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Insights from the evaluation of a provincial healthy eating strategy in Nova Scotia, Canada

  • S Meaghan Sim (a1) and Sara FL Kirk (a1)

Abstract

Objective

Healthy Eating Nova Scotia represents the first provincial comprehensive healthy eating strategy in Canada and a strategy that is framed within a population-health model. Five years after strategy launch, our objective was to evaluate Healthy Eating Nova Scotia to determine perceptions of strategy implementation and strategy outputs. The focus of the current paper is on the findings of this evaluation.

Design

We conducted an evaluation of the strategy through three activities that included a document review, survey of key stakeholders and in-depth interviews with key strategy informants. The findings from each of the activities were integrated to determine what has worked well with strategy implementation, what could be improved and what outputs have resulted.

Setting

The evaluation was conducted in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Participants

Participants for this evaluation included survey respondents (n 120) and key informants (n 16). A total of 156 documents were also reviewed.

Results

Significant investments have been made towards inter-sectoral partnerships and resourcing that has provided the necessary leadership and momentum for the strategy. Policy development has been leveraged through the strategy primarily in the health and education sectors and is perceived as a visible success. Clarity of human resource roles and funding within the context of a provincial strategy may be beneficial for continued strategy implementation, as is expansion of policy development.

Conclusions

Known to be the first evaluation of its kind, these findings and related considerations will be of interest to policy makers developing and implementing similar strategies in their own jurisdictions.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email Meaghan.sim@dal.ca

References

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1.World Health Organization (1986) The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. First International Conference on Health Promotion, Ottawa, 21 November 1986. http://www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/ottawa_charter_hp.pdf (accessed January 2012).
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6.Statistics Canada (2012) Focus on geography series, 2011 Census – province of Nova Scotia, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-pr-eng.cfm?Lang=Eng&GK=PR&GC=12 (accessed May 2012).
7.The Healthy Eating Action Group (2005) Healthy Eating Nova Scotia. http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/publications/HealthyEatingNovaScotia2005.pdf (accessed January 2012).
8.Government of Nova Scotia (2011) Healthy Communities. http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdip/default.asp (accessed January 2012).
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Keywords

Insights from the evaluation of a provincial healthy eating strategy in Nova Scotia, Canada

  • S Meaghan Sim (a1) and Sara FL Kirk (a1)

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