Social innovation for the promotion of health equity

Chris Mason, Jo Barraket, Sharon Friel, Kerryn O'Rourke, Christian Paul Stenta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of social innovations in transforming the lives of individuals and communities has been a source of popular attention in recent years. This article systematically reviews the available evidence of the relationship between social innovation and its promotion of health equity. Guided by Fair Foundations: The VicHealth framework for health equity and examining four types of social innovation-social movements, service-related social innovations, social enterprise and digital social innovations-we find a growing literature on social innovation activities, but inconsistent evaluative evidence of their impacts on health equities, particularly at the socio-economic, political and cultural level of the framework. Distinctive characteristics of social innovations related to the promotion of health equity include the mobilization of latent or unrealised value through new combinations of (social, cultural and material) resources; growing bridging social capital and purposeful approaches to linking individual knowledge and experience to institutional change. These have implications for health promotion practice and for research about social innovation and health equity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ii116-ii125
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Promotion International
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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