthening Civil and Big Society capacity at a time of budget reductions as well as helping deliver the new local government public health agenda.”

Charlie Mansell is Research and Development Officer for The Campaign Company. If you want to see what your own primary values set is, why not take the simple Values Questionnaire here.