Social determinants of health


Action on the social determinants of health (SDH) is an emerging and exciting area of public health. WHO has created Action:SDH, an electronic Discussion Platform, which aims to stimulate debate and share experiences of improving health equity through addressing the social determinants of health. WHO is engaged with a range of other organizations and networks around the world that are also committed to this agenda.

The platform was launched in Rio, Brazil, at the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health (WCSDH) on 20th October. Following the conference, WHO is developing strong partnerships with key institutions, including WHO Collaborating Centres, to build the content of the platform, together with its members, and to facilitate discussion and debate.

To access the platform, please use the link provided below:

Health inequalities: progress and next steps, 2010

For local areas with the worst indicators of health and deprivation, the tool was designed to assist planning to meet the national inequalities target in an evidence-based way.

London Health Observatory: health inequalities intervention tool, 2008

Produced by the Association of Public Health Observatories in partnership with the UK Department of Health. Led by the London Health Observatory, the tool was designed to assist local partner agencies in planning and commissioning. It provides local information on causes of gaps in life expectancy, both within and between areas, and enables users to model the impact of four interventions on reducing the gap using different scenarios.

Urban health equity assessment and response tool (Urban HEART), 2008

Urban HEART provides policy-makers and key stakeholders at national and local levels with a user-friendly guide to assess and respond to urban health inequities. It was developed by WHO Kobe Centre and WHO regional offices and pilot-tested in Brazil, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Vietnam and Zambia. The tool has been used to train officials in more than 50 countries.

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