HRiA’s Health Equity Framework and Approach

At HRiA, we have developed our own health equity framework – centered on racial equity – that guides both our internal policies and processes, as well as our work with communities, partners, and clients. This framework lifts up three foundational components to operationalize and advance health equity. 

Together with our clients, we: 


Challenge assumptions and narratives about what promotes and hinders health.

To understand and address why certain health outcomes and disparities exist, we constantly reflect upon and address the social, economic, and physical determinants of health that shape the conditions in which people live, as well as the historical and contemporary injustices and systemic oppression that create and perpetuate these conditions.

Specifically, we ask:

How do we challenge commonly held assumptions and narratives?

  • What are the narratives that are held?
  • Who or what is driving this narrative?
  • What narratives are hidden?
  • How is racism operating here? (Borrowing from the great Dr. Camara Jones)


Create and sustain authentic and diverse stakeholder engagement

To advance health equity and ensure solutions are appropriate and collectively owned, we consider ways to create and sustain authentic engagement of diverse stakeholders, including communities, sectors, leaders, and other individuals; furthermore, we continuously consider who the voices that are not included at the table, and modify approaches wherever possible. 

Specifically, we ask:

How do we create and sustain authentic and diverse engagement?

  • Who is included and how?
  • Who is left out and why?
  • Who benefits?
  • Who is harmed?


Strengthen capacity to correct power imbalances and address inequities

To transform unjust institutionalized policies and embedded practices that perpetuate inequities, we critically reflect upon the distribution of power in strategic approaches and decision-making and aim to shift and correct these power dynamics through capacity building and collaborative partnerships. 

Specifically we ask:

  • How do we strengthen capacity to correct power imbalances?
  • What are the power dynamics at play?
  • Who influences and makes decisions?
  • How can we correct power imbalances and shift power?

We aim to apply these foundational principles throughout any process, from assessment, visioning and planning, implementation, and evaluation. As we seek to advance health equity through our programmatic and policy approaches to disrupt external inequities and injustices within community, we are also developing and strengthening our internal policies and practices to transform our organizational culture.

Join us as we transform our systems to create a better world for all!

Learn about our framework in action in the HRiA blog.