Health Equity and Policy

Health Equity and Policy focuses on the scope and potential for public policies and programs to promote population health and health equity. Governments increasingly accept health promotion and reduction of disease through action on the determinants of health as a central and urgent goal of public policy. Led by Professor Fran Baum, this area of research is based on a collaborative research approach aiming to produce policy relevant research.


Key areas of expertise

  • Social determinants of health
  • Health equity
  • Policy analysis
  • Health in All Policies (HiAP)
  • Health impact assessment (HIA)
  • Neighbourhoods, Communities, Housing and Health
  • Work and Health
  • Ethics, law and equity


Current Projects

Understanding how the policies of Australian governments can promote health through action on the social determinants of health and health equity (website)
Centre of Research Excellence on Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRESDHE): Policy research on the social determinants of health equity
Does a Health in All Policies approach improve health, well-being and equity? NHMRC project grant (website)
Investigators: Professor Fran Baum, Dr Elizabeth Harris, Professor Ilona Kickbusch, A/Prof Colin MacDougall, Professor Dennis McDermott , Dr Angela Lawless
The impact of a Rapid Equity Focussed Health Impact Assessment (EFHIA) on local planning for after hours care to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
Investigators: Dr Elizabeth Harris, Professor Fran Baum, A/Professor Marilyn Wise, Dr John Furler, Dr Angela Lawless, Dr Patrick Harris, Mr Ben Harris-Roxas, A/Professor Lynn Kemp
Theorising and understanding how policy processes affect uptake of evidence on social determinants of health and equity in Australian health policy
Investigators: Professor Fran Baum, A/Prof Colin MacDougall, Dr Lareen Newman, Professor Dennis McDermott, Professor Jennie Popay, Professor Sir Michael Marmot
A pilot study to examine the role of Australian Local Governments in addressing the Social and Economic Determinants of Health to reduce Health Inequities.
Investigators: Dr Angela Lawless, Professor Fran Baum, Dr Katy Osborne

Selected Publications

  •  Kickbusch, I., Williams C., Lawless A. (2014). “Making the most of open windows; establishing Health in All Policies in South Australia” International Journal of Health Services (Special Issue on Inter-sectoral Action for Health) 44 (1).
  • Baum, F., Ollila, E. and Pena, S. (2013). A History of Health in All Policies. In Health in All Policies, Policy Decisions and Implementation.
  • Ollila, E., Baum, F. and Pena, S. (2013). Health in All Policies: concepts, values and policy developments. In Health in All Policies, Policy Decisions and Implementation.
  • Baum F, Laris P, Fisher M, Newman L,  MacDougall C  (2013)“Never mind the logic, give me the numbers”: Former Australian health ministers' perspectives on the social determinants of health Social Science & Medicine 87:138–146.
  • Haigh F, Harris E, NG Chok H, Baum F, Harris?Roxas B, Kemp L, Spickett J, Keleher H, Morgan R, Harris M, Wendel A, Dannenberg A (2013) Characteristics of health impact assessments reported in Australia and New Zealand 2005–2009 Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health i doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12102
  • Baum, F., Lawless A., Delany T., MacDougall C., Williams C., Broderick D., Wildgoose D., Harris E., McDermott D., Kickbusch I. and Popay J. (2013). "Evaluation of Health in All Policies: challenges, concepts, theory and application." WHO Technical Paper, prepared for 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Helsinki, Finland, 10-14 June, 2013.
  • Lawless A; Williams C; Hurley C; Wildgoose D; Sawford A & Kickbusch, I (2012) Health in All Policies: Evaluating the South Australian Approach to Intersectoral Action for Health. Canadian Journal of Public Health 103 (Suppl. 1):S15-S19.
  • Baum F, Lawless A, Williams C (2013) Health in All Policies from international ideas to local implementation: policies, systems and organizations, in Carole Clavier and Evelyn de Leeuw Health Promotion and the Policy Process: Practical and Critical Theories (eds) Oxford University Press
  • Baum F., Fisher M. & Lawless A.  (2012) Health equity in Australia. In Raphael, D. (Ed.) Tackling health inequalities: Lessons from international experiences. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, pp. 63-92 [online].
  • Baum, F. and Fisher, I. (2011). Action on the social determinants of health - what does Australia need to do? In Martin Laverty & Liz Callaghan, ed. Determining the Future: A fair go and health for all. Ballan, VIC: Connor Court Publishing, pp. 17-29.

  Civil Society Project Report (DOCX 60KB)

Significant Past Projects

Health in All Policies – Evaluation of Health Lens Analysis (HLA) projects
Investigators: Dr Angela Lawless, Dr Lareen Newman, Mrs Catherine Hurley
Partners: SA Health Health In All Policies Unit

Digital Technologies as 21st Century Determinants of Health & Wellbeing
Investigators: Dr Lareen Newman, Mrs Kate Patel and Professor Fran Baum
Partners: names & links go here

Health in Planning Evaluation
Investigators: Dr Angela Lawless, Dr Kathy Arthurson, Julie Johns
Partners: SA Health Health Promotion Branch

The effectiveness of  Health Impact Assessment conducted in Australia and New Zealand
Investigators: Dr Elizabeth Harris, Professor Fran Baum, Mr Ben Harris-Roxas, A/Professor Lynn Kemp, Professor Jeffery Spickett, Dr Helen Keleher, Professor Mark Harris, Richard Morgan, Andrew Dannenberg, Dr Decharut Sukkumnoed, Dr Arthur Wendel

Key Staff

Professor Fran Baum AO

Director Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Welfare



Dr Toni Delany-Crowe

Research Fellow


Dr Matt Fisher

Senior Research Fellow


PhD Students




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 Emma George




Jane Fitzgerald

'The social determinants of health and psychological wellbeing: improving the health of all through broad based policy and intersectoral action.'


PhD and Masters by Research

We offer a dynamic and supportive environment for postgraduate students. For enquiries please contact Southgate Institute on or Director of Health Equity and Policy, Professor Fran Baum.