Exploring Agenda-Setting for Healthy Border 2010: Research Directions and Methods
Policy makers take action largely on issues that attain the pinnacle of the policy agenda (Pertschuck, 2001). As a result, how decision makers choose which issues are important has been the subject of much research. Agenda-setting conceptualizes the process of how issues move from relative unimportance to the forefront of policymakers’ thoughts (Dearing & Rogers, 1996). An area within agenda-setting research, Health Promotion Agenda-Setting, provides Health Promotion practitioners with an innovative framework and strategy to set agendas for sustained courses of action (Kozel, Kane, Rogers, & Hammes, 1995). In this interdisciplinary and bi-national exploratory study, funded by the Center for Border Health Research of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, we examine agenda-setting processes in the Paso del Norte Region and evaluates how the public health agenda is determined within the U.S.-Mexico border population. Integrating both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, the current research is focused on identifying deficiencies in the public health infrastructure in the U.S.-Mexico border area, and identifying channels that exist for working toward the bi-national goals presented in Healthy Border 2010 (U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, 2003). Research directions, design, and methodologies for exploring health promotion agenda-setting in applied settings, such as Healthy Border 2010, provide health practitioners and policy makers the potential to improve public health leadership by influencing the public health and policy agendas.