PW 1571 ‘Safety in all policies’ – perspective in implementation of the national target programme for the prevention of home and leisure injuries 2014−2020 in finland

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Abstract

Injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in Finland, leading to almost 2 500 premature deaths annually (5,5 million inhabitants). The Target Programme aims at 25 percent reduction in serious injuries and injury deaths by 2025. Aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation of the 92 actions of the programme in order to set the priorities.

The implementation was studied using the policy analysis of Health in All Policies (HiAP) to clarify, what has led to success in implementation in some, but has been challenging in other actions.

During the first half of the programme period, the reduction of injury deaths has been in line with the targets. Among the sets of actions, safety culture was improved and awareness of safety issues was increased through cooperation between organisations and communications on safety. Common vision, values, gains and outcomes lead to successful implementation, as well as scientific and financial ground, firm leadership and realistic timeframe. Working together without silo effect was a strengthened force. Implementation of some actions, especially including legislative changes, wasn’t not achieved due to the lack of political will. Prevention of injuries is a continuous effort and is everyone’s concern.

The Target Programme was seen as a textbook example of ‘HiAP programme’: it deals with ‘wicked problem’ as for preventing a manifold range of injuries, there is no simple solution. Some actions are easier to tackle than others, which leads to different level of implementation. Acceptability, willingness to cooperate, and feasibility, resources and capacities to act, were at the core of an implementation process. Incompatible priorities, lack of resources or insecurity regarding effectiveness of policies were seen as a hindered factor in implementing actions. The concept of ‘Safety in All Policies’ (SiAP) fits for injury prevention work.

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