The Social Inclusion Framework

In 2017 the Inner East Primary Care Partnership (IEPCP) led the development of an Integrated Health Promotion strategic plan (IHP) between three Community Health Services, Women’s Health and the PCP in the Inner East catchment of Melbourne. Social inclusion had already been identified as a key regional priority by the Eastern Metropolitan Social Issues Council, and was one of the priorities adopted by the Inner East Health Promotion Partnership (IEHPP) in their IHP 2017-2021.

The IEHPP is working towards increasing social inclusion within the catchment, adopting the definition originally developed by the Australian Social Inclusion Board. It identifies that social inclusion is when people have the resources, opportunities and capabilities they need to learn, work, engage and have a voice.” [1]

Based on the Collective Impact approach [2]  the IEPCP was nominated as the backbone organisation for the IEHPP work on social inclusion. This involved supporting partners to integrate their efforts to effect change and to facilitate collaboration with local services. As it was emerging as a new health promotion priority area for the State there was a limited cache of knowledge and resources to guide the work. The IEPCP undertook to develop a framework to address this gap.

What did we do?

The Social Inclusion Framework was developed drawing on two established approaches. One was the definition of Social Inclusion developed by the Australian Social Inclusion Board, outlined above. The other was the socio-ecological model of health. This model has been used widely in health promotion to inform a determinants approach. It is used by  ‘Change the Story’ [3] to inform action on the prevention of violence against women, which was another priority within the Inner East IHP.

The Social Inclusion Framework includes:

  • a definition of social inclusion
  • an outline of the guiding principles and values informing the work
  • a model explaining the factors that make a society inclusive
  • an explanation of how social inclusion relates to other key concepts such as social connectedness
  • and case studies that demonstrate social inclusion in action

It was launched in December 2020 by Patricia Faulkner who was the chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board at the time when the definition was adopted. The launch recording includes Patricia’s reflections on the development of the definition as well as an explanation of the framework and presentation of a case study that demonstrates how it can be applied


Key partners with IEPCP in the development of the framework were Access Health & Community, Carrington Health (now healthAbility), Link Health & Community, and Women’s Health East.

Key outcomes

The Social Inclusion Framework is an instrument to guide thinking, assist with analysis, support action and planning and promote evaluation and reflection. It is relevant for anyone who is working to enable people to Learn, Work, Engage or Have a Voice. Whilst it reflects a health promotion approach, the intended audience is wide. To date it has been used within the context of health, local government and volunteer networks.

How did the PCP contribute to this success?

As the backbone organisation, the IEPCP had an integral role in identifying the need for and developing the framework in consultation with the key partners and other stakeholders.

The Framework can be found on the IEPCP website


[1] Commonwealth of Australia (2012): Social Inclusion in Australia: How Australia is faring—2nd Edition.

[2] Kania and Kramer (2011). Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved from

[3] Our Watch, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and VicHealth (2015): Change the Story

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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