Programme Integration, Systems, Management and Evaluation

This aims to synthesis information collected via WPs 1, 2 and 4 to develop and refine the intervention.


We aim to maximise societal impact through strategic coordination of the research programme as a whole and includes as a core activity the co-development and evaluation of the intervention.

Objectives are to:

  • develop shared understanding across the group;
  • develop and facilitate a co-production plan for the three-stage development and evaluation of the intervention, which will integrate the range of methods used across the programme and embed these within a framework approach to societal impact maximisation;
  • critically reflect on the group’s approach to and its efficacy in research operationalisation and societal impact-orientation.


This focuses on the development of shared understandings across the consortium. This includes formalization of: the theoretical foundations underpinning the UK Prevention Research Partnership; how foundational principles – trans-disciplinarity, societal impact, need for new approaches – are embedded in TRUUD’s research governance and operationalization; key definitions and understandings. Concurrently, co-production of interventions starts with an initial focus on early programme integration and management, through co-development with WP Leads of detailed, interdependent implementation plans for WPs 1, 2, 4 and 5. The detailed implementation plan then builds on the early theoretical framing and will include: strategic considerations in programme integration; detailed steps for co-producing the multi-action intervention at the end of each phase; a strategic impact planning and evaluation framework, and alignment to UKPRP’s broader theory of change; and an integrated qualitative systems framework for evaluating causal links and probabilities between decisions made far upstream and health outcomes downstream based on the hierarchy of research impact. The intervention, impact and evaluation strategies will be co-produced and tested iteratively internally and with end users (via WPs 1 and 4). The implementation plan will require sufficient flexibility such that intervention design can respond to a wide range of contexts and applications. Initial development will take place in Phase 1 with refinement in Phases 2-4. These combined strategies will draw on emerging best practice in the fields of the ‘Science of Team Science’. Systems approaches and soft systems methods will be applied as appropriate (in this and other WPs).


  • A book or monograph aimed at the academic community and taking a critical theory lens to the call for new approaches to researching complex societal challenges, considering governance, operationalisation and structural barriers in particular, using TRUUD as a case study;
  • A Health Valuation and Integration Toolkit (H-VIT) with Strategy Guidance Note aimed at city, region and national level decision-makers in public and private sector, which bridges the economic database model (from WP2) to urban governance contexts, and provides a framework for its application with wider, qualitative valuation techniques.

Published Papers

  • Black D, Scally G, Hunt A, Orme J. We must look further upstream to enable planetary health-literate urban development. Lancet Planetary Health. Available from:
  • Black D, Scally G, Orme J, Hunt A, Pilkington P, Lawrence R, et al. Moving Health Upstream in Urban Development: Reflections on the Operationalization of a Transdisciplinary Case Study. Global Challenges [Internet]. Available from:
  • Scally G, Black D, Pilkington P, Williams B, Ige J, Prestwood E. The application of ‘elite interviewing’ in health research: a record of process and lessons learned during a three-year pilot in urban planetary health research. Journal of Urban Health. Accepted with minor revisions.
  • Black et al. (2020) Overcoming systemic barriers preventing healthy urban development in the UK: main findings from interviewing senior decision-makers during a three-year planetary health pilot. Journal of Urban Health. Accepted with minor revision.
  • Black et al. (2020) Tackling Root Causes Upstream of Unhealthy Urban Development (TRUUD): Protocol of a Five-Year Prevention Research Consortium. Wellcome Open Access. Accepted with minor revisions.
  • Black et al. (2020) Pandemics, Vulnerability and Prevention: time to fundamentally reassess how we value and communicate risk? Cities, Health and Covid-19: Initial Reflections and Future Challenges. Cities & Health.

Building the systems approach

We are using a critical systems approach to build conceptual models to help us to understand the problem that TRUUD is tackling. The conceptual models will represent views held by different stakeholders about decision-making for urban developments and how public health may be impacted.  To build these models, we will use group workshops and qualitative data from TRUUD interviews.

Using systems methods enables us to consider the whole decision-making system for urban developments (including interconnected systems).  By doing this, we can identify the challenges we face and potential solutions to improve public health, linked with urban design, in the future.  Systems methods and tools being applied in TRUUD include boundary critique, interdependency mapping and system dynamics modelling.

Our Systems expert, Dr Neil Carhart, led a webinar in April 2020 to introduce systems approaches. This video provides a helpful beginner’s overview of systems methods and ways that we might use systems approaches in TRUUD.  Look out for the cuddly cobra in his slides!

Looking for more information?

Find out more about public involvement (WP4)