INRICH, formed in 2008, arose out of a research collaboration between Professors Louise Séguin (Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada) and Nick Spencer (University of Warwick, UK). Leading researchers in the area of child health inequalities and equity from Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, and Australia have joined the network.
At our inaugural workshop in Montreal in 2008, we set ourselves specific objectives. Since then we have expanded our membership of active researchers in the field up to 90 and we have held annual workshops. Students and post-doctoral fellows have presented and actively contributed to the workshops and to INRICH research collaborations. One of our member’s PhD students experienced a student exchange from University of York to Université de Montréal in 2012. We have established one major on-going collaborative research project, funded in 2012 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), published two systematic reviews in international peer-reviewed journal.
We intend to establish a systematic programme of work with policy makers and our CIHR-funded project incorporates work with policy makers and knowledge users.
INRICH MISSION STATEMENT : The International Network for Research on Inequalities in Child Health (INRICH) aims to share and advance knowledge and research into inequalities in child health and well-being, in child health and social equity and child policy by establishing a scientific community in which research priorities can be identified, collaborative projects established and new researchers encouraged. Our aim is to inform policy that will promote social equity in child health.
- To bring together international researchers who are active in the area of child health and social inequalities and equity in industrial and developing countries
- To share with INRICH members the latest scientific research findings and methodological approaches in the field
- To support and facilitate collaborative research between INRICH researchers from different disciplines and from different countries in the field of child health inequalities and equity
B. Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows
- To promote and support the development of future and new researchers in the area of child health and social inequalities and equity
C. Research in child health and social inequalities and equity
- To ensure that, in the future, child health and social inequalities and equity have a higher profile in health inequalities and equity research and publications
- To identify research priorities in child health and social inequalities and equity
- To promote and initiate collaborative research into pathways and mechanisms of, and on interventions on child health and social inequalities and equity
D. Policies for child health equity
- To promote and initiate research into policy approaches to achieving social equity in child health
- To share this knowledge with policy makers, practitioners, and professional organisations and NGO responsible for policies and programs concerning child health and social equity
INRICH FUTURE VISION
- We envisage that the network will become a valued and productive forum for active researchers in the field of child health and social inequalities and equity:
- We will identify the key researchers in this field from both industrial and developing countries and recruit to the network the majority of them.
- We envisage that the network will provide a cutting edge forum for scientific knowledge exchanges on child health and social inequalities and equity:
- The INRICH network has already held successful high level workshops, in Montreal, Canada (November 2008), Coventry, UK (November 2009), Recife, Brazil (November, 2010), Rotterdam, Netherlands (June 2012) and Stanford, USA (June 2013).
- We will hold annual INRICH workshops to bring together INRICH members for scientific presentations, discussions and exchanges on relevant issues related to child health and social inequalities and equity. As has been the case since the beginning, the INRICH workshops will alternate between America and Europe.
- INRICH will promote research exchanges between members for their sabbatical leaves.
- The INRICH webpage currently allows for posting members’ CVs, news and relevant scientific articles. It will be extended to facilitate discussions between members on issues of interest.
- We envisage that the network will provide a large perspective on child health and social inequalities and equity to students and post-doctoral fellows interested in this field:
- The INRICH workshops will continue to provide an annual forum for students and post-doctoral fellows interested in child health and social inequalities and equity to give presentations of their results and to receive comments from INRICH researchers.
- INRICH will support and facilitate internships exchanges for PhD students and post-doctoral fellows to work with INRICH researchers in different settings. There will be a person as liaison to support and facilitate these exchanges.
- We envisage that the network will be a platform for knowledge synthesis and systematic reviews bringing together evidence related to child health and social inequalities, equity and policy:
- In order to identify research priorities in this field, INRICH researchers will collaborate to summarise and clarify the current state of knowledge on various issues in child health and social inequalities and inequity. These systematic reviews will be published in high level scientific journals.
- We envisage that the network will be a platform for collaborative studies
- Given funding opportunities in members’ countries we will encourage INRICH members to prepare and submit further collaborative project(s) which make use of data and expertise from different countries.
- We envisage that the network will play an important role in knowledge transfer to policy makers and practitioners in fields related to child health and social equity
- INRICH members will make links with and start discussions with policy makers at the local, regional and national levels with a view to knowledge transfer;
- INRICH members will publish knowledge synthesis on child health and social inequalities and equity oriented toward policy makers and practitioners involved in policies and programs for children and their families.
INRICH Research Priorities
We identified the following research priorities that can be conducted by members of our network:
1. Pathways and mechanisms
- Cumulative and additive social risk exposures (e.g. transient v. persistent poverty);
- Stress and allostatic load;
- Social into the biological and epigenetic;
- Intergenerational influences
2. Methodological issues
- Methods for examining change over time including longitudinal effects studies
- Need to define poverty
- Need to study social gradients as well as poverty
- Multi-level studies - Society, Family & Individual
- Regional studies (within countries)
- Which indicators?: for example, perception of health vs. objective measures of health (these may be more reliable in studying mechanisms)
- Root cause analysis to inform policy change.
- Children’s rights & equity – research into effective use as tools to reduce child health inequalities Policy innovation
- What works in reducing child health inequalities?
INRICH International Projects/Comparisons
We strongly encourage collaborative works that are conducted in a comparative basis within or between countries. The following is a list of non exhaustive potential topics of great interest to our members.
- Societal and policy level influences – what kinds of societies promote child well-being and why?
- Examples: role of wealth transfer; comparing social gradients in child health outcomes across countries; role of paid maternity leave; role of breastfeeding promotion; using LCHD framework to explore how policy in different countries impact on children’s developmental trajectories
- Comparing social gradients in perinatal health indicators, in different countries. Risks differences versus risk ratios. (Nick & Anders to explore)
- Policies and their relationship to health outcomes. Funding being applied for and would welcome collaborators to study data
- Design study using standard measures in, for example, 2 neighborhoods in Montreal, 2 in Brazil, 2 in UK.
- Studies based on current cohorts – comparative secondary analysis of outcomes and relationships with social phenomena (extension of Dr. Louise Seguin and Dr. Nicholas Spencer’s work using ELDEQ & UKMCS)
- Studies on impact of current international situation: changes in economy, families moved into poverty, impact on children’s health and well-being
- Studies of safety nets in different countries
Luby, J., Belden, A., Botteron, K., Marrus, N., Harms, M. P., Babb, C., Nishino, T., Barch, D. (2013). The Effects of Poverty on Childhood Brain Development: The Mediating Effect of Caregiving and Stressful Life Events. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(12), 1135. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3139
Jednoróg, K., Altarelli, I., Monzalvo, K., Fluss, J., Dubois, J., Billard, C., Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Ramus, F. (2012). The Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Children’s Brain Structure. PLoS ONE, 7(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042486
Lucie Lévesque, coordinator:
INRICH : firstname.lastname@example.org