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Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development Policy Bench

Welcome to the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development (FMIHD) Policy Bench, administered in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

Recent highlights

New Policy Bench Report: Social Identification of Race in Canada

This policy brief and the accompanying fact sheet (published January 2023) examine practice and policy related to the collection of race and identity-based data across public sectors in Ontario and other jurisdictions. Evidence on different methods for data collection (i.e., social identification vs. self-identification) and their implications is reviewed. Considerations for the collection of information on Indigenous identity, including data governance, are also discussed.


Recent Policy Bench Report: The Association Between Nutrition and Academic Achievement Among Children and Youth

This policy brief (published October 2022) explores the evidence regarding the association between academic achievement and nutritional factors (i.e. food security, healthy diet, obesity) among children and youth, with a focus on the role of the school food environment. It also examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and achievement and implications of this research for policies to improve child nutrition.

Past highlights

RSC Policy Briefing: Time to be Counted: COVID-19 and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the lives of people with intellectual & developmental disabilities. Researchers from the Policy Bench collaborated with members of the Royal Society for Canada Task Force on COVID-19 to produce this policy briefing with a series of evidence-informed recommendations.




Call to Action: Let the Children PlayLet the Children Play! graphic image

Researchers call for improved access to safe, outdoor spaces to reduce the pandemic’s devastating impact on children & youth

This call to action was created in a partnership between Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST), The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and researchers from the Policy Bench at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.


From Research to Impact: A Toolkit for Developing Effective Policy Briefs

This toolkit, developed at the request of the Leong Centre for Healthy Children’s Advisory Committee provides an informative guide for researchers on the development of effective policy briefs to communicate research findings to policymakers.