The Future is Public Health

Some of the greatest opportunities to transform our society and achieve a healthy, inclusive, and sustainable future lie in public health. With three focused priority initiatives, over the next five years IPPH will work with Canada’s population and public health research community and stakeholders to tackle some of the biggest health challenges and inequities of our time.

Healthy Cities – amplifying impact

Canadian researchers have already been instrumental in identifying what makes a city healthy, yet challenges remain in scaling this research into real-world applications that benefit everyone. With 82% of Canadians now living in cities, and urbanization a growing global trend, research on implementing tested interventions is essential for maximizing the health-promoting potential of urban environments.

Equitable AI – activating opportunities

Artificial intelligence approaches like machine learning provide new opportunities for public health to both advance health equity through the analysis of complex, multi-layered, multi-modal data, as well as design impactful solutions that draw on a far wider range of insights. Public health must also champion the ethical use of AI to minimize the potentially harmful effects of bias in AI-generated evidence and to ensure algorithms are designed equitably.

Global Health Policy – applying evidence

Canadians are frequently invited to work with international partners to tackle complex global health challenges and improve health for all. With new responsive funding mechanisms and strategic networks, public health can make even greater contributions in addressing global health emergencies and developing evidence-informed health policies that achieve global impact.

IPPH Strategic Directions 2018-2023

Our approach:

IPPH will use the full range of mechanisms and tools available to advance shared priorities and catalyze broader systemic impact. More than just funding, we are also leading, convening, engaging, communicating, advising, governing, and evaluating.

Healthy Cities – Funding, leading, convening, engaging, governing, advising
Objectives Activities Tools
Strengthen Canada’s global leadership in healthy cities research Supporting opportunities for large-scale, interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral, pan-Canadian intervention and implementation science initiatives in urban environments Funding, leading
Train future researchers in implementation science for healthy cities Developing a national strategic training initiative for doctoral and post-doctoral students on the science of implementing tested solutions in cities Funding, convening
Support evidence use in urban planning and policymaking Facilitating opportunities for healthy cities research to be co-owned by researchers, policymakers, implementers, and the communities they serve Engaging, governing
Equitable AI – Leading, convening, communicating, engaging
Objectives Activities Tools
Catalyze new research areas at the intersection of AI and public health Seeding interdisciplinary collaborations among AI and public health researchers, especially on the ethical, legal and social challenges of AI Convening, funding
Build capacity to use AI approaches in public health research Launching a national summer school for graduate students and early career researchers to learn AI skills and apply them to public health challenges Leading, engaging
Nurture dialogue about the use of AI in public health decision-making Starting discussions on the benefits, challenges and opportunities of applying AI generated evidence to policies, practices and programs Convening, communicating
Global Health Policy – Governing, evaluating, funding
Objectives Activities Tools
Position Canada to be a leader in global health emergency research Identifying mechanisms to rapidly fund public health research during global health emergencies Governing, evaluating
Bolster policy-relevant research on challenges with global implications Investing in key global health research areas such as antimicrobial resistance and chronic disease prevention Funding, advising
Pursue opportunities to Institutionalize the use of evidence in global health policymaking Mobilizing networks of researchers, research funders and policymakers, especially around social science research on infectious diseases Funding, governing

View our past strategic plans: Strategic plan 2009–2014Strategic plan 2015–2018.

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