The demands and tensions surrounding evidence-based policy (EBP) as part of results-based management have frequently indicated a gap between these concepts and the complex nature of health promotion interventions. This article discusses the challenges associated with the conceptual field of Health Promotion and the requirements for "proof" of effectiveness and efficiency faced by managers, evaluators, and local agents in the development of inter-sector health programs. The authors identify the limitations of epidemiological trials for the evaluation of social policies and use arguments related to "theories of change" in order to discuss the relationship of the "constructs" in the social policy intervention model and provide the basis for the "analysis of the contribution" of its effects. Systematic reviews of the "realist synthesis" type are discussed, due to their capacity for highlighting the theoretical framework of a specific program and explaining the underlying action mechanisms common to different programs and/or contexts. The authors argue that the expression and maintenance of expected social changes require the construction of collaborative processes, considering the set of (bottom-up) stakeholders involved in all stages of the process of developing and evaluating interventions.
Program evaluation; Health promotion; Evidenced-based policies