The research question for this priority-setting study was:
“What are the most effective, cost-effective, affordable and implementable policy options to prevent obesity across a range of settings?”
This study aimed to inform decision-making at various levels about the package of obesity prevention interventions offering the greatest ‘value-for-money’ by conducting high quality, collaborative research.
The ACE approach
Although there is no ‘gold standard’ for priority-setting methodology, it is generally agreed that the process should be systematic, explicit, fair and evidence-based. The ACE approach to priority-setting is characterised by the use of consistent, rigorous methods for the technical cost-effectiveness analysis that provides decision-makers with quantitative data on the costs and outcomes of interest. In addition to technical cost-effectiveness analyses, effective priority setting methods require a process that addresses the broader concerns of decision-makers and the range of issues that impinge on policy decisions. The ACE approach features a second stage in the analysis where important policy considerations (referred to as ‘implementation considerations’ hereafter), are analysed qualitatively and presented alongside the cost-effectiveness results.
Another key feature of the ACE approach is the consideration of ‘due process’, where legitimacy is achieved through discussion and debate at each stage of the process