Social determinants of health

Measurement and evidence

The MEKN led on the development of methodologies and tools for measuring the causes, pathways and health outcomes of policy interventions to tackle the social determinants of health and health inequities. There was also an emphasis on documenting processes of change and attributing improvements in health outcomes to social determinants programs and policies. Guidelines on designing evaluations include recommendations on appropriate quantitative and qualitative evidence, selection of indicators and variables, and development of measurement tools.

This knowledge also served as a resource for the work of the other knowledge networks in collecting evidence and for the evaluation of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health as a whole.

Organizational co-hubs:

Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile, and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, United Kingdom, were the co-hub for the Measurement and Evidence Knowledge Network. Co-hub leaders: Josiane Bonnefoy, Francisca Florenzano, UDD. Mike Kelly and Antony Morgan, NICE.

Key publications

Final report of the Measurement and Evidence Knowledge Network - The social determinants of health: developing an evidence base for political action

Evidence about the social determinants of health is insufficient to bring about change on its own; political will combined with the evidence offers the most powerful response to the negative effects of the social determinants. The final report of the MEKN presents a framework for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policy.

Constructing the evidence base on the social determinants of health: A guide

This guide sets out state of the art recommendations on how best to measure the social determinants of health and the most effective ways of constructing an evidence base which provides the basis for translating evidence into political action. It is designed for practitioners interested in developing and implementing policies and programmes to tackle the social determinants of health inequities.

The development of the evidence base about the social determinants of health

Paper by the Measurement and Evidence Knowledge Network to articulate a series of methodological, theoretical principles that will help to inform the development of evidence, May 2006.

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