Publications - Social and Economic Determinants of Health

This manual is a training resource to increase understanding of the importance of Health in All Policies among health and other professionals.
The material will form the basis of 2- and 3-day workshops, which will:
  • build capacity to promote, implement and evaluate HiAP;
  • encourage engagement and collaboration across sectors;
  • facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons learned;
  • promote regional and global collaboration on HiAP; and
  • promote dissemination of skills to develop training courses for trainers.

Read the training manual

Infographic in English (pdf, 465kb)

What do you know about health in all Policies [French]

icon Report of WHO Director-General on the prevention and control of NCDs
United Nations General Assembly 68th session
10 December 2013

HIAP Report Africa region

 icon Health in All Policies: Report on perspectives and intersectoral actions in the African Region (591.72 kB)

This report was prepared with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation (grant no. 2012 THS 317) as part of the Rockefeller Transforming Health Systems Initiative, Supporting the Development of Regional Positions on Health in All Policies and Identifying Lessons and Opportunities for Implementation (for the sake of brevity: Supporting Regional Positions on Health in All Policies). The grant aimed to support evidence-informed decisions on how governments can enhance intersectoral approaches to improve health and health equity through implementing a Health in All Policies approach in three WHO Regions: Africa (AFR), South-East Asia (SEAR) and the Western Pacific (WPR), with a particular emphasis on contributing to awareness raising and debate as intended by the WHO 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion.

Health promotion strategy: Promotion for the African Region

icon Health promotion: Strategy for the African Region (731.06 kB)

Health promotion is defined in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986) as the process of enabling people to increase control over,and to improve,their health. The fact that the ultimate outcome of effective health promotion interventions is a healthy and productive generation makes it a socially justifiable investment that leads to improved social and economic development. The Ottawa Charter identifies the prerequisites for individuals and communities to attain optimal health outcomes such as peace, shelter, education, food, income, stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 1.39.08 PMiconMulti-stakeholder Dialogue on Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (3.32 MB)

The report Multi-stakeholder dialogue on risk factors for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the WHO African Region was prepared by Dr Abdikamal Alisalad, Health Promotion (HPR) and Dr Jean-Marie Dangou, Disease Prevention and Control (DPC). The proceedings of the Multi-stakeholder dialogue were coordinated by Dr Davison Munodawafa, Programme Area Coordinator, Determinants and Risk Factors (DRF). Dr Tigest Ketsela, Director, HPR provided the overall supervision. A team of rapporteurs from WHO Regional and Country Offices captured all the proceedings. We are greatly indebted to each and every one of them.

The Multi-stakeholder dialogue was attended by delegates from 43 countries of the African Region, non-governmental organizations and civil society, and other partners. The success of the proceedings of the multi-stakeholder dialogue and the production of this report was a collective effort of several individuals, groups and organizations.


iconHealth in All Policies Framework for Country Action (471kb)

 This framework provides countries with a practical means of enhancing a coherent approach to Health in All Policies (HiAP), particularly at a national level. Some countries have already adopted a HiAP approach, even though this may not be explicit, whereas in other countries the concept is new and has yet to be operationalized. This framework has also been developed so that it can be adapted for supranational level decision-making and for governments structures at the national level, as well as the local level as decentralisation of government functions has empowered local authorities in many areas.

HiAP is an approach on health-related rights and obligations. It improves accontability of policymakers for health impacts at all levels of policy-making. It includes an emphasis on the consequences of pubilc policies on health systems, determinants of health, and well-being. It also contributes to sustainable development.

 post-2015-healthicon Health in the Post - 2015 Development Agenda (3.21MB)

This report contributes to the debate and provides suggestions on positioning health centrally in the post-2015 development agenda. It is based primarily on a review of the UN-led thematic consultations, which will inform the UN General Assembly on the post‐2015 development agenda in September 2013. We asked the questions – ‘are the thematic areas talking to one another’ and ‘how do the other sectors consider health’. In particular, we assessed the extent to which health is discussed in terms of the social determinants of health.


icon Closing the Health Equity Gap : Policy options and opportunities for action (3.56 MB)

This report, which highlights policy options for consideration within national discussions, was developed in conjunction with WHO regional offices and others across the Organization who are working on the social determinants of health and equity issues. The general approach to the report was discussed at a seminar within WHO’s Information, Evidence and Policy cluster and with WHO regional advisors following the release of the final report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in August 2008. In January 2009 the 124th session of the WHO Executive Board supported the Commission’s recommendations, and the subsequent deliberations of the Sixty-second World Health Assembly in May 2009 led to the passing of resolution WHA62.14 on reducing health inequities through action on the social determinants of health.

