Ilona Kickbusch

"Governance for health requires a synergistic set of policies, many of which reside in sectors other than health and outside of government and which must be supported by structures and mechanisms that facilitate collaboration. The engagement of people is a defining factor. The concept of ‘governance for health’ can best be illustrated as the culmination of three waves in the expansion of health policy, from intersectoral action, to healthy public policy, to the ‘health in all policies’ approach, all of which are now integrated in whole-of-government and whole-of society approaches to health and well-being."


Governance for Health in the context of Health 2020

For its work on the new European Health Policy Health 2020 the WHO Regional Office for Europe commissioned a study on Governance for health in the 21st century. This is now available.

This study defines “governance for health” as the attempts of governments or other actors to steer communities, countries or groups of countries in the pursuit of health as integral to wellbeing through both a ‘whole-of-government’ and a ‘whole-of-society’ approach.

  • It positions health and well-being as key features of what constitutes a successful society and a vibrant economy in the 21st century and grounds policies and approaches in values such as human rights and equity.
  • Governance for health promotes joint action of health and non-health sectors, of public and private actors and of citizens for a common interest. It requires a synergistic set of policies, many of which reside in sectors other than health as well as sectors outside of government, which must be supported by structures and mechanisms that enable collaboration.
  • It gives strong legitimacy to health ministers and ministries and to public health agencies, to help them reach out and perform new roles in shaping policies to promote health and wellbeing.

Smart governance for health and well-being: the evidence

An edited version of this study together with all the background papers has been published in 2014 by the WHO regional Office, more.

Implementing a Health 2020 vision: governance for health in the 21st century. Making it happen

This study has since been complemented by a second volume focusing on implementation, here.

Links

Many of the issues raised in these studies are also discussed in Ilona Kickbusch’ work on the health society, health in all policies and on global health governance.

 

News

Ilona Kickbusch on Twitter