Using Intersectionality to better understand health system resilience
Since 2010, RESYST researchers have been working to better understand complex health systems, focusing on the daily routines and challenges faced by health managers and how they continue to deliver services in the face of constant strain – a new concept termed everyday health system resilience. The research has involved engaging with health managers and other front-line health workers over a long period of time, and collaborating with them to identify and implement interventions that support everyday resilience.
In dealing with complex systems and multiple actors, operating at different levels of the health system and influenced by power relations, the research lends itself to intersectionality analysis – an approach that focuses attention on studying the interaction of different factors or social categories (rather than each in isolation or as simply additive), and the power structures that underpin them.
This brief outlines the main tenets of intersectionality analysis and its value to health systems research. It then shows how an intersectionality lens is starting to be applied to RESYST research on everyday resilience and the potential of this approach going forward.