This invitation to tender is now closed.

  • We are commissioning a partner to explore the extent to which government spend is preventative, with a focus on the wider determinants of health.
  • The project will have two elements: the development of a framework to assess the extent to which government spend prevents acute need, and analysis to establish how spend fits across the spectrum of activity set out by the framework. 
  • We anticipate bids up to a maximum of £65,000 (inclusive of VAT and expenses).
  • Deadline for responses is 12.00 on Friday 20 November 2020.

Governments tend to make short-term plans when it comes to designing policy and making spending choices. This lack of long-term planning can lead to a focus on meeting immediate acute need rather than tackling issues further upstream, to prevent problems arising in the first place.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the need for immediate action on long-term planning. As we move through recovery from the pandemic, the government will be expected to set out its vision for public services and the public finances.

Previous Health Foundation analysis has shown that the short-term approach taken during the austerity of the past decade leaned towards disinvestment in activities that support the conditions needed for maintaining good health. Reducing spend on such investments can create significant problems in the future.

A greater understanding of government prevention spending can help inform better planning and long-term spending decisions. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities and there is increasing national interest, and opportunity, for long-term investment and a sense of lasting commitment by government. 

About the project

This project seeks to explore how government spend fits along a spectrum of tackling acute need through to preventing problems from occurring in the first place, with a focus on the wider determinants of health. The research project will have two key elements:

  • development of a framework that can identify the extent to which national and local government spending fits within a scale of longer-term preventative activity through to shorter-term activity dealing with acute need.
  • application of this framework to existing government spend in the latest period where sufficient data exists (excluding spending on COVID-19) to establish how spend fits across the spectrum of activity set out by the framework.

The project will be led by a partner with expert knowledge of government accounting, with ability to provide analysis of government spend data and also develop a framework that can be applied to spend data. The Health Foundation will work closely with the partner and help to shape the project outputs,

We would expect the work to include consultation with other experts, potential users and interested stakeholders, with wider dissemination to be considered throughout the project. The Health Foundation will support the facilitation of testing with external stakeholders.

We are inviting applications for funding for a project with a duration of up to 9 months (including set-up time).

The project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2021 with dissemination work in autumn 2021.

How to apply

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please go through the following steps to complete your application. 

1. Important supporting information

All applicants must read the Invitation to Tender in full before completing the online application form.

2. The application form

All applications must be completed and submitted via our online system AIMS.

You need to first register on AIMS before you can complete the online application form. It is important that you register as your organisation rather than as an individual. Please include the contact details for the person you wish to be the primary contact for your application.

Full guidance on accessing, completing and submitting your application via AIMS can be found in the Applicants user guide. We recommend that you keep a copy of this manual to hand to refer to while you complete your application.

3. Deadlines

The deadline for online applications is 12.00 on Friday 20 November 2020. We will not accept late submissions.

We will respond to your application by 2 December 2020 and intend to begin interviewing shortlisted bidders week commencing Monday 30 November. Please ensure you are available for interview on these dates. We expect to inform applicants of our final decision by Friday 4 December 2020.

Please note: If you have any queries about the programme or application process, email

Further reading


Creating healthy lives

September 2019

This publication makes the case for an ambitious, whole-government approach to long-term investment...


Infographic: What makes us healthy?


To understand what shapes our health and wellbeing, we need to look at the bigger picture. This...

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