Toward Health Equity: A Tool for Developing Equity-Sensitive Public Health Interventions

From the Public Health Agency of Canada

This tool draws on existing research- and practice-based evidence about interventions to address social, environmental, and material conditions that contribute to differences in health.

It uses healthy weights as a case example, however its main elements may be applied to a range of population health topics. The tool is intended to be used when an initial assessment of the available evidence shows that a health inequity exists (i.e. there are systematic differences in risk, protective factors, or rates of illness/injury across the population). A number of guidelines exist to support this type of assessment, such as PROGRESS-Plus.1

The tool aims to integrate health equity into public health practice through five concrete steps to consider when developing an intervention. It may be used to inform the design of a new intervention or to adapt an existing one. By following the steps, the user is guided to think about which equity elements are relevant and possible ways to address them. Each element
is explained in the accompanying text.

This tool does not explore the role of specific settings (school, home, work) or the unique factors within settings that can influence the effectiveness of interventions.”

You can see the full-size version of the diagram, “Toward Health Equity: A Practice Tool” here.