Closing the Gaps: Health Equity Research Initiative in India
India's rapid economic progress has its costs. There has been a significant increase in social and economic inequalities by class, caste, ethnicity, gender, and location. This project will address these inequities through sound, actionable, and measurable evidence. The project team's research will aim to provide insight that will encourage government and civil society to make equal access to health care a priority in their initiatives. India's shortage of research on health inequities The Commission on Social Determinants of Health highlighted the value of evidence in overcoming inequities. India has a shortage of rigorous evidence related to health inequities, and much of it is aggregated at the state or country level. The evidence is often fragmented across academic disciplines, practitioner circles, and civil society actors. Most of the studies fail to examine the combination of factors, pathways, and frameworks that influence how health equity issues are conceptualized, measured, and addressed through public policies. Garnering a more integrated and shared understanding of the state of health inequities in India is a step toward redressing inequities through evidence-informed programs, practices, and policies. Research to overcome the challenges This research project will bring together ideas, actors, and disciplines working to address health inequities in India. The research team will use a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach to create a health equity research agenda. This agenda will guide emerging health equity researchers in their work to -develop a series of bibliographies; -write working papers; and -conduct original research. Cross-disciplinary network to bridge gaps The project's activities will also include establishing a network of health equity researchers. The network has the potential to continue beyond the project's timeframe, as long as the demand for cross-disciplinary, rigorous evidence remains a priority for decision-makers, researchers, practitioners, and CSO groups. The researchers will provide much-needed analysis and results that inform current health equity challenges. The network can be called upon for ongoing analysis and translation of health equity research to address emerging and persistent challenges. Strength in collaboration and numbers The project will help increase the connections between previously disconnected researchers, civil society organizations, decision-makers, and practitioners working on health equity issues. The researchers will share their findings at national and international seminars, conferences, and workshops. They will be encouraged to publish their findings in journal articles, policy briefs, fact sheets, and news stories. The project will also serve to enhance the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies' reputation as a centre with expertise on cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research on health inequities in India.