Increasing attention to ethnicity and migration within applied public health and health inequalities research

Project lead: Sarah Salway, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield

What are the aims of this project?

Typically, public health intervention and health inequalities research pays little attention to race/ethnicity and migration.  At the same time, the English population continues to become more diverse – around 13% of its registered population was born outside the UK according to the 2011 census.  This project aims to begin to redress this marginalisation at both the local and national level.

Why is this important?

It is a matter of social justice and fairness that public health research and policy efforts reflect the increasing diversity of society.  The effectiveness of intervening in health inequalities is potentially undermined if the disadvantages faced by ethnic minority and migrant populations are not addressed.

How will the research be carried out?

We have planned a range of complementary activities to meet the aims of the project, including: (i) assessing current data availability and opportunities for enhancement; (ii) mapping current understanding of health needs and health inequalities linked to migration status and ethnic identity; (iii) identifying capacity development needs among public health researcher and practitioners to generate and apply evidence in this area; and (iv) building partnerships across research, policy/practice and the public.

Timeframe

June 2017-May 2018

Who is undertaking the research?

The research is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort being led by Professor Sarah Salway at the University of Sheffield and includes the contribution of: Sara Rodgers, Katie Powell, Liz Such, Maria Zubair, Daniel Holman (Sheffield), Clare Bambra, Vicki McGowan (Newcastle), Louise Lafortune, Caroline Lee (Cambridge), Yoav Ben-Shlomo (Bristol), Sonia Saxena (Imperial), Matt Egan and Sarah Milton (LSHTM), Lois Orton (Liverpool).

How are stakeholders engaged?

An extensive network of stakeholders have agreed to participate in the research, including local and regional practice partners and national practice/policy partners, as well as public collaborators. Consultations with stakeholders are built into the project plan.  This will include interviews, small group discussions, and workshops.

What will be the outputs from the study?

The project will increase awareness and capacity development among public health practice and research communities and help build networks across academia, practice and the public.  As part of this overall impact strategy, we will: produce various briefing papers with recommendations for research and practice; hold a regional and a national workshop; write an academic paper based on a review of policy documents; develop a new research proposal based on learning from the project.  As a whole, these outputs are designed to prepare the ground for concerted research on ethnicity and migration in public health to help to redress current imbalances.

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