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Health Equity Research and Development Unit Research

The Health Equity Research and Development Unit (HERDU) is a District Service in partnership with the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity (CPHCE) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney.

HERDU work in partnership with health services, organisations and communities to identify and reduce existing inequities in health and to prevent inequities in health from arising in the future. We collaborate with staff, consumers and communities to conduct high quality research, develop skills and capacity, and support local health service policies and plans to improve health equity. 

HERDU supports Sydney Local Health District and helps to facilitate its commitment to developing a local health system that is committed to equitable access to quality health services for the community, as well as creating opportunities and environments that improve health.

Sydney Local Health District's vision is to achieve excellence in health and health care for all. The HERDU partnership aligns with the District's strategic priorities to maximise the benefits derived from integrating systems to deliver truly integrated care.

There are three focus areas that HERDU uses to support the District to reduce health inequities.

Research Conducting high quality research to identify underlying structures and beliefs that shape health inequities, to develop effective actions to prevent, reduce or eliminate inequities in health, and to evaluate the impact of implementation.
Service Development Re-orienting local health services, policies and plans towards improving health equity. Working with government, non-government, private and community organisations to identify and address the social determinants of health inequity. 
Capacity building and education Developing leadership skills and capacities to increase health equity, through training of District staff, partner organisations, communities and students.

Our Research Team

Associate Professor Fiona Haigh Director
Associate Professor Marilyn Wise  Senior Academic Advisor
Dr Christopher Standen Applied Urban Development Fellow
Dr Esther Alloun Research Associate
Miriam Olliek  Strategy, Engagement, and Communications Manager

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$360,000 Henry Halloran Trust, 2022 - ongoing
Transport for Urban Sustainability and Health (T4USH).
Investigator: Standen C.
$298,327 The Australia and New Zealand School Of Government Limited, 2022 - ongoing
Co-govenarnce and trust.
Investigators: Li B, Raven M, Katz I, Bates S, Haigh F.
$86,350 Sax Institute, 2022
Client Experience Measures: (i) Evidence Check review and (ii) Developing a question bank.
Investigators: Harris M, Barr M, Katx I, Haigh F, Sitas F, O'Callaghan, Willianson M, Kerns R.
$39,600 CESPHN, 2022 - ongoing
Liver Toolkit Evaluation.
Investigators: Barr M, O'Callaghan, Kabir A, Willianson M, Haigh F.
$20,000 NSW Department of Communities and Justice, 2022 - ongoing
Review of the Waterloo Human Services Action Plan.
Investigators: Barr M, O'Callaghan, Willianson M, Haigh F.

Our Publications


Alloun E. Investigating Strength Based Approaches: A SLHD discussion paper (2022). HERDU
Anaf J, Baum F, Fisher M, Haigh F, Miller E, Gesesew H, et al. Assessing the health impacts of transnational corporations: a case study of Carlton and United Breweries in Australia. Globalization and Health. 2022;18(1).
Clifford B, Wood L, Vallesi S, Macfarlane S, Currie J, Haigh F, et al. Integrating healthcare services for people experiencing homelessness in Australia: key issues and research principles. Integrated Healthcare Journal. 2022;4(1):e000065.
Cobbold A, Standen C, Shepherd L, Greaves S, Crane M. Multimodal trips, quality of life and wellbeing: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Transport and Health. 2022;24.
Greaves S, Beck MJ, Cobbold A, Standen C, Rissel C, Crane M. Working from home, health and wellbeing consequences of a pandemic. ITLS Working Papers 2022. Sydney, Australia: The University of Sydney; 2022.
Greaves S; Beck M; Cobbold A; Crane M; Standen C, 2021, 'Changing Work Practices, Active Travel, Health and Well-being during a Pandemic', in Australasian Transport Research Forum 2021 Proceedings, Brisbane, Australia, presented at Australasian Transport Research Forum 2021, Brisbane, Australia, 08 December 2021 - 10 December 2021
Haigh F, Williams C, Jacques M, Diablo T, Solar O, Lin V, et al. Subplenary - Improving Governance for Health: Can COVID-19 provide lessons for working across sectoral boundaries. 24th World Conference on Health Promotion. Online.
Harris, P., Harris-Roxas, B., Prior, J., Morrison, N., McIntyre, E., Frawley, J., Haigh, F. . . . Kwan, B. (2022). Respiratory pandemics, urban planning and design: A multidisciplinary rapid review of the literature. Cities, 127, 103767. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2022.103767
Jaques K, Haigh F, Zapart S, Beer M, Peisley G, Calalang C, et al. Inter-sectoral policy partnerships: a case study of South Western Sydney's Health and Housing Partnership. International Journal of Housing Policy. 2022.
Mengesha Z, Alloun E, Weber D, Smith M, Harris P. "Lived the Pandemic Twice": A Scoping Review of the Unequal Impact of the COVID‐19 Pandemic on Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Migrants. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;19(11).
Mengesha Z, Alloun E. Asylum seekers and undocumented migrants lived the COVID-19 pandemic twice but were left out to struggle. 2022. https://intouchpublichealth.net.au/asylum-seekers-and-undocumented-migr…
Mistry SK, Shaw M, Raffan F, Johnson G, Perren K, Saito S, et al. Inequity in Access and Delivery of Virtual Care Interventions: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;19(15):9411-.
Nutbeam D, Harris E, Wise M. Theory in a Nutshell: a practical guide to health promotion theories. 4th edition. Sydney, Australia: McGraw Hill Education. 2022.
Page J, Broady T, Kumar S, de Leeuw E. Exploratory Visuals and Text in Qualitative Research Interviews: How Do We Respond? International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2022;21.
Sitas, F., Harris-Roxas, B., White, S., Barr, M., Haigh, F., & Harris, M. (2022). Smoking cessation on discharge summaries. Medical Journal of Australia. doi:10.5694/mja2.51792
Standen C. Interventions Designed to Support Physical Activity and Disease Prevention for Working from Home: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;20(1).
Wanjau MN, Möller H, Haigh F, Milat A, Hayek R, Peta L, et al. Physical activity and depression and anxiety disorders in Australia: a lifetable analysis. AJPM Focus. 2022:100030.
Wise M, Harris E, Finlay P, Nutbeam D.  Working together: collaboration for health: A practical guide. Sydney: Sydney Local Health District. 2022.