Social determinants of health

Taking action to improve health equity

Member States have mandated WHO to support them in the implementation of the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (through World Health Assembly resolution WHA65.8). WHO is supporting implementation in five Action Areas of the Rio Declaration:

Action area 1: Improving health policies and decision-making.

WHO assists Member States to strengthen decision-making processes involving other sectors, promote ‘health in all policies’, and develop effective policies with clear and measurable outcomes, to address social determinants of health and health inequities.

Action area 2: Widening participation in policy-making and implementation

WHO supports Member States in increasing the participation of civil society and communities in health policy-making and implementation for action on social determinants of health.

Action area 3: Focusing the health sector on reducing equity.

WHO provides support to Member States in making their health care and services more accessible, available, affordable, and of higher quality to reduce health inequities, and make social determinants of health and health equity a priority in all its programmes, policies, and strategies.

Action area 4: Strengthening global collaboration.

WHO provides support to Member States to access financial resources and technical cooperation, and coordinate and improve international cooperation, including working with other UN agencies.

Action area 5: Monitoring impact and progress.

WHO assists Member States in tracking trends in health inequities, and impacts of policies and actions, and in making policies more accountable to citizens.