Social determinants of health

Country Work Stream 2005-2008

The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) included a stream of work focused on country action to address socially determined health inequities. Country Work engaged the ‘how-to’ challenges countries face in turning evidence on the social determinants of health (SDH) and health equity (HE) into effective policies.

The Country Work process aimed to:

  • support countries in advancing action on SDH and HE in their specific contexts, while
  • enabling the CSDH to incorporate countries’ experiences in its learning and recommendations.

The core activity of the Country Work Stream was to engage a small number of countries to champion the Social Determinants of Health in national, regional and international settings. The CSDH Commissioners developed a set of criteria that reflected the grounding principles of Country Work. These foundational concepts were agreed upon by the Commissioners in the course of their second meeting, in Cairo, Egypt, in May 2005.

In the end, the CSDH Country Work process developed a core of 9 "formal" country partners, but several additional countries began championing the work of the CSDH towards the end of the Commission. Towards the end of the CSDH process (end 2007), Country Partners were requested to submit a summary of their key activities and achievements under the Commission. These are summarized in the Country Reports.

Solving "how-to" problems

  • how to build political momentum to tackle SDH at country level;
  • how countries that want to improve health equity can design, implement and evaluate strategies and policies that will work in their specific contexts;
  • how to organize collaboration and partnerships so that external agencies can effectively support country efforts.

Several important learnings for taking forward this work both for practitioners in countries and for WHO, as a technical support agency, are summarized in the work of the Final report of the Country Work Stream. Pdf Document

Country Partner Reports

Regional Office Reports

Global country partner meeting