Target: Social Determinants of Health

[We need] programmes that explicitely address the root causes of ill health, health inequalities and the needs of those who are affected by poverty and social disadvantage. World Health Organization.

social_determinants_of_healthSocial determinants of health are those factors that have an influence on individuals and communities wellbeing, such as the conditions where they are born, grow, live, work and age. These conditions are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels (WHO). Social determinants of health include, among others, education, gender, ethnicity, occupation, housing or leisure.

We aim at improving social conditions that shape health through our education and training, research and developmentadvocacy and development consultancy programmes.

Learn more about social determinants of health

Tackling Social Determinants of Health is recognised as being a fundamental approach to the work of WHO and a priority area in the draft 12th WHO general programme of work 2014 – 2019.

  • World Health Organisation’s website on social determinants of health (SDH): Evidence, action, global commitments, publications, learning and tools and a media centre on SDH.
  • Action: SDH: Electronic Discussion Platform created by WHO, which aims to foster discussion and debate and to provide a clearing house to share experiences of actions aimed at improving health equity through addressing the social determinants of health.
  • WHO Publications on SDH: It includes SDH Discussion Paper Series, which explores themes related to strategy, governance, tools and capacity building for addressing the social determinants of health to improve health equity. It also includes Sectoral Briefing Series: Research shows that health equity is driven by policies in other sectors as well as complex social, economic and political factors. By providing information on other sectors’ agendas and policy approaches and by illustrating areas for potential collaboration, the Series encourages a more systematic dialogue with other sectors.
  • INTREC – SDH in South Africa: South African national SDH needs assessment carried-out by INDEPTH Training and Research Centers of Excellence (INTREC).  It aims at identifying issues within three major areas of concerns: (i) key research matters regarding SDH that may be relevant in the country; (ii) training needs for research on adult health and social determinants; and (iii) SDH-relevant policies, as well as opportunities for INTREC to contribute to upcoming policy reviews.