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What is Social and Economic Inclusion?

Social and Economic Inclusion & Population Health

Population health is grounded in the notion, confirmed by research, that many factors contribute to the health of individuals and communities, including income and social status, social support networks, employment and working conditions, education, gender, culture, physical and social environments and several other "determinants of health".

Key principles in a population health approach are:

  • promoting the direct participation of people in planning and decision-making on issues that affect their health and well-being;
  • initiating and strengthening organizational partnerships and collaborative effort across sectors to address the broad determinants of health and to pursue positive health outcomes; and
  • framing strategies for the development and implementation of healthy public policies, programs and practices.

The population health approach has contributed to the development of social and economic inclusion as a strategy for change at multiple levels in order to reduce the inequities that exist in society.

Social and economic inclusion is based on the reality that a variety of conditions exist and interact to exclude, "leave out", or "distance" people in many groups and sub-populations in our society. Economic inequality is frequently associated with conditions such as racism and vulnerability based on age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other life circumstances. Social and economic inclusion recognizes the multi-dimensionality of inequality that pushes the members of many groups to the margins of society (see Deep Distancing Analysis).

Social and economic inclusion focuses on these inequities as an issue of "closing the distance" between sub-groups and the larger society, which has become an organizing focus for the SPNO and participating communities in the Social and Economic Inclusion Initiative.

© Social Planning Network of Ontario