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Using a Participatory Research Process to Make a Difference in Policy on Aging


  • Carol L. McWilliam


As policy emerges from the interplay of economic, political, and social forces, determining whether research has made a difference to policy choices on aging issues is extremely difficult. Such a determination demands attention to the "black box" of the policy process, and the setting within which policy ultimately operates. This paper presents a Seniors' Independence Research Program as a case illustration of how research has made a difference to policy choices by stakeholder involvement throughout the research process. Strategies ensure stakeholder collaboration in policy issue search, filtration, definition, and prioritization; involvement in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health services models; and participation in achieving long-term evidence-based changes in policy and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol L. McWilliam, 1997. "Using a Participatory Research Process to Make a Difference in Policy on Aging," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 23(s1), pages 70-89, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:23:y:1997:i:s1:p:70-89

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McWilliam, Carol L. & Brown, Judith Belle & Carmichael, Janet L. & Lehman, Jocelyn M., 1994. "A new perspective on threatened autonomy in elderly persons: The disempowering process," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 327-338, January.
    2. C Charles & C Schalm & J Semradek, 1994. "Involving Stakeholders in Health Services Research: Developing Alberta's Resident Classification System for Long Term Care Facilities," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1994-04, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    3. Orosz, Eva, 1994. "The impact of social science research on health policy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1287-1293, November.
    4. Dan Durning, 1993. "Participatory policy analysis in a social service agency: A case study," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 297-322.
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