This report aims to disseminate more detailed evidence-based policy options and opportunities for action by the health sector and other sectors in order to reduce health inequities. The financial support of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health is gratefully acknowledged.

rc60-3-tnicon A strategy for addressing the key determinants of health in the African Region (372.55 kB)

Social and Behavioral Intervention Tools


icon Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI): A toolkit for behavioural and social communication in outbreak response

This interagency (FAO, UNICEF, WHO) toolkit will be useful for anyone wanting to design effective outbreak prevention and control measures in community settings.  Although, this toolkit is primarily intended for risk communication, developmental communication and health promotion/education personnel working in multidisciplinary teams to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks, it will also be useful for epidemiologists, clinicians, and public health officers who need to understand the local contexts and dynamics of an outbreak. It is based on the premise that each outbreak is unique, and community understanding of diseases and their spread is complex, context dependent, and culturally-mediated. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all response is not sufficient.  

The toolkit contains a 7-step approach, with corresponding tools, checklists and templates for designing behavioural and communication interventions that support the development of outbreak prevention and control measures that are not only technically-sound, but are also culturally appropriate, relevant and feasible for communities to act upon - to limit loss of life and minimize disruption to families, communities and societies.

The toolkit contains essential background information, case studies, and further references. It is to be used in conjunction with the “COMBI toolkit: field workbook for COMBI planning steps in outbreak response”.


icon COMBI Toolkit: Field Workbook for COMBI planning steps in outbreak response

This field workbook supports the implementation of the interagency (FAO, UNICEF, WHO) “Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI): A toolkit for behavioural and social communication in outbreak response”.  It is a handheld guide and notebook for applying the WHO COMBI methodology in 7-steps, during an outbreak. It is primarily intended for risk communication, developmental communication and health promotion/education personnel working in multidisciplinary teams to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks. It contains essential tools, checklists, and information needed to design effective behavioural and communication interventions in support of outbreak prevention and control objectives - to limit loss of life and minimize disruption to families, communities and societies.


icon Action on the Social Determinants of Health: learning from previous experiences (2.01 MB)

icon A Conceptual Framework for Action on the Social Determinants of Health (1.79 MB)

icon Monitoring Social Well-being to Support Policies on the Social Determinants of Health: the case of New Zealand's "Social Reports/Te Purongo Oranga Tangata" (1.52 MB)

icon Report of the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

icon Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health

icon Operational guidelines for ethics committees that review biomedical research


 icon Nairobi call to action

This document contains the collective views of an international group of experts, participants of the 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Nairobi, Kenya, October 2006, and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the World Health Organization.

The Nairobi Call to Action identifies key strategies and commitments urgently required for closing the implementation gap in health and development through health promotion.

icon Guidelines for the Implementation of the Health Promoting Schools Initiative (HPSI) (105.65 kB)

icon Local Action : Creating Health Promoting Schools (3.33 MB)

icon Health Promotion Strategy for the African Region (203.17 kB)

hpr-bangkokicon The Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalized World (38.13 kB)
Scope: The Bangkok Charter identifies actions, commitments and pledges required to address the determinants of health in a globalized world through health promotion. Purpose: The Bangkok Charter affirms that policies and partnerships to empower communities, and to improve health and health equality, should be at the centre of global and national development. The Bangkok Charter complements and builds upon the values, principles and action strategies of health promotion established by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and the recommendations of the subsequent global health promotion conferences which have been confirmed by Member States through the World Health Assembly.


icon Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion First International Conference on Health Promotion (17.39 kB)
Ottawa, 21 November 1986 - WHO/HPR/HEP/95.1 The first International Conference on Health Promotion, meeting in Ottawa this 21st day of November 1986, hereby presents this CHARTER for action to achieve Health for All by the year 2000 and beyond. This conference was primarily a response to growing expectations for a new public health movement around the world. Discussions focused on the needs in industrialized countries, but took into account similar concerns in all other regions. It built on the progress made through the Declaration on Primary Health Care at Alma-Ata, the World Health Organization's Targets for Health for All document, and the recent debate at the World Health Assembly on intersectoral action for health. 


icon Annual Global Move for Health Initiative: A Concept Paper (322.27 kB)