Call for abstracts: “Social policy and health inequalities: An international perspective”, Montréal, Canada, May 7-9 2014

May 7-9 2014 - Montreal, Canada

Quebec Inter-University Center for Social Statistics (QICSS)

In contrast with inequalities in health that stem from biological differences brought about by age or genetics, social inequalities in health are mutable and avoidable, as they are affected by public policies. In recognition of the importance of these social influences on population health and inequalities, the World Health Organization adopted in 2012 the resolution WHA62.14 endorsing the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (SDH).

Through this resolution, member states recognize the existence of social determinants of health and pledge to implement actions outlined in the Rio declaration, among which to “monitor progress and increase accountability to inform policies on SDH”. The success of this monitoring depends notably on the availability and quality of population data and its careful analysis through designs or methods allowing for causal inference.

The primary objective of the 2014 QICSS International Conference Social policy and health inequalities: An international perspective is to showcase the leading edge of international research on the impact of social policies and programs on health inequalities. Abstract submissions are invited on research pertaining to high-income economies (as per the World Bank classification), and covering the full range of the causal pathway leading from the unequal distribution of resources to health inequalities. We understand social policy as encompassing the entire realm of deliberate political action that affects individuals’ access to goods and resources in a given society.

Potential topics for submissions include, but are not limited to:

 *   What are the promises and limits of social statistics for the study of the determinants and the consequences of health inequalities?
 *   How do we assess and navigate the existing frameworks of indicators of health inequalities, and from there, apply them to the appropriate questions? In particular, how can we bridge the research-policy divide and promote integrated knowledge translation?
 *   What methodological or data developments could improve our estimation of causal relationships between social determinants and health inequalities?
 *   What are the conditions and the characteristics of data infrastructure that optimize access to and use of data?
 *   What can we learn from different forms of data (administrative, population surveys, etc)?
 *   How can health inequalities and policy data be used to compare the situation within and between high-income economies?  What are the scope and limitations of such comparisons?
 *   What are the best practices in measuring policy impacts on health inequalities, including through program evaluation? What’s missing?

The conference aims to encourage international exchanges in order to demonstrate the range of research practices and outputs, as well as to stimulate debate between the key stakeholders in this research process: organizations that produce statistics, researchers and users from both policy departments and civil society.

Please note that there will be simultaneous translation available, so abstracts (and presentations) can be in either Canadian official languages (French and English).
The text of the call is also available at

Abstracts can be submitted on-line, in French or English, on the conference's website by September 1, 2013.  Simultaneous translation will be available throughout the Conference. Responses to the authors will be forwarded no later than end of November, 2013.

For more information, please contact Jean Poirier

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