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A practice framework for building organizational capacity for health equity

This resource is also available in French.

Increasing capacity to incorporate health equity

Drawing on literature on existing frameworks, learning circle discussions and interventions at practitioner, organization and system levels, this document describes a framework consisting of eight interrelated components:

  • Lead and govern with equity
  • Develop a culture of equity
  • Fund health equity programs and policies
  • Build a robust and competent team
  • Generate and use knowledge and information to drive equity
  • Build multisectoral and community relationships to enhance action on the SDH
  • Design equitable infrastructure and spaces
  • Systems boundaries and size.

This resource explores how social and political contexts outside of the organization, including societal norms and government infrastructure, generate, influence and shape health inequities and an organization’s capacity to address them. This framework guides the reader through nuanced considerations for incorporating equity-focused approaches into new and existing processes.

The framework also builds on knowledge of how organizations change while considering complexities, context, existing processes and desired outcomes.  

Learning Together series

The practice framework is part of a series of knowledge products to be written to support the OCI, which is the second iteration of the NCCDH’s Learning Together series. The first Learning Together series offered resources related to population health status reporting and was released in 2012.

Use this resource to

  • identify areas where your organization needs to build capacity for action on health equity;
  • develop a plan to increase capacity for health equity action at practitioner, organization and system levels; and
  • learn more about changing interconnected elements within your organization.


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2020). A Practice Framework for Building Organizational Capacity for Health Equity. Antigonish, NS: NCCDH, St. Francis Xavier University.

Related resources

Tags: Leadership & capacity building, Learning Together, Methods & tools, Organizational Capacity Initiative (OCI), National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, Report / Document

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