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Investing in Evidence-Based Prevention:

Supporting Health and Saving Public Resources 

May 2017

Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure? Can early investments really prevent future public costs? Ongoing questions around how public resources are used makes preventive strategies particularly appealing. Yet, determining what prevention programs work and whether they save money can be difficult. On May 30, 2017, the NPSC and the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) co-hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts who described ways to assess the cost-efficiency of evidence-based policy approaches that can improve health, reduce crime and delinquency, and increase economic security.


Specifically, speakers reviewed considerations for budgeting and investing in prevention at the federal level, including (i) examples of cost-effective policy tools from prevention science, (ii) interpreting the quality of economic and budget projection models, and (iii) a state-based model for comparing the value of policy approaches. A discussant on evidence-based policy further described efforts to replicate the cost-comparison tool across states.

Due to technical difficulties, this session was not videotaped. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Abi Gewirtz

University of Minnesota and the Society for Prevention Research

Introductory & Overview

(PowerPoint Slides)

Max Crowley

Penn State University and the National Prevention Science Coalition

The Science of Investing in Prevention

(PowerPoint Slides)

Bethanne Barnes

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

A State Model for Comparing Cost-Effectiveness

(PowerPoint Slides)

Steven Lize

Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative

Discussant Commentary

(PowerPoint Slides)

For more information about this briefing including additional literature, contact:

Taylor Scott, Ph.D., Research-to-Policy Coordinator

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