Public health and public policy / healthy public policy
Field of Research (FoR)
I am a senior research fellow and deputy director at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (chetre.org/). I am an applied public health social scientists who is interested in complex real world policy issues. I am fortunate enough to be co-located at UNSW and South Western Sydney Local Health District, where I represent CHETRE on the population health directorate. I focus on research that makes a difference at the...view more
I am a senior research fellow and deputy director at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (chetre.org/). I am an applied public health social scientists who is interested in complex real world policy issues. I am fortunate enough to be co-located at UNSW and South Western Sydney Local Health District, where I represent CHETRE on the population health directorate. I focus on research that makes a difference at the local level as well as connecting with national and international research, policy and practice. I am deeply interested in connecting data with theory as part of the research process. For example my research focusses on the practice of policy making (for instance strategic city planning / planning and delivering different types of infrastructure - transport, energy, digital) and brings in theories from political science and urban politics to explain the influences behind that practice.
I am also interested in cross-disciplinary working to progress healthy public policy. This includes transdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration, and understanding how governance and intersectoral action can be developed to improve health and wellbeing in public policy making.
I am experienced in teaching and running workshops to progress healthy public policy. This includes different processes like impact assessment, program logic, and realist evaluation. I have run workshops all over the world and nearly all Australian jurisdictions.
I am involved in several journals, including being a board member and associate editor for the journal Cities and Health (tandfonline.com/loi/rcah20)
I am president of the NSW Branch of the Public Health Association of Australia.
- Nykiforuk, C., De Leeuw, E., Harris, P., Hyshka, E., Montesanti, S., Pabayo, M., Springett, J. Social and Public Health Response to COVID-19: Intervening to address Financial Strain and Mental Health Consequences of the Pandemic. Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), 2020, $449,223 CAN
- Buckle, C., Gurran, N., Phibbs, P., Harris, P., Lea, T. Informal, marginal, and short-term accommodation under Covid-19: housing system risks and opportunities. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), 2020, $47,514
- Jan, S., Shanthosh, J., Harris, P. Haigh, F. et al. Institutionalising a whole-of-government approach to chronic disease prevention. The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, National Health and Medical Research Council, 2019-2020 - $200,000.
- Baum, F, McDougal, C., Harris P., Marinova, D., McDermott, D., Fisher, M. et al. Australian Research Council (ARC). Policy orientation of non-health sectors to social determinants of health, 2016-2019 - $699,000.
- Harris, P. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellowship: Collaborating to Create Healthy Built Environments: Including Health in a Land Use Planning System, 2015-2019 – $309,000
- Baum, F. Friel, S., Kay, A., McDermott, D, Labonte, R., Zeirsch, A., Strazdins, L., Harris, P. Mackean, T., Newman, L. NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Social Determinants of Health Equity: Policy research on the social determinants of health equity, 2015-2020 – $2,400,000
- Harris, E., Baum, F., Wise, M., Furler, J., Lawless, A., Harris, P., Harris-Roxas, B., Dennis, S., Kemp, L. The impact of an Equity Focused Health Impact Assessment (EFHIA) on local planning to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Canberra, 2012-2013 – $149,000
- Harris, P. NHMRC People Support PHD Scholarship to investigate how health impact assessment can influence public policy development, 2010-2013 – $77,000
PhD, Masters of Public Health, BA (Hons) Social Psychology
- International Association of Impact Assessment, Institutional Award, 2010 – NSW HIA Project
- Australian Health Promotion Association Ray James Memorial Award for excellence in health promotion research published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2010
My Research Activities
My research interests include health and health equity as cross cutting public policy issues, specifically within urban and regional planning and infrastructure policy and planning, and the use of impact assessment to improve public health. I have received research funding of Aus$6 million including fellowships and grants from the ARC and NHMRC.
