How to Use this Guide
The last decade has seen an emergence of toolkits, resources, and guides developed to provide public health professionals and practitioners with the knowledge and skills to eliminate health disparities and advance health equity. These resources have provided the field with helpful tools with which to better understand the conceptual distinction between health disparities and health equity (which is further explained under the section Defining Health Equity), the root causes and historical drivers of health inequity, and the key environmental factors and community conditions that shape health outcomes. This new web-based guide builds upon this foundation by synthesizing the array of resources in the field into a comprehensive framework that embeds equity within institutional transformation. The critical first step to advancing health equity is ensuring that institutional infrastructure and operations — from what language is used, how activities are structured, how programs are funded, and how staff are trained — are internally aligned with equity principles, even before institutions continue the ongoing external work to advance health equity through programs and services. In this regard, we include important strategies for operationalizing equity not always found in other resources, such as strategies for building internal infrastructure, sustainable leadership, effective communication and framing, and using data.
How to Use this Guide
Building a Movement, Transforming Institutions, a web-based-guide, was developed to support both veteran and aspiring health equity leaders seeking to transform public health institutions — from local and state health departments to research centers — and embed health equity into their day-to-day practices to solve systemic challenges in their neighborhoods and regions. The guide will also equip public and nonprofit health leaders with practical step-by-step guidance on how to implement effective practices, build coalitions and partnerships, advance policy change, conduct communications, and develop and use health equity indicators. This guide includes existing tools and resources in the field that offer an equity-centered conceptual framework, common language, guiding principles, as well as examples from leading institutions across the country that are engaged in these efforts.
Strategies to Institutionalize Health Equity: Tools for institutionalizing health equity are organized into eight broad strategies: 1) Defining Health Equity; 2) Building Leadership for Health Equity; 3) Organizational Capacity Building for Health Equity; 4) Leveraging Institutional Capital for Health Equity Sustainability; 5) Coalition Building and Partnerships for Health Equity; 6) Research and Evaluation for Health Equity; 7) Framing and Communications for Health Equity; and 8) Policy Advocacy to Institutionalize Health Equity.
Each strategy section includes promising strategies to embed equity, a list of relevant online tools and resources, as well as an example of how a specific tool has been used to institutionalize health equity.
- Embedding Equity in Practice: Promising practices to institutionalize health equity are provided in each strategy section based on a synthesis of frequently utilized approaches, activities, and decision-making processes within public health departments and academic institutions. These promising practices describe broad ways to embed equity within an organization using a variety of tools.
- Tools and Resource Links: Several tools and resources for institutionalizing health equity are included in each strategy section. Links to web-based videos, webinars, assessments, papers, handouts, and case studies are provided.
- Examples: Examples for how a specific tool has been used to institutionalize health equity are provided at the end of each strategy section. The example tool presented is intended to be emblematic of other tools included in the same section.