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You are here: Home Modules Module 1: Conduct a Socio-Ecological Assesment Using theory in your socio-ecological assessment
Using theory in your socio-ecological assessment Print E-mail
Module 1: Conduct a Socio-Ecological Assesment

A review of socio-ecological theory can help you identify which interventions to choose and which socio-ecological levels to target with your multiple intervention programs

Thinking about how inequities are created and maintained will help you identify which determinants and socio-ecological system levels your multiple intervention program should address. Your choice of interventions to reduce health disparities will depend on your fundamental assumptions about:

  • the nature of society and what makes it change
  • the function of the state, including its role as mediator or oppressor; and
  • your organization's fundamental values

At this stage in your assessment, a review of socio-ecological theory can help identify and explain:

  • the role of the determinants of health
  • the existence and persistence of social inequities
  • the role of the state; and
  • the social, community, and individual changes required

It may be helpful to consult social scientists for information on theories about the social determinants of health. Social theory examines both how society as a whole functions and how the state (government) functions. You will need to describe the underlying values of your intervention approach (Refer to Box O - The Social Justice Approach) in order to identify theories that suit your ideas on how society is constructed. (Refer to Box M - Theories to understand the social determinants of health). Since public health is an important responsibility of the state, ask yourself what role the state should have in changing the social conditions that determine health.(Refer to Box N - The state and social determinants of health). Finally, you may want to pay particular attention to theories that examine how social policies create or reduce health inequities.(Refer to Box U - Can health inequities be reduced).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 12:36