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Health Equity Mainstreaming Strategy 2020-2024

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Executive Summary

The work of the ARC NWC is underpinned by a commitment to reducing health inequalities and, as a result,
improving people’s health and wellbeing. This strategy addresses our approach to promoting health equity
mainstreaming. It takes a systematic approach to effect change in our culture, ensuring our thinking and
actions on the wider social determinants of health are integrated into all activities involved in the research
process and implementation of findings.


Integrate health equity considerations in applied research activities

• Engage ARC NWC themes, members and the public in health equity mainstreaming
• Review ARC NWC member organisations strategies/policies on health equity to inform our approach, allow
collaboration and ensure consistency.
• Ensure all research activities use the Health Inequalities Assessment Tool (HIAT) and/or other relevant health
equity tools to guide their research.
• Provide guidance to ARC NWC themes, members and public advisers on the general principles involved in
incorporating health equity in their research.
• Support ARC NWC themes, members and public advisers in applying health equity considerations in their
research, helping to identify and problem solve the differing challenges found. Provide guidance to others
through developing exemplars focusing on different research designs.
• Evaluate the impact of health equity mainstreaming on the conduct of research (short-term), provision of
services (medium-term) and the population’s health and wellbeing (long-term).
• Review and refine ARC NWC’s approach to health equity mainstreaming.

Increasing competencies, capabilities and awareness of health equity

• Collaborate across the ARC NWC to improve knowledge and expertise in health equity mainstreaming,
producing educational and training materials, conducting training sessions (face-to-face, on-line and selfdirected) and organising a seminar series.
• Develop a strategy for communicating the importance of health equity, our approach to addressing it through
research, the support and resources available, and the progress the ARC NWC has made in reducing the effects
of inequalities.
• Identify, engage and support advocates in ARC NWC member organisations and the public to champion the
importance of adopting health equity mainstreaming.
• Recognise ARC NWC’s good practice and achievements through publicising and rewarding impact.

Strengthen institutional mechanisms for health equity mainstreaming

• Establish a health equity sub-group to promote networking among those interested in health equity, educate
on best practice, and support the conduct of methodological and applied research.
• Support research with a focus on factors that support health and wellbeing rather than on causes of disease
(salutogenesis not pathogenic) and on the unequal distributional impacts of policies on health and wellbeing.

Engaging and Involving Patients, the Public and Communities

• Collaborate with ARCNWC Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement on providing guidance and training
to public advisers and the wider community on health equity.