The “Health doesn’t start with health care” Knowledge Mobilization Project- BC-618

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Journalism / Media studies and communication, Social Sciences & Humanities
Company: Generation Squeeze
Project Length: 6 months to 1 year
Preferred start date: 09/25/2021
Language requirement: English
Location(s): Flexible, Canada
No. of positions: 2 - 4
Desired education level: Master'sPhD
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About the company: 

Generation Squeeze is a force for intergenerational fairness, to improve Canada’s wellbeing, powered by the voices of Gens X, Y, Z and those who love them  – all backed by cutting edge research. See

The mandate of Generation Squeeze is to expose the systemic roots of the social, economic, and environmental challenges facing younger generations in order to identify and advocate for equitable solutions to improve health and wellbeing.  Generation Squeeze promotes health and wellbeing by focusing on the social determinants of heath and advancing health in all policies. We believe the way to improve wellbeing is through improving the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age – conditions that are deteriorating for younger Canadians.

Generation Squeeze is a national collaboration. The Vancity Community Foundation is the entity through which charitable activities are delivered. The Association for Generational Equity (AGE) is the home for the non-profit social enterprise. Research is coordinated by Dr. Paul Kershaw in the Gen Squeeze Research and Knowledge Translation Lab at the School of Population & Public Health in the University of British Columbia.

Describe the project.: 

Research shows that government spending on social programs (e.g., poverty reduction, housing, child care, etc.) often has a stronger association with population health indicators than does public investment in medical care.

Evidence-to-Policy Gap: Unfortunately, Canadian public finance has deviated from this evidence. A large and growing proportion of provincial budgets has gone to medical care since 1976, while social spending is much lower. This gives rise to concern that medical spending crowds out spending on the social determinants of health, which will compromise Canada’s recovery from the pandemic.

Proposed Solution:  Our goal is to design and implement knowledge translation (KT) plans that will address this concern. This work will require building common cause across health and social sectors – beginning with public health, housing, poverty, and child care, as key areas of policy interest in Canada today. Coalition building efforts will include outreach and engagement with sector leaders, translating existing evidence into accessible and appropriate knowledge translation tools, and developing concrete policy recommendations informed by evidence about the balance between social and medical care spending. 

Results will include: shared messaging on why social investments advance health; and collective action on a single metric that can be used and tracked by diverse sectors to inform their policy proposals.

Main tasks to be performed by the candidate:

  • Blog posts, Info graphics and Video vignettes to communicate key messages about the evidence.
  • Podcast/webinar dissemination of key evidence, ideas and communication tactics as part of a “Solution Series”

Methodology/techniques to be used: Techniques commonly learned by students studying journalism, communications, marketing and/or film.  These will be supplemented with on-site learning.

Required expertise/skills: 

We welcome applications from Masters and PhD students studying journalism, communications, marketing and/or film.