Research and policy work at the Wellesley Institute looks at the impact of the social determinants of health on health disparities. We seek to expand knowledge of the social determinants of health inequalities, and to identify interventions, strategies and policies that counter their impact and narrow the health gap.Our focus is on developing research and community-based policy solutions to the problems of urban health and health disparities. Our specific policy fields include: housing, health care, income/labour market inequality, and the interconnections between these social determinants of health. Cross-cutting themes in all this work include immigrant health, social innovation, and complexity and systems thinking in population health.
The Wellesley Institute is committed to conducting and supporting research that is locally grounded, shaped and informed by the particular experiences of communities. We believe this research offers unique insights and more nuanced information about the health and social experiences of diverse communities and advances knowledge and research in population health. This knowledge can help to guide health-related practice and inform public policy by identifying opportunities, or levers, for social change and mobilizing communities to take action on health disparities.
We draw on a range of methods and techniques: from quantitative surveys and statistical analyses, through comparative policy research and intensive place based projects, to qualitative interviews, focus groups and ethnographic techniques. The nature of this work can vary, but it is informed by participatory methods and a partnership approach with community stakeholders and decision-makers.