Social determinants of health

WHO - PHAC ISA Collaboration

Phase 1 - Review of global literature

This phase provided an overview of approaches to intersectoral action at the global, sub-regional, national, sub-national, and community levels. The work was carried out by PHAC for the Health Systems Knowledge Network, created by WHO to support the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and the Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa (EQUINET). As a result of this work, a first publication was prepared in 2007. This report presents an initial scoping of the issues related to intersectoral work in the health arena.

Phase 2 - Country case studies

The second phase of the collaboration between WHO and PHAC focused on commissioning new evidence on intersectoral policy processes being undertaken across countries in the form of case studies. In the end, case studies were finalized from 18 countries, illustrating intersectoral actions undertaken to improve health or health equity at different levels of government or between government and civil society.

Phase 2.1 Commissioning the case studies

Phase 2.2 – Facilitation of an international dialogue, 2007 IUHPE Conference

Dialogue on intersectoral approaches

19th World Conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education, 2007

As a side session to the IUHPE conference hosted in Vancouver in June 2007, WHO and PHAC organized a workshop to discuss the case studies. Participants came from more than 20 countries, including case study authors, representatives from PHAC, WHO, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO. Case studies were discussed by authors and specialists to distill relevant learnings. The meeting also identified needs for practical support, models and tools and next steps. The creation of a network of actors involved in intersectoral approaches was also an important outcome of this meeting.


19th World Conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education, 2007

A panel discussion was also organized as part of the 19th World Conference on Health Promotion and Education. Panelists from Canada, Finland and from a civil society organization from India discussed their experiences on tackling health equity using intersectoral action.

Symposium presentations

Phase 2.3 Health equity through intersectoral action: an analysis of 18 country case studies

Phase 2.3 of the collaboration focused on the production of a second report that analyses key learnings from the case studies. The report was launched electronically through several mailing lists (EQUIDAD list serv, a Canadian network of institutions and researchers involved in the topic). The report was also disseminated through all WHO regional and country offices.

The WHO-PHAC collaboration in its next phase will focus on implementation instruments (tools/models/mechanisms) that operationalize intersectoral action in the field. It will also aim to broaden participants of the collaboration and in the long term develop a network of institutions continually uncovering and sharing new evidence on innovative intersectoral action mechanisms.

Report: Health equity through intersectoral action

Information note