Broadly my current research activities are as follows:
- healthy public policy / health in all policies
- 'health' political science: new institutionalism, governance and urban politics
- working with local government
- health and masterplans
- city deals
- infrastructure planning and delivery
- refugees and asylum seekers
- housing and health
- pandemics and cities
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Public policy, urban issues, environment, equity, social determinants
Qualitative methods, policy analysis, realist research
Brendan Clifford (Housing and Homelesseness and Health) - University of Sydney
I am co-located with South Western Sydney Population Health
- Buckle, C., Gurran, N., Harris, P., Phibbs, P., Shrivastava, R., and Lea, T. The Conversation, 2nd December 2020. What did COVID do to rental markets? Rents fell as owners switched from Airbnb https://theconversation.com/what-did-covid-do-to-rental-markets-rents-fell-as-owners-switched-from-airbnb-151095
- Harris, P. Healthy Urban Planning: Why is it so hard to achieve, and what might help? (Croakey, Dec 2019) https://croakey.org/healthy-urban-planning-why-is-it-so-hard-to-achieve-and-what-might-help/
- Harris, P. (Nov 19 Croakey) During catastrophic fire conditions, some timely questions for governments on climate policy: https://croakey.org/during-catastrophic-fire-conditions-some-timely-questions-for-governments-on-climate-policy/
- Harris, P., Jegosathy, E., The Conversation, 3rd December 2018, ‘Health impacts and murky decision-making feed public distrust of projects like WestConnex’ https://theconversation.com/health-impacts-and-murky-decision-making-feed-public-distrust-of-projects-like-westconnex-106996
- Harris, P., Harris, E., Riley, E., Kent, J., Sainsbury, P. The Conversation, 17 April 2018 ‘https://theconversation.com/with-health-assuming-its-rightful-place-in-planning-here-are-3-key-lessons-from-nsw-94171
- Schram, A, Baum, F., Fisher, M., Harris, P., Friel, S., Freeman, T. The Conversation, 22 June 2017 ‘Three Charts on: the NBN and the Digital Divide’. https://theconversation.com/three-charts-on-the-nbn-and-australias-digital-divide-78911
- Harris, P., Kent, J., Sainsbury, P. The Conversation, 2 March 2017 'The mysterious disappearance of health from New South Wales planning laws'. http://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-disappearance-of-health-from-new-south-wales-planning-laws-72098
- Harris, P., Riley, E., Kent, J. (2016). The Conversation, 17 November, 2016. ‘Why transport projects aren’t as good for your health as they could be’. https://theconversation.com/why-transport-projects-arent-as-good-for-your-health-as-they-could-be-68326
- Kent, J., Harris, P., Sainsbury, P. (2015). The Conversation December 15, 2015 'A healthy approach: how to turn what we know about liveable cities into public policy’. http://theconversation.com/a-healthy-approach-how-to-turn-what-we-know-about-liveable-cities-into-public-policy-50185
- Harris P., Armstrong, B. Kent, J. Op-ed: Mobile and healthy cities: can Australian policy catch up with the evidence? (Croakey 8th October 2015) http://croakey.org/mobile-and-healthy-cities-can-australian-policy-catch-up-with-the-evidence/
- Harris, P., Sainsbury, P. Should Mines Be Approved on Money Alone? The Conversation, 16 September, 2013. http://theconversation.com/should-mines-be-approved-on-money-alone-17782
Formal Policy Engagement
- Public Expert Witness: Sustainability of Energy Supply and Resources in NSW, 2020, NSW Parliament.
- Public Expert Witness: Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Territorial Limits Bill), 2020, NSW Parliament
- Health in Healthy Built Environment Principles for inclusion in the NSW standard online Development Control Plan, CityPlan for NSW Health, 2019
- Public Expert Witness: NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Westconnex (2018), NSW Territorial Limits Bill (2020)
- Expert Witness on behalf of NSW Environmental Defenders Office, 2015, 2017
I coordinate the Policy Studies unit PHCM9381