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Health in All Policies Framework for Country Action


World Health Organization (WHO)

Subject Keywords: Equity, Health equality, Social enviromenrt, Policy-making
Type: Framework
Region: International (other)

Many of the determinants of health and health inequities in populations have social and economic origins that are beyond the direct influence of the health sector and health policies. The 2011 Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health and the 2011 Political Declaration of the UN High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases are unequivocal in their recognition of the responsibility of governments for the health of their citizens, reaffirming that health inequities between and within countries are politically, socially and economically unacceptable, as well as unfair and largely avoidable. To achieve health for all is a challenge and a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach provides a response for the challenge.

HiAP is an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity.

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

In recent years, governments have increasingly come to realize that they can achieve health, social, environmental and economic goals by actively exploring the potential synergies between and within policies in sectors such as transport, agriculture, education, employment and environment. Action has therefore been scaled up to implement the HiAP approach in line with relevant political declarations.

To this end, efforts have been made to determine what it is, and more importantly how it works and how progress can be reported. Attempts have also been made to build the capacity to implement the approach.




Rights: © WHO
Suggested citation:

World Health Organization (WHO). (2011) Health in All Policies Framework for Country Action [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 23rd July 2019].


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