Since 2004, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) has sought to generate insights and evidence, support new approaches, and inform and influence action to improve health and tackle inequality.
Working with a wide range of stakeholders, we conduct research of direct relevance to policy and practice; facilitate and stimulate the exchange of ideas, fresh thinking and debate; and support processes of development and change.
Our activities are directed towards four main aims:
- To create and test new models for understanding the patterns, and causes, of Glasgow's enduring poor health while identifying potential solutions and actions for improvement.
- To bring excellent and innovative population health research together with the work of policy makers and service providers to accelerate and strengthen processes for better and more equal health.
- To develop greater capacity for effective action to improve health through educational processes and events, provision of regular communications, and organisational and professional development.
- To be a focus for the exchange of ideas, independent thinking, analysis and debate about population health and health inequalities, linked with similar activities elsewhere in the world.
We also have five guiding principles that underpin our work:
Taking a long-term view: We exist to support the development of a healthy, fair and sustainable future by building a rich body of knowledge, insight and commitment to support change over time.
Our long-term focus on core themes of work is combined with our ability to be responsive to emerging priorities and to opportunities that fit our unique remit. This is enabled by the nurturing of networks incorporating research, policy, implementation and community perspectives.
Being evidence-centred and ethical: We gather and work with new and existing data from a variety of sources to generate knowledge that is translated, through reflexive processes, into practical, research-based intelligence and insight for people in policy and practice roles.
Using creative approaches: Focusing on longstanding challenges to health and equity, we encourage fresh thinking and new approaches which span traditional boundaries and foster innovative collaborations.
There is an emphasis on active engagement with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, using a range of dissemination and learning methods to support action for a healthier future. Thereby, we seek to enable different types of knowledge about health and equity issues to be recognised and to support the development of new ways of working.
Being collaborative yet challenging: We are founded on a partnership approach but maintain a distinctive, independent voice to inform policy and practice. We have a unique position where we are of, but not in, the partner organisations. We seek to act as a critical friend to those shaping efforts to improve Glasgow’s health and reduce health inequalities.
Attending to capacity and context: A range of skills and backgrounds are present in our staff team, and considerable emphasis is placed on ensuring that our work is informed by, and relevant to, global, national, local and organisational contexts. We offer development and capacity-building opportunities through embedding staff within partnerships and structures and through hosting training placements and secondments.
This approach brings new perspectives into our team and the collaborating organisations, building relationships, access and influence that will strengthen efforts to improve Glasgow’s health and reduce health inequalities.
Our current work programme is focussed on four main themes: understanding Glasgow’s health; urban health; poverty, disadvantage and the economy; and asset-based approaches and resilience. Further information on each of these can be found on our work themes pages.
Learning and impact
Since our inception we have endeavoured to ensure that our work is not only disseminated widely but is informed by, and relevant to, those working across the city and beyond to improve health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities.
We use a range of ways to communicate and disseminate our work including:
- Publications – reports, briefing papers and journal articles;
- Events and face-to-face engagement including seminars, conferences and meetings;
- Online – our websites, regular e-newsletters, multi-media outputs, blogs, infographics and social media
- Media/PR – including coverage in print, online, radio and television.
These channels are vital in ensuring wide communication and dissemination of our work. However, we know that changes in policy and practice often require not only the dissemination of evidence or ideas, but also the establishment of mutual relationships that allow learning to be acted upon. At the core of our work therefore, are close and collaborative partner relationships at every stage of the process. We find that these close collaborative relationships cultivate trust, allow challenging findings to be considered and facilitate the two-way learning that enhances the relevance of our research.
Further background information on the establishment of the Centre, our ways of working and our work programmes and themes can be found in the GCPH booklet (PDF).