Work programmes and cross-cutting themes

Our work programmes incorporate our dual focus on understanding the causes of health inequalities and identifying and supporting the implementation of solutions. Our current work programmes are focused on four main themes: action on inequality across the life-course; understanding health, health inequalities and their determinants; sustainable, inclusive places; and innovative approaches to improving outcomes. 

Action on inequality across the life course

This programme seeks to better understand the influence that poverty and new and emerging experiences of inequality have on health. It recognises that poverty and inequality exert powerful and varied influences over the course of people’s lives (in early years, working age and later years) and is focused on developing knowledge about the changing influences at these different life stages. In addition to evidence generation, it aims to support action on inequality through developing proactive and preventative responses.

Understanding health, health inequalities and their determinants

This programme provides analysis to support the developing understanding of trends in health, inequalities and their determinants, to identify emerging issues and to support the development of policy responses through recommendations. This is achieved through analysis across national, city and local levels and against international comparators. The analyses produced are also important in informing, shaping and supporting elements of work across our workplan and other work programmes. The outputs are also used widely in the city and beyond.

Sustainable, inclusive places

This programme of work supports processes of change to help Glasgow become a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable city. Inequalities in health, income and associated outcomes limit opportunities and access to elements that are the foundation of a healthy and meaningful life. These elements include: education; public transport; physical activity; healthy food; safe play; and social connections. This programme of work seeks to inform and support policy, partnerships and practice to promote fair and equitable access to healthy and sustainable environments. Evidence, evaluation and engagement with partners are utilised in relation to key priorities nationally and locally including urban planning, transport, open space, economic growth and sustainability.

Innovative approaches to improving outcomes

This aim of this programme of work is to support the shift in policy and practice towards new ways of working grounded in prevention, a focus on promoting healthy life expectancy and community-based responses to population health improvement. This responds to a combination of challenges around demography (such as an ageing population), the increased contribution of psychosocial disease conditions as a proportion of the disease burden and resource pressures associated with inequalities and reduced public sector spend. There is an emphasis on supporting innovative practice, policy and intervention.

These work programmes and our annual workplan are informed and shaped by our local and national priorities.

Cross-cutting approaches

They are also shaped by eight cross-cutting approaches which reflect the distinctive features of how we work. The identification and use of these cross-cutting approaches ensures they are well represented across each of our work programmes. Our eight cross-cutting approaches are:

Work programmes and cross-cutting themes diagram

Future thinking: An understanding of the complexity and unpredictability of the future has been a feature of our work since we were established in 2004. This cross-cutting approach aims to support the adoption of principles and practice which can help the city be ready for future stressors and challenges which may not yet be on the radar.

Analysis of trends in health and improved understanding of inequality and its causes: This cross-cutting approach supports the use of existing evidence around the patterning of health inequality to help in the prioritisation and justification of new work and to support the framing of existing projects.

Promoting social justice and perspectives on tackling poverty and inequality: This cross-cutting approach recognises the centrality of inequality in the structuring of health outcomes and that action across multiple domains (societal, economic, communities and individuals) is necessary. Its purpose is to reflect and promote the centrality of poverty and inequality in our identification of priorities, formulation of new work, recommendations and evidence briefings.

Supporting the shift to prevention, service integration and new ways of working: This cross-cutting approach responds to wider contextual and resource challenges to support the continued delivery of impact through helping our partners to use evidence and insight to shift practice and inform policy and investments in a pragmatic manner.

Innovation in evidence generation and research practice: This cross-cutting approach ensures an appropriate degree of methodological innovation across our workplan and links existing and emerging work with new and promising perspectives.

Collaboration and supporting partner priorities: This cross-cutting theme helps ensure that we maintain a focus on partner priorities and alignment of our work to support partner outcomes. This approach also applies to maintaining and developing relationships with organisations with and beyond our core partners and identifying opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange such as through strategy reviews and consultation requests.

Supporting participation, community engagement and empowerment: This approach builds upon our experience and expertise in the development of evidence and innovation in relation to understanding and supporting participation, community engagement and empowerment. It aims to embed community engagement and empowerment activity across our work programmes.

Communications and knowledge translation: This promotes the ongoing development of effective means of communicating and translating knowledge to support action to improve health and reduce inequalities. It responds to our established reputation for high quality and accessible communications that consider a range of audiences in developing different outputs and approaches.