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Reflections on mainstreaming health equity in a large research collaboration: “If I can’t dance it is not my revolution"

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Publication date14/05/2022
Host publicationGlobal Handbook of Health Promotion Research: Mapping Health Promotion Research
EditorsLouise Potvin, Didier Jourdan
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783030972127
ISBN (Print)9783030972110
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The concept of health promotion emerged largely in the context of the Ottawa Chapter to acknowledge that socio-economic and political factors and inequalities shape health. But there are concerns that health promotion has been co-opted by the individualistic machinery of positivism that dominates much biomedicine in general. This creates a host of challenges for the way in which health promotion research is conducted. And researchers have a critical role to play in eliminating these by producing high-value evidence that informs better-tailored recommendations for policy and practice.

This chapter is about the response of a large English partnership organisation to the lack of an equity focus in health research. It highlights one way in which a health equity lens can be organisationally embedded in the institutions that govern and conduct health promotion research: its culture, processes, systems, projects and individual practices. A process that we described as health equity mainstreaming. Additionally, this chapter also reveals how our reflective practice throughout the process was essential to understand better how health equity mainstreaming could work (or not) in practice. We conclude by asking what Health Equity mainstreaming means for how the health promotion community should carry out research.