Despite widespread recognition that more preventative investment could reap great benefits to society and the public purse, it remains a marginal component of expenditure.
At nesta we want to apply an innovation lens to prevention, helping to understand the different stages involved and the resources available to enable the benefits to be more effectively realised. We also want to identify the areas where innovation is lacking, such as in prediction tools, financing or implementation, helping prompt further work in this space.
This paper starts by introducing prevention, outlining the current spending on preventative measures, the benefits of these, and also potential limitations. The second section of the paper outlines the stages involved in developing a preventative strategy. These are introduced sequentially, but care should be taken not to interpret them as a fixed chronology, there is no blueprint available for developing and implementing a successful preventative strategy.
Instead we hope these can act as a prompt to stimulate debate with the ultimate goal of increasing spending on prevention in the areas where it is appropriate. In addition, we would like to emphasise that the paper is not complete and the resources not exhaustive, therefore we hope this document will be a live set of resources that we can add to, amend and adapt going forward.