Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp e192–e198 | Cite as

Pathways to policy: Lessons learned in multisectoral collaboration for physical activity and built environment policy development from the Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative

  • Christopher E. PolitisEmail author
  • David L. Mowat
  • Deb Keen
Innovations in Policy and Practice


OBJECTIVES: The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer funded 12 large-scale knowledge to action cancer and chronic disease prevention projects between 2009 and 2016 through the Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP) initiative. Two projects, Healthy Canada by Design (HCBD) and Children’s Mobility, Health and Happiness (CMHH), developed policies to address physical activity and the built environment through a multisectoral approach. A qualitative analysis involving a review of 183 knowledge products and 8 key informant interviews was conducted to understand what policy changes occurred, and the underlying critical success factors, through these projects.

SETTING: Both projects worked at the local level to change physical activity and built environment policy in 203 sites, including municipalities and schools. Both projects brought multisectoral expertise (e.g., public health, land use planning, transportation engineering, education, etc.) together to inform the development of local healthy public policy in the areas of land use, transportation and school travel planning.

INTERVENTION: Through the qualitative analysis of the knowledge products and key informant interviews, 163 policies were attributed to HCBD and CMHH work.

OUTCOMES: Fourteen “pathways to policy” were identified as critical success factors facilitating and accelerating the development and implementation of physical activity and built environment policy. Of the 14 pathways to policy, 8 had a focus on multisectoral collaboration.

IMPLICATIONS: The lessons learned from the CLASP experience could support enhanced multisectoral collaborations to accelerate the development and implementation of physical activity and built environment policy in new jurisdictions across Canada and internationally.

Key Words

Public health policy physical activity environment design city planning collaboration 


OBJECTIFS: Entre 2009 et 2016, le Partenariat canadien contre le cancer a financé 12 vastes projets de mise des connaissances en action pour la prévention du cancer et des maladies chroniques par l’entremise de l’initiative COALITION - Connaissances et action liées pour une meilleure prévention. Deux de ces projets, Bâtir un Canada en santé (BUCS) et Children’s Mobility, Health and Happiness (CMHH), ont élaboré des politiques pour aborder l’activité physique et l’environnement bâti selon une approche multisectorielle. Nous avons mené une analyse qualitative impliquant l’examen de 183 produits du savoir et la tenue de 8 entretiens avec des informateurs pour comprendre quels changements d’orientation se sont produits grâce à ces projets, et quels ont été les facteurs de réussite déterminants sous-jacents.

LIEU: Les deux projets ont été réalisés pour modifier à l’échelle locale les politiques sur l’activité physique et l’environnement bâti à 203 endroits, dont des municipalités et des écoles. Les deux projets ont réuni des experts de divers secteurs (santé publique, aménagement du territoire, ingénierie des transports, éducation, etc.) pour éclairer l’élaboration de politiques pour la santé locales dans les domaines de l’aménagement du territoire et de la planification des transports et du transport scolaire.

INTERVENTION: Au moyen de l’analyse qualitative des produits du savoir et des entretiens avec des informateurs, 163 politiques ont été imputées au travail de BUCS et de CMHH.

RÉSULTATS: Quatorze «sentiers stratégiques» ont été définis comme étant des facteurs de réussite déterminants pour faciliter et accélérer l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de politiques sur l’activité physique et l’environnement bâti. De ces 14 sentiers stratégiques, 8 mettaient l’accent sur la collaboration multisectorielle.

CONSÉQUENCES: Les leçons de l’expérience de l’initiative COALITION pourraient appuyer des collaborations multisectorielles renforcées afin d’accélérer l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre de politiques sur l’activité physique et l’environnement bâti dans d’autres provinces ou territoires du Canada ainsi qu’à l’étranger.

Mots Clés

santé publique politique (principe) activité physique conception de l’environnement urbanisme collaboration 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher E. Politis
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Mowat
    • 2
  • Deb Keen
    • 3
  1. 1.Canadian Partnership Against Cancer1 University AvenueTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Population HealthCanadian Partnership Against CancerTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Prevention and ResearchCanadian Partnership Against CancerTorontoCanada

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