PROSPERED is the continuation of the MACHEquity research project, which operated from 2011-2016 and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). MACHEquity used quasi-experimental methods for impact evaluation to investigate how social policies aimed at reducing poverty, income and gender inequality in high- and low-income countries affect:

  • Major causes of morbidity and mortality in children
  •  Morbidity and mortality in women under 50
  • HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.

MACHEquity researchers built databases summarizing national laws and policies across most countries worldwide for the following issues: maternity leave, breastfeeding breaks at work, minimum age for marriage, minimum wage, unemployment insurance benefits, family cash benefits, and child labour.

By the expiry of its five-year CIHR research grant, MACHEquity researchers and trainees had published 19 peer-reviewed articles, delivered 26 conference presentations, and submitted four graduate theses based on the project’s work. The MACHEquity training program supported the training of 10 research fellows, ranging from the master’s to post-doctoral level.

The PROSPERED project expands on the training and research program of MACHEquity by taking a more holistic view that encompasses different public policies and by prioritizing the health-related targets set forth by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

PROSPERED is supported by a five-year grant from the CIHR, from 2016-2021.



Countries are constantly designing, implementing, and modifying their policies and programs. By targeting the social determinants of health, these reforms have the potential to influence health and health inequalities.

Impact evaluation remains PROSPERED’s research methodology, and the training committee continues to supervise doctoral fellows from four sites while they learn these methods. Outcomes measured have expanded to include all health-related targets set forth by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Comparisons are made across nations, within nations that have substantial policy variation at the provincial or state level, and in terms of program cost-effectiveness. The project will focus on policies and programs related to:

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Health services
  • Public health
  • The environment

PROSPERED also strives to put its research into practice through partnerships with non-governmental organizations and government institutions, both through sharing research and joint design of research initiatives.


Produce rigorous research evaluating how policies and programs can affect the social determinants of health.

Promote the use and development of quasi-experimental methods for impact evaluation.

Explore innovative and effective ways to translate research findings into improved programs and policies.