The Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU), part of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has now published its scoping review of existing studies on voluntary agreements between government and business, which will help inform the independent Responsibility Deal evaluation that the School is conducting.
There is considerable previous experience of similar agreements outside public health and the scoping review looked at a wide range of previous studies from all sectors.
Professor Mark Petticrew, lead at PIRU on evaluation and public health said:
“It was valuable to explore the conditions and the degree to which these voluntary agreements are effective, and whether there are lessons to be learned for public health and the development of the RD.”
The review addressed a number of questions, including:
1. What are the different types of voluntary agreements?
2. Why do governments develop voluntary agreements?
3. Why do businesses join voluntary agreements, and which businesses join?
4. How are voluntary agreements received by those who do or do not participate?
5. What are the potential problems and enabling factors? and
6. Are voluntary agreements worthwhile – do benefits exceed costs?