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1.
Evidence & Policy ; 19(2):236-236–255, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20241572

ABSTRACT

Background:The emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has required a rapid acceleration of policy decision making, and raised a wide range of ethical issues worldwide, ranging from vaccine prioritisation, welfare and public health ‘trade-offs', inequalities in policy impacts, and the legitimacy of scientific expertise.Aims and objectives:This paper explores the legacy of the pandemic for future science-advice-policy relationships by investigating how the UK government's engagement with ethical advice is organised institutionally. We provide an analysis of some key ethical moments in the UK Government response to the pandemic, and institutions and national frameworks which exist to provide ethical advice on policy strategies.Methods:We draw on literature review, documentary analysis of scientific advisory group reports, and a stakeholder workshop with government ethics advisors and researchers in England.Findings:We identify how particular types of ethical advice and expertise are sought to support decision making. Contrary to a prominent assumption in the extensive literature on ‘governing by expertise', ethical decisions in times of crisis are highly contingent.Discussion and conclusions:The paper raises an important set of questions for how best to equip policymakers to navigate decisions about values in situations characterised by knowledge deficits, complexity and uncertainty. We conclude that a clearer pathway is needed between advisory institutions and decision makers to ensure ethically-informed debate.

2.
Evidence & Policy ; : 1-20, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2140318

ABSTRACT

Background: The emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic has required a rapid acceleration of policy decision making, and raised a wide range of ethical issues worldwide, ranging from vaccine prioritisation, welfare and public health 'trade-offs', inequalities in policy impacts, and the legitimacy of scientific expertise.Aims and objectives: This paper explores the legacy of the pandemic for future science-advice policy relationships by investigating how the UK government's engagement with ethical advice is organised institutionally. We provide an analysis of some key ethical moments in the UK Government response to the pandemic, and institutions and national frameworks which exist to provide ethical advice on policy strategies.Methods: We draw on literature review, documentary analysis of scientific advisory group reports, and a stakeholder workshop with government ethics advisors and researchers in England.Findings: We identify how particular types of ethical advice and expertise are sought to support decision making. Contrary to a prominent assumption in the extensive literature on 'governing by expertise', ethical decisions in times of crisis are highly contingent. Discussion and conclusions: The paper raises an important set of questions for how best to equip policymakers to navigate decisions about values in situations characterised by knowledge deficits,complexity and uncertainty. We conclude that a clearer pathway is needed between advisory institutions and decision makers to ensure ethically-informed debate.

3.
Health Promot Int ; 37(4)2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029024

ABSTRACT

Urban age-friendly initiatives strive to promote active and healthy ageing by addressing urban influences that impact individuals as they age. Collaborative community partnerships with multi-level stakeholders are crucial for fostering age-friendly initiatives that can transform urban community health. Employing a citizen social science (CSS) approach, this study aimed to engage older adults and stakeholders in Birmingham, UK, to (i) identify key urban barriers and facilitators to active and healthy ageing, and (ii) facilitate collaboration and knowledge production to lay the groundwork for a citizen science project. Older adults (n = 16; mean age = 72(7.5 SD); 11 female) and community stakeholders (n = 11; 7 female) were engaged in six online group discussions, with audio recordings transcribed and thematically analysed to present key urban barrier and facilitator themes. Ageism, winter, technology and safety were barriers identified by both groups. Outdoor spaces and infrastructure, transportation, community facilities, and Covid-19 pandemic were identified as barriers and/or facilitators. Older adults identified the ageing process as a barrier and diversity of the city, health and mobility and technology as facilitators. For stakeholders, barriers were deprivation and poverty, gender differences, and ethnicity, whereas age-inclusive activities were a facilitator. Organic and active opportunities for older adults and stakeholders to connect, co-produce knowledge on urban environments and share resources presented foundations of solution-building and future collaboration. CSS effectively facilitated a range of stakeholders across local urban spaces to collaborate and co-produce ideas and solutions for enhancing local urban environments to promote active and healthy ageing.


Planning urban age-friendly environments requires engagement with local residents, service providers and decision-makers. This is important for developing joint actions, urban initiatives and allowing these individuals to share their experiences, needs and resources. Citizen social science (CSS) can engage residents and stakeholders to directly shape social research aiming to improve urban environments. This study engaged 16 older adults over the age of 60 and 11 stakeholders to identify urban features that influence active and healthy ageing in Birmingham, UK. Using six online discussion groups, the key urban barriers and facilitators were identified by older adults and stakeholders, who also checked the findings to confirm they represent the discussions accurately. Urban barriers and facilitators included health and mobility, ageism, outdoor spaces and infrastructure, transportation, technology, Covid-19, and the lack or presence of community facilities and activities. During discussion groups, both older adults and stakeholders connected to share information about local organizations, resources, websites for free activities or research, and provide solutions for each other's barriers. CSS effectively engaged older adults and stakeholders to collaborate and create knowledge together for improving local urban environments in Birmingham.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Citizen Science , Healthy Aging , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Transportation
4.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 2), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2012882

ABSTRACT

Background Incorporating age-friendly elements across urban environments can promote active and healthy ageing by facilitating opportunities to improve health and well-being among older residents. However, developing inclusive and supportive age-friendly environments remains a key gap for governance and public policy. Community-engaged citizen science recognises older adults as key stakeholders in designing and implementing age-friendly initiatives. The aim of this study was to employ the Our Voice citizen science for healthy equity framework to engage older adults and community stakeholders to: a) identify local urban characteristics that influence active and healthy ageing, and b) co-produce recommendations to develop actionable urban changes. Methods Older adults (n = 17;Mean age= 72(7.5 SD);11 women) and community stakeholders (n = 23;14 women) in urban planning and ageing-well services were recruited from Birmingham, UK. Six online discussion groups (n = 16 older adults, 11 stakeholders), 12 Discovery Tool walks (n = 14 older adults), 3 in-person discussions (n = 12 older adults), 2 online individual discussions (n = 2 older adults) and 2 workshop events (n = 15 older adults, 17 stakeholders) were conducted. Audio transcripts and co-produced data were member checked and thematically analysed to identify urban barrier and facilitator themes and co-produce recommendations. Results A range of interconnected urban features were identified as influential of active and healthy ageing, including presence or absence of community facilities, suitable outdoor spaces, and the impact of Covid-19. Six collective and 12 individual recommendations were co-produced proposing feasible ways to enhance urban environments. These included public toilets schemes, maintenance of green and public spaces, car parking enforcement, provision of local information, and integrating communities across all ages. Conclusion Employing citizen science developed a network of older adults and stakeholders that shared local knowledge and experiences to co-produce a strong vision for shaping urban environments in Birmingham. This approach facilitated older adults to: drive research processes and solution-building;identify local urban influences;and advocate these findings to a network of actors who can disseminate and activate change in urban domains. To enhance citizen science further, increased time and resources to embed older adults into scientific processes, including data analysis and interpretation, is required.

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