Knowledge Translation for Healthy Ageing: the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES)


Start of project: May 2017; First draft: November 2017; External review & consultation: December 2017; Completion of project: May 2018

Implementing partners:

National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology

Location of research:


Total Budget:
90,000 USD


This project sought to identify effective strategies to produce quality scientific evidence regarding the determinants of good health among older people and how to translate such knowledge into public health policy and practice. Specifically, it looked at the tools and strategies that have been instrumental for the success of the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) in advancing social epidemiological research on ageing and health, and in influencing local and national government policies to be more responsive to the needs of an ageing population.

Project Background

The JAGES is the largest longitudinal survey of community-dwelling older adults in Japan. It takes a social epidemiological approach to understand the causes of health problems and inequalities in health at older age. It is especially notable for its strategic engagement with local and national governments to accelerate both the scientific research and the application of evidence to policies and programmes.

The project aimed to:

  1. Describe the strategies employed by JAGES to collaborate with local governments to conduct large-scale surveys of older adults.
  2. Review the body of scientific evidence accumulated by JAGES and its policy implications.
  3. Demonstrate effective methods for communicating research evidence to policy makers and practitioners, including the data visualization tool --JAGES Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool.
  4. 4. Illustrate JAGES’ impact across diverse municipalities using the examples of Kobe (Hyogo prefecture), Matsudo (Chiba prefecture) and Taketoyo (Aichi prefecture).


JAGES stands as a model of translating evidence to policy.

Approaches that enhanced JAGES’ success included ensuring mutual benefits for researchers and municipal administrators, offering tools to facilitate the use of research evidence in policy making, and disseminating evidence for action in policy, practice and research.

The main output of the project is a monograph detailing the JAGES research methodology and key findings with respect to knowledge translation for healthy ageing. It was produced to facilitate adaptation of the tools and strategies of JAGES to other settings. The monograph also includes illustrative examples of how these processes have worked in practice in Japan.

Research Team

Lead Institution: National Center for Geriatrics & Gerontology (NCGG)
Katsunori Kondo (PI), Director, Gerontological Evaluation Unit, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, and Professor & Director of the Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University
Hamamatsu University School of Medicine
Toshiyuki Ojima, Professor & Chair, Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine
University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Health
Naoki Kondo, Associate Professor, Social Epidemiology & Public Health and Chief, Department of Health Education & Health Sociology
Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry
Jun Aida, Associate Professor, Department of International & Community Oral Health
Nihon Fukushi University
Masashige Saito, Associate Professor
WHO Kobe Centre
Megumi Rosenberg, Technical Officer

Example of a data visualization produced by the JAGES. Inequalities in the proportion (%) of older people (65 and over)
who have been certified as eligible for and in need of long-term care by municipalities in the Kanto Region.

Project output

Monograph: Advancing universal health coverage through knowledge translation for healthy ageing: lessons learnt from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study

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