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Optimizing potential impact Print E-mail
Module 3: Optimize Potential Impact
Ontario Public Health Practioners

Refer to the integrated theoretical model to help decide who else needs to be involved

Identify stakeholders in the socio-ecological systems you’re trying to change. For example, for an organizational intervention, you might need to involve managers, while a policy intervention may need ministry officials involved.

Plan to integrate stakeholders both horizontally and vertically

On top of other resources, a successful intervention takes a range of program staff and community stakeholders working together to give you ideas, support your activities and lobby decision makers. Horizontal integration brings together stakeholders across sectors of the system — perhaps various government sectors such as health, education, justice and agriculture, as well as non-government organizations. Vertical integration brings together various levels of government, whether that’s a blend of municipal and provincial or national or even international. (Ontario Ministry of Health, 1997).

These variations on integration can be combined, or used singly:

  • Horizontal integration within the system might mean you draw on the opinions, insights and direct services of your local mental health and addiction organization in an intervention to address substance abuse among youth.
  • Horizontal integration across the system could see you turning to stakeholders outside health for an intervention on homeless young people. Experts from health, education, non-government organizations and housing services could all help out.

For an example of horizontal integration refer to Example 9 - Socio-ecological assessment: HIV/AIDS in Kenya project.

Vertical integration means you’re working with more than one government, or level of government. Vertical integration can save money. Some population health issues such as homelessness should be tackled across a province or even nationally, rather than trying for local solutions.

As you develop your interventions, draw on partners and networks you’ve worked with before, but always look for potential new players who should be involved.

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 May 2009 17:58