Economic and Non-Economic Measures and Tools – Evaluating the health and wellbeing benefits of nature based health interventions

Drawing from a database of some of the latest research evidence created as part of this SWEEP project, as well as from wider publicly available evidence, this resource presents a list of some of the economic and non-economic measures and tools most commonly used to measure health and wellbeing outcomes.

For centuries, people have found solace and respite through nature. Now, increasing evidence shows that the benefits of spending time in nature extend beyond ‘feeling good’ to longer term improvements in our physical and mental health, and wellbeing. This has resulted in a growing number of environmental projects aimed at improving public health through a variety of interventions. These include activities that increase the extent and access to green and blue spaces, enhance the quality of these spaces (both ecologically and the physical infrastructure they provide) and the programmes of activities that aim to enhance their use.

At a time of rapidly escalating mental and physical health concerns and costs, coupled with an ever increasingly competitive funding environment, there is an urgent need to develop more robust business cases that ensure continued and appropriate investment into this area. In order to strengthen business cases, practitioners and funders need to better understand, and be able to communicate about, the effectiveness of nature-based health projects. To do this, they need access to the latest evidence around evaluation metrics and approaches suitable for evaluating the impacts and outcomes of programmes that invest in the environment for health.

The resource will benefit individuals and organisations who are planning or implementing interventions in green and blue spaces, whether they are from the environmental management, urban planning and public health sectors or voluntary sector organisations. It will also be of interest to funders and policy makers working in this space.

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Additional case studies

Report
Published: March 2022
Edwards-Jones, A.
Fileman, E.
Abrahams, R.
Wheeler, B.
SWEEP, University of Exeter
Edwards-Jones, A., Fileman, E., Abrahams, R., Wheeler, B. (2022) Economic and non-economic measures and tools for evaluating the health and wellbeing benefits of nature based health interventions. This SWEEP resource was produced as part of the Investing in Nature for Health project.
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