IMPACT - Programme of work

The problem

Vulnerable populations have suboptimal access to quality community-based primary health care (CBPHC). Some initiatives may have (unintentionally) increased the gap between vulnerable populations and the rest of the community.

Australia and Canada’s health funding agencies (APHCRI, CIHR and FRQS) are together funding a participatory research program designed to co-create, new approaches to enhancing access for these populations.


Our  program of work based around six Local Innovation Partnerships (LIPs) and an international research team. Mixed methods will be applied to needs analysis, systematic and realist review, ethnography and step-wedge controlled trials of innovations. The LIPs will identify regional gaps in access to CBPHC, then work with researchers to identify evidence based approaches to address these gaps. Promising innovations will be trialled in each of the LIP regions.

Principles of the work

Participatory approach involving all stakeholders forming the LIP. Shared decision making within each LIP in setting the research direction and selecting the approach to addressing LIP needs. The innovations we will be developing and evaluating will not be imposed upon communities. Much time will be spent building upon our team’s existing links with community leaders, decision makers and health professionals in each region.


The program will give governments, health services and consumers in both countries a rich understanding of what really matters in access to needed CBPHC. Decision makers and communities will have a toolkit and a well-tested plan through which to address local access needs. Most importantly, all will have an opportunity to reduce the access gap for vulnerable populations so that better health outcomes can be achieved and healthcare funds can be used to best purpose.

IMPACT team program of research and activities