How Can We Develop a Shared Analysis?
Develop a shared analysis with other agencies about government’s role in creating health equity (Read actions you can take below)
The U.S. government has always played a role in both creating and mitigating health inequities. Policies have contributed to the political, social, and economic marginalization of people of color, immigrants, Native Americans, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, women, and others. These policies include: American’s roots in colonialism and slavery; discriminatory laws around education, housing, transportation, and employment; and lack of protections for many disadvantaged groups.
It is important to create time and space for government staff to co-learn and reflect on this history, and to develop a shared analysis around the historical role of government in perpetuating “othering” and exclusion. The goal of this reflection is to help staff understand the birth of our current systems and structures, and our roles in changing them, rather than to point blame or assign guilt. Undertaking such an analysis will help agencies understand how communities perceive and distrust them, as well as consider actions that break from that historical context.
Case studies that develop a shared analysis
Actions to Advance Equity Using This Practice
Your leadership, staff, and department can take the following actions to develop a shared analysis:
- Work with agencies to advance a shared understanding of: 1) the historical role of government laws, policies, and practices that created and maintained inequities — particularly around race, 2) a definition of equity and inequity, 3) the difference between explicit and implicit bias, 4) the difference between individual, institutional, and structural racism, and 5) government’s role in repairing these harms
- Work with agencies to normalize conversations about race, racism, health inequities, power, and the social determinants of health
- Develop staff capacity to ask critical questions across government about the development of policies, practices, and investments — and how these might perpetuate or alleviate health inequities
- With government partners, use a health equity and/or social determinants framework to assess state and local policies that affect the social and economic factors contributing to health inequities
- Request data collection and analysis from other government agencies that aligns with health department data collection and analysis methods so that data are comparable across sector. Use the data to develop a shared understanding of community conditions that create health