The NCCDH has launched a 20-month participatory initiative to test ways to develop organizational capacity to advance health equity (project overview). The project, called the Organizational Capacity for Health Equity Action Initiative (OCI), is using an international learning circle, working in tandem with two practice sites to learn what frameworks, strategies and organizational conditions are most useful and effective to develop and sustain Canadian public health organizational capacity for health equity action.
We are currently working with two organizations, each with a focus on a specific public health challenge of interest to multiple programs. The sites represent different organizational models (e.g., health unit, department within health authority) and differing contexts (e.g., rural and urban, and geography/population size served by department). The practice sites will engage in exchange and co-learning among the other sites involved.
For more information, please review the sections below or contact us.
Practice site projects
Ottawa Public Health
Practice sites serve as the heart of this project, and each is supported by an NCCDH knowledge translation specialist. The sites are designing and implementing organizational enhancement projects that are working towards organizational-level change. Learn more about the participating site projects below.
Interior Health (BC)
|Implementing a health equity lens in opioid overdose surveillance and reporting
The project aims to support the implementation of a health equity lens in the reporting, monitoring and surveillance practices related to the overdose crisis, guided by the Equity-integrated PHSR (EI-PHSR) action framework.
Ottawa Public Health (ON)
|Client and community engagement
OPH will develop a departmental client and community engagement framework and an engagement policy that incorporate a health equity/SDOH perspective.
Based on participatory learning and using resulting resources, at the end of the initiative, public health practitioners and organizations will be able to:
- describe components of organizational capacity needed to enable health equity action;
- understand the organizational enablers and barriers to health equity action; and
- identity tools to support health equity–oriented organizational capacity.
The initiative is led and facilitated by the NCCDH in collaboration with participants. The NCCDH serves as the convenor and provides direct support to the practice sites
The initiative will bring together both reviewed literature and emerging knowledge arising through research currently under way
Targeted evidence drawn from the published and a grey literature base will include organizational change/capacity methodology, as well as health equity theory, methods and tools — especially those aimed at organizational-level change. Experiential evidence, primarily from the practice sites, will be incorporated into the project’s evidence identification and assessment.
This project uses a learning circle to integrate evidence, expert opinion and practice-based innovation and learning. The learning circle is composed of practitioners and researchers, including representatives from practice sites.
Learning circle members will identify key health equity organizational capacity issues and challenges and will study these issues throughout the course of the initiative. The circle meets every two months.
Each meeting is a facilitated discussion on a specific theme. The discussion is supported by an evidence backgrounder. At the end of each meeting, the learning circle conversation will be synthesized, shared with circle members and translated in summary form.
The NCCDH hosted a series of webinars to discuss ways to strengthen organizational capacity for health equity.
The NCCDH also released a series of knowledge products related to the topics of the Organizational Capacity Initiative Learning Circles.
The NCCDH facilitated discussions on the OCI project.
Discussion 1: Addressing the social determinants of problematic substance use
Discussion 2: Can we check our privilege? Engaging with communities living with inequities
Discussion 3: Organizational capacity for health equity action
Evaluation is expected to incorporate:
- assessment of fulfillment of objectives;
- quantitative measures regarding adherence to plan, schedule, milestones, outputs and dissemination/reach;
- qualitative information regarding participant experiences;
- lessons learned; and
- improvements that can be applied to future projects.