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Am J Public Health. 2007 Apr;97(4):648-54. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

Integrating public health policy, practice, evaluation, surveillance, and research: the school health action planning and evaluation system.

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  • 1Centre for Behavioral Research and Program Evaluation, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


The Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada have charged their Centre for Behavioral Research and Program Evaluation with contributing to the development of the country's systemic capacity to link research, policy, and practice related to population-level interventions. Local data collection and feedback systems are integral to this capacity. Canada's School Health Action Planning and Evaluation System (SHAPES) allows data to be collected from all of a school's students, and these data are used to produce computer-generated school "health profiles." SHAPES is being used for intervention planning, evaluation, surveillance, and research across Canada. Strong demand and multipartner investment suggest that SHAPES is adding value in all of these domains. Such systems can contribute substantially to evidence-informed public health practice, public engagement, participatory action research, and relevant, timely population intervention research.

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