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Learning Together: Communicating to propel organizational capacity for action on health equity

Cette ressource est également disponible en français.

The practice framework is part of a series of knowledge products to be written to support the Organization Capacity Initiative, 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.

This 2021 resource from the NCCDH provides guidance for health equity champions and leaders at all levels of public health organizations on how to effectively communicate about health equity in order to build capacity public health action.

The document is based on a literature scan and the expertise of research and practice experts through a learning circle process.

Approaches to communicating about health equity

To build effective internal and external communication strategies on public health, the guide outlines key approaches to communicating about health equity to compel and sustain action within organizations.

Health equity champions and leaders are encouraged to emphasize several key approaches to health equity communications:

  • Create a realistic sense of urgency
  • Lead with shared values
  • Describe a clear vision
  • Make a rational and emotional case
  • Benchmark
  • Interpret and modify messages
  • Repeat messages
  • Disseminate information about progress

The guide also describes formal and informal channels that can be used to communicate about health equity. It also provides a number off practical tips for developing effective messages about the social determinants and health equity.

Use this resource to

  • increase your understanding of the role of communication in building capacity for health equity;
  • identify opportunities to increase capacity for health equity within your organization through effective communication;
  • strengthen the communication skills of health equity champions and leaders; and
  • develop well-designed, well-resourced internal and external communication strategies about health equity.


View other resources from the Organizational Capacity Initiative


Related resources

A guide to assessment tools for organizational health equity capacity (2020)

Public health leadership for action on health equity: A literature review (2018)


National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2021). Learning Together: Communicating to propel organizational capacity for action on health equity. Antigonish, NS: NCCDH, St. Francis Xavier University.

Tags: Competencies & organizational standards, Organizational capacity, Communication Strategies, Document, Report / Document, Learning Together