HDFS faculty member moderates panel on economics of preventive interventions

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Daniel Max Crowley, assistant professor of human development and family studies and faculty affiliate of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Penn State, led a conversation among stakeholders on May 2 in Washington, D.C., regarding "Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families," a consensus report recently released from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

A roadmap for moving forward, the report describes the potential for economic evidence to inform investment decisions about interventions that support the overall health and well-being of children, youth and families. The report also identifies the challenges to producing high-quality economic evidence, and offers recommendations for improving its use in policymaking and practice.

Crowley is a member of the academies’ Committee on the Use of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families that is sponsoring the stakeholder engagement event. The meeting provides an opportunity for representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss how to successfully implement the recommendations put forth in this new consensus report.

“This report provides key guidance not only on how to conduct economic evaluations of programs for children, youth and families, but also how policymakers can use this evidence to better invest public resources,” said Crowley.

As the director of the Prevention Economics Planning and Research Program (PEPR) within the PRC, Crowley’s research sits at the intersection of human development, economics and public policy.

Crowley’s work focuses on strengthening economic evaluations of preventive interventions, facilitating evidence-based policy-making through strategic investments in preventive services, and evaluating the utility of performance-based financing to access new resources for improving health.

“The growing demand for evidence of prevention’s potential return-on-investment provides a tremendous window of opportunity for researchers to inform public policy — but it will require making economic evaluation a common practice in behavioral research,” said Crowley.

Recognizing the value of high-quality economic evaluations, the PRC at Penn State has been increasing its capacity to conduct research on the fiscal impact of prevention practices and policies.

According to Diana H. Fishbein, director of the PRC, C. Eugene Bennett Chair in Prevention Research, and professor of human development and family studies, "Max is leading the charge to promote rigorous economic evaluations of intervention strategies and translate findings into impactful national policies. This line of work continues to be a top priority in the PRC."

Through the work of Crowley and fellow PEPR researcher Damon Jones, Penn State’s PRC is already responding to the recommendations in the Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families report, providing leadership around research on the economics of prevention that will help society invest public resources wisely.

The Webcast of the event can be viewed on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s website.

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Last Updated May 02, 2016