Renaisi is the evaluation partner for The Health Foundation’s Economies for Healthier Lives programme.

Renaisi is partnering with The Health Foundation for the next three years on the Economies for Healthier Lives programme. As programme evaluators, we will use our place-based methodology to explore what does and doesn’t work to strengthen relationships between economic development and public health at local and regional levels. We will also work closely with the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) who have been commissioned by the Health Foundation to provide tailored learning support for local authority teams.

The pandemic has shown that health and economy are strongly interlinked; a person’s economic circumstances is a determinant of their access to healthcare and poor health can severely limit their ability to work. 

Economic development strategies are powerful mechanisms to improve health and reduce health inequalities, but economic development and public health strategies tend to be designed independently. 

In their recent report, the Health Foundation brings together case studies from the UK and around the world to provide practical recommendations for policy makers, researchers, and changemakers to create more inclusive economies that enhance health at local and national levels.  

The Health Foundation’s Economies for Healthier Lives programme puts these insights into action. The RSA will support four partnerships between local authorities, academic and specialist partners across the UK to implement different economic development approaches to reducing health inequalities.  

To improve a place, we recognise that system-level transformation is urgently required to put health at the heart of economic development, and we are delighted to be programme evaluators in this important collaboration. As experts in evaluating place-based systems change, we balance our appreciation for local differences with finding wider patterns for inclusive development. In this evaluation, we will tackle the questions: 

  1. How effective was the programme in developing mechanisms to embed economic development strategies to improve health and reduce health inequalities? 
  1. What new learning did the programme generate about what works (and doesn’t) work to strengthen systemic relationships between economic development and public health? 

“Economies for Healthier Lives is seeking to understand how economic development can best improve health and tackle health inequalities by supporting partnerships in local areas. We’re delighted to be partnering with Renaisi who will provide learning on the new evidence emerging from the programme’s four innovative projects in Glasgow, Havant, Leeds and Liverpool, across a range of settings including major cities and coastal communities. Renaisi will help us to extend the programme’s impact throughout its three-year duration on how best to achieve systems change into the long term.” 

Sharlene McGee, Policy Manager at the Health Foundation

“The RSA is delighted to be partnering with the Health Foundation and Renaisi on this exciting, and potentially impactful project. Working in a participatory and place-based way underpins our current programme, so to have a partner with similar values presents a great opportunity.” 

Ruth Hannan, Team Lead at the RSA

Working with local partners, RSA, and the Health Foundation, we will provide annual evaluation outputs and present actionable recommendations for live programme improvements. This will culminate in a final evaluation report to provide evidence-based insights into the mechanisms and conditions for successful partnerships between health and economic development professionals to work together and improve health outcomes for everyone.  

We will be posting updates on our findings, but make sure you don’t miss out on important learning by joining the Economies for Healthier Lives Learning Network by contacting: