System-science in Public Health and Health Economic Research
UKPRP award £5 million for 5 years, with an additional £1.2 million investment from the consortium’s partners
SIPHER aims to develop systems-based economic evaluation methods and tools to provide a common basis on which to appraise the effectiveness and costs and benefits of policy measures implemented in different sectors.
Professor of Public Health
Petra Meier’s research focuses on the appraisal and evaluation of public health policy. She founded the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, a leading international centre for alcohol policy, epidemiology and economic research, and is particularly known for her work on alcohol minimum unit pricing and taxation. She led a successful bid for a Wellcome Trust DTC in Public Health Economics and Decision Science which builds research capacity in public health economic and modelling methods and is a co-investigator on the MRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme on Systems Science in Public Health and on an ongoing $1.8m US NIH RO1 agent-based modelling grant led by SIPHER Co-Director Purshouse.
Reader in Decision Modelling and Optimisation
Robin Purshouse has a background in decision sciences, policy analytics, and systems modelling. Between 2003 and 2007, Robin worked as a management consultant at PA Consulting Group where he developed models to support major change programmes in the Department for Work and Pensions and successfully delivered the economic and financial outline business cases for a multi-billion pound technology investment programme in the Home Office. On returning to academia, Robin secured an ESRC Future Research Leaders award, followed by a major National Institutes of Health project on systems-based modelling of alcohol use patterns in the US. Robin is a research pioneer in the development of decision support technologies for real-world problems with many conflicting objectives, in the presence of uncertainties and distributed groups of decision-makers.
SIPHER aims to develop systems-based economic evaluation methods and tools to provide a common basis on which to appraise the effectiveness and costs and benefits of policy measures implemented in different sectors. Partnering with Sheffield City Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Scottish Government, this consortium will focus on four policy priorities – housing, the promotion of mental wellbeing, inclusive economic growth and adverse childhood experiences – and differences between these partners’ implementation systems for these policy areas. The research will address a critical area of need on providing economic evidence for policy decision-making by end users, and will provide tools for iterative, evidence-led refinements of policies by considering the emergent properties of complex systems, including interactions between policy measures, when assessing policy impacts.
Drawing on expertise from systems science and engineering, geocomputation, machine learning and multi-criterion optimisation, SIPHER will use complex systems modelling to allow users to understand the nature and timing of policy effects across all relevant outcomes, to forecast what may occur within complex systems under different assumptions about future developments and to assess the distributional impacts of policy scenarios. Economic decision models will make transparent the costs, benefits and any necessary trade-offs.
SIPHER’s co-production approach blends workstreams (WS) that develop a thorough understanding of the four policy systems (WS1 – understanding policy actors, decision processes, and policymaker knowledge and beliefs about cause-and-effect relationships in the systems, WS2 evidence synthesis, WS6 eliciting societal values and preferences regarding competing policy outcomes) with complex systems methods (WS3 building a system monitoring and intelligence function, WS4 microsimulation, WS5 system dynamic modelling, and WS7 whole-system economic evaluation).
On 25 September 2019 the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) held a kick off meeting with the award holders from the first funding round. Download the slides presented by SIPHER (PPT, 5MB).
The consortium’s membership includes:
- Research academics who provide expertise in disciplines including public health, system dynamics modelling and microsimulation, economics and health economics, urban studies and planning, and social policy.
- Key policy partners – Sheffield’s Director of Public Health, GMCA’s Head of Research and the Co-lead of the Scottish Government’s Public Health Reform Programme – are embedded as co-investigators in the membership.
- The Alan Turing Institute for expertise in IT infrastructures and spatial microsimulation.
- Practice partners such as Public Health England (PHE), Public Health Wales, NHS Health Scotland, the Local Government Association (LGA), and the National Institute for Health (NICE), Edinburgh City Deal, Learn Sheffield, Sheffield City Partnership and Northern Health Sciences Alliance amongst others.
For further details see the SIPHER website.
Co-Director of the Executive Delivery Group for Public Health Reform
Professor of Public Health
Professor of Clinical Psychology
Professor of Geography and Co-Director of Leeds Institute for Data Analytics
Professor of Health Economics and Dean of the School of Health and Related Research
Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling
Reader in Economics
Head of Research
Director of Public Health
Professor of Public Health
Professor in Geocomputation, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics
Reader in Alcohol Policy
Professor in Signal and Information Processing
Associate Professor in Data Analytics for Population Research
Professor of Education, Director of the Inclusive Growth Analysis Unit
Information Specialist and Director of Innovation and Knowledge Transfer (IKT)
Kat Smith, Professor of Public Health Policy
Chancellor’s Fellow, Usher Institute
Professor of Public Health and Deputy Dean of ScHARR
NIHR Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellow
Aki Tsuchiya, Professor of Health Economics
Professor of Town and Regional Planning
Knowledge transfer partners
- Brian Ferguson, Chief Economist – Public Health England
- Mark Bellis, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Investment in Health – Public Health Wales
- Neil Craig, Principal Public Health Advisor –
- Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive – NICE
- Oonagh McGee, Head of Research Management – Alan Turing Institute
- Ritchie Somerville, Data Innovation Director – Edinburgh City Deal
- Stephen Betts, Chief Executive – Learn Sheffield
- Rt Hon David Blunkett, Chair – Sheffield City Partnership
- Shirley Hannan, Head of Research Partnerships – Northern Health Sciences Alliance
- Paul Ogden, Senior Advisor – Local Government Association