Since 2011, MACHEquity has been developing innovative national policy databases and merging them with rich sources of household survey data. We apply a variety of statistical analyses to estimate the impact of these national policies on population health and health inequalities, prioritizing the outcomes highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals and the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals. By expanding the evidence base on interventions that influence the social determinants of health, our research program can help improve maternal and child health outcomes, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
A six-year project (2011-2017), MACHEquity works closely with other academic, non-governmental, and government institutions to develop relevant research questions and disseminate findings. In our work with external partners, we try to create strategic two-way relationships that inform the topics we work on and influence how our research is used, striving to make a real difference on the ground. Our approach is consistent with the strategy recently described by Brownell and Roberto (2015)*:
We want to create a positive feedback loop in which external partners and researchers share expertise and topics of interest; jointly develop research questions that are relevant and have the potential to influence policy change and subsequently health outcomes; perform analyses that can evaluate policy impact; and share results widely with specialist and non-specialist audiences, welcoming a new generation of change agents to the process.
As of 2015, we have developed rich longitudinal databases on national policies that include education, minimum age of marriage, minimum wage, maternity and parental leave, breastfeeding breaks at work, unemployment insurance and family cash benefits, and child labour. MACHEquity is open to collaboration with new external partners and collaborators. We look forward to hearing from you!
* Brownell KD, Roberto CA. Strategic science with policy impact. The Lancet 2015; 385 (9986):2445-2446.