Health inequalities are caused by a wide-range of conditions, which relate directly to the physical, social, and economic environment into which people are born and grow. They can therefore be reduced through policies and practices based on sound scientific evidence.
The recently launched DRIVERS project brings together leading organisations to review existing scientific evidence, develop guidelines for effective advocacy on health inequalities, and to test the newly developed knowledge in real-life situations on the ground across Europe. DRIVERS will ultimately produce recommendations for local, national and EU levels of government, researchers, practitioners and civil society organisations.
World-renowned scientists and experts are currently:
- Reviewing evidence on specific social factors that influence early childhood health (e.g. parental social class, parental education, parental employment, house tenure and material deprivation) and the effectiveness of existing interventions and policies.
- Improving our understanding of causal associations between socio-economic status, work conditions and health inequalities, reviewing the effectiveness of existing workplace interventions, and analysing statistical data collected as part of a UK-based back-to-work programme to gain insights into different kinds of disadvantage and (re-)entry into the labour market.
- Reviewing evidence about relationships between welfare states, income and health inequalities and examining the effects of youth unemployment, disability and income protection, welfare state institutions, and labour-market exit on health and health inequalities.
DRIVERS (2012-2014) is co-ordinated by EuroHealthNet in co-operation with expert research institutions, and networks of businesses and advocacy organisations. It is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013).