Building a Health Equity Advocacy Field in Colorado

Recognizing the essential role of advocacy and policy change in achieving health equity, The Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Advocacy (HEA) strategy aims to establish a field of health equity advocates who can strategically promote policy changes that create opportunities for all Coloradans to lead healthy and productive lives regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or where they live. The HEA strategy is a multi-year funding strategy made up of a partnership of 18 direct service, community organizing, and policy advocacy organizations (the HEA cohort); The Colorado Trust; and Social Policy Research Associates (SPR). This funding strategy began in 2013, and is expected to continue at least through 2019 and possibly beyond. The first few years of the HEA strategy have served as a critical time for building relationships across the HEA cohort, and for building a strong foundation and infrastructure to support the advocacy work.

Social Policy Research Associates has the honor of serving as the strategic learning and evaluation partner in the HEA strategy. The evaluation documents and assesses the progress made toward the creation of a robust health advocacy field, identify challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned to support further progress, and provides ongoing learning opportunities for grantees as a means to reflect on and refine activities, tactics, and strategies.

Seeds of the Field: Case Studies of HEA Cohort Organizations

These case studies highlight the health equity advocacy work of the 18 HEA cohort organizations and illustrate growth in both individual and collective capacity to “seed” an emerging health equity advocacy field in Colorado.

Engaging Affected Populations in Health Equity: An Emerging Framework in Colorado

Cover of HEAS Phase I Report This paper presents a framework developed by SPR in collaboration with the HEA cohort to assure authentic engagement of affected communities at multiple points in their health equity advocacy—including at the front end of surfacing issues, developing change agendas, bringing community stories to the fore in advocacy campaigns and assuring that on-the-ground implementation of successfully passed policy is faithful to its intentions.
Download the Engaging Affected Populations in Health Equity: An Emerging Framework in Colorado Report

Health Equity Advocacy Strategy: What is the Evaluation Framework?

Cover of Health Equity Advocacy Strategy: What is the Evaluation Framework? Report
The HEA evaluation is guided by an evaluation framework designed to do justice to the innovative nature of the field-building work, while still maintaining flexibility to capture the unexpected and respond to any emerging needs that might arise within the cohort. The framework builds upon key concepts in field building and community-driven change research, and integrates shared understanding generated from the HEA cohort.
Download the Health Equity Advocacy Strategy: What is the Evaluation Framework? Report

Phase 1 – Building Foundations for Change

Cover of HEAS Phase I Report The paper documents the key efforts and outcomes during the Phase 1 (a 2014 six-month planning phase) where 34 organizations—selected to represent the diversity of stakeholders involved in advancing health equity in Colorado—convened to co-create the Health Equity Advocacy (HEA) Strategy.
Download the Phase I Report

Phase 2 – Progress and Lessons Learned in Health Equity Advocacy Field-Building

Cover of HEAS Phase II Report This report summarizes the Phase 2 journey (2015 – 2016), reports outcomes at the organizational, cohort, and field-levels, and closes with initiative-level lessons learned and considerations going forward.
Download the Phase II Report

State of the Field: Findings from a Scan of Colorado’s Emerging Health Equity Advocacy Field

Cover of State of the Field scan This field scan report describes the composition of the health equity advocacy field in Colorado; examines connections within the field; discusses the current state of the field; and offers considerations and reflections for the continued growth of the field.
Download the State of the Field: Findings from a Scan of Colorado’s Emerging Health Equity Advocacy Field