Examining an inclusive economic approach to improving health outcomes for diverse populations within the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic
The COVID‑19 pandemic has inequitably impacted Canada’s workforce and economy, disproportionately harming the health of those marginalized along lines of race, class, gender, age, ability, and sexuality. Inclusive economic strategies-a promising approach to equitable economic recovery-strive to raise living standards and create prosperity for all people (e.g., targeted “good job” creation for disadvantaged communities). EndPovertyEdmonton (EPE) is an organization convening agencies and companies using inclusive economic strategies. However, these agencies and companies report challenges to their implementation, like language barriers and discrimination. While EPE intervenes on multiple levels with government and industry, it is unclear which strategies lead to recruiting and retaining diverse people into good jobs (e.g., jobs providing living wages and benefits) and whether these jobs improve health. We will ask three questions: 1) how are inclusive economic strategies implemented to improve health outcomes for diverse populations within the COVID‑19 context? 2) how do these strategies affect health outcomes for diverse populations? 3) how has the pandemic affected workers’ perspectives regarding employment and their health? We will use qualitative and quantitative methods (interviews, surveys, participant observation, document review). Data will be collected with two groups: 1) staff at EPE and partnering agencies and companies implementing inclusive economic strategies; and 2) diverse workers (e.g., newcomers, women, LGBTQQIP2SAA). Methods include following a cohort of diverse workers who have been hired, trained, and retained in good jobs to assess effects on health outcomes (stress, quality of life, self-rated health) over time. EPE and partnering agencies and companies will be involved in interpreting findings, which will be shared as actionable information about how economic systems can be transformed to respond to systemic inadequacies exposed by COVID-19.