If you are serious about delivering long term social impact for people and communities, you have to explicitly consider the social determinants of health and wellbeing in your approach.

To successfully effect sustainable behaviour change, you need to understand the root causes of the problem you are trying to solve.

For example, if you are designing a healthcare program to physically rehabilitate older people after hip surgery, you need to consider how you will address social determinants such as loneliness, housing and poverty.

At Rebbeck, our service design approach addresses the social determinants in a systematic way:

Step 1: Conduct a joint needs assessment that considers the target cohort needs across all public sector domains e.g. Social & Community, Education & Skills, Empowerment, Economic, Safety, Health and Home.

Step 2: Work with service users and subject experts to construct a logic model table for the service. A (basic) logic model table should include column headings for (1) target cohort (2) identified needs (3) response, and (4) intended outcomes.

Step 3: Force the discipline of considering the social determinants by creating separate rows in your table for each of the domains listed in step 1.

Step 4: Complete the logic model through a targeted literature review and engagement with service users and subject experts.

By explicitly and systematically considering the needs, responses and outcomes across ALL of the social determinant domains listed in step 1, you are being guided to think more broadly about the root cause of the problem. This will help you develop a more comprehensive and more effective response.

Health warning: This approach may lead you to have illuminating conversations with people working in other agencies and this may lead you to design joined up services that achieve better outcomes for your target cohort 😀