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WHO / EU: Report - Early years, family and education task group


The task group on early years, childhood and family was set up as part of the European review of social determinants of health and the health divide in the WHO European Region, a study commissioned to support the development of the new health policy framework for Europe, Health 2020. The task group was asked to identify interventions, strategies and approaches that policy-makers and practitioners in the Region can use in the childhood years to improve and equalize health outcomes throughout the life-course.

The report’s analysis is organized in terms of early years and later childhood to reflect phases of children’s experience that are distinct in many ways and require different forms of service provision. The report uses evidence from international research, a review of reports from international organizations and case studies of practices in European countries. The report’s broad conclusions should be considered in conjunction with more detailed recommendations provided throughout the text.

To access the report, click here



Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study: international report from the 2009/2010 survey

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Through this international report on the results of its most recent survey, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study supplies the up-to-date information needed by policy-makers at various levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and professionals in sectors such as health, education, social services, justice and recreation.


To access the report, click here


OECD / European Commission  - Education at a Glance 2013

OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in more than 40 countries, including OECD members and G20 partners.

Featuring more than 100 charts, 200 tables, and over 100 000 figures, Education at a Glance provides key information on the ouput of educational institutions; the impact of learning across countries; the financial and human resources invested in education; access, participation and progression in education; and the learning environment and organisation of schools.

In the 2013 edition, new material includes:

  •     More recent data on the economic crisis, showing that education remains the best protection against unemployment;
  •     More detailed data on programme orientation (general versus vocational) in secondary and tertiary education;
  •     An analysis of how work status (full-time, part-time, involuntary part-time) is related to individuals’ level of education;
  •     A review of the relationship between fields of education and tuition fees, unemployment rates and earnings premiums;
  •     An indicator showing how many of the students who enter a tertiary programme ultimately graduate from it;
  •     An indicator on the relationship between educational attainment and two health-related concerns, obesity and smoking; and
  •     Trend data covering the years 1995 to 2010-11 for all the key indicators.

To access Education at a Glance 2013, click here


Progress on the implementation of the Rio Political Declaration

The Executive Board of WHO has released its report on the progress on action on Social Determinants of Health. The report describes the main developments that have taken place since the World Conference in 2011. 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.

To access the report, click here


WHO - Report: Closing the health equity gap: Policies options and opportunities for actions


This report brings together a series of policy briefs and is aimed at policy-makers and others interested to improve health equity by acting within the health system and on broader governmental policy. The report provides an update and overview of the vast amount of evidence produced during the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and identifies policy options to implement the main recommendations of the Commission. It draws from the extensive work of the nine global knowledge networks set up by WHO to generate evidence for the Commission. It first considers the essential role of the health sector in reducing inequities in five areas (working towards universal coverage; public health programmes; measuring inequities in health; facilitating mobilization of people and groups; intersectoral action). Second, it discusses how the health sector can work with other sectors that are also vital to this task in seven additional areas (early child development; urban settings; globalization The report ends by outlining one way to put together a national action plan addressing these issues, in light of the different starting points and priorities found in each country.

To access the report, click here


Interntaional Labvour Organization (ILO) - Global Employment Trends 2013


The ILO’s Global Employment Trends 2013 shows that over 200 million people around the world will be unemployed this year, with this level expected to continue rising. In addition, almost 40 million have given up all hope of getting a job and dropped out of the labour market.

Young people are particularly hard hit. In the Eurozone as a whole, youth unemployment tops 22 per cent, reaching more than 50 per cent in countries like Greece and Spain. In Ireland, people are paying a high price for cleaning up the devastating consequences of irresponsible practices in the financial sector. Finding a fair and equitable solution to the sovereign debt issue which lifts the burden from the shoulders of workers, businesses and taxpayers is a priority if Ireland and other countries affected by sovereign debt are to get back to growth and job creation. The EU must bring real substance to the social dimension, including social dialogue, as announced in the roadmap for completing the European economic and monetary union. It should help member states implement youth guarantee schemes, improve industrial diversification and innovation, boost effectiveness of labour market services, increase job creation and strengthen social investment.

to access ILO "Global Employment Trends 2013", click here


UNICEF - The Structural Determinants of Child Well-being


UNICEF publication describes the outcomes of an expert consultation on “The Structural Determinants
of Child Well-being” hosted by the UNICEF Office of Research. The two-day meeting brought
together twelve participants to discuss the underlying causes of child well-being and develop
an initial framework to consider the impact of structural factors on children’s lives and the
inequalities that too often shape (and limit) their futures.

To access the publication "The structural Determinants of Child Wellbeing", click here


WHO-Governance for health in the 21st century


Governance for health describes the attempts of governments and other actors to steer communities, whole countries or even groups of countries in the pursuit of health as integral to well-being. This study tracks recent governance innovations to address the priority determinants of health and categorizes them into five strategic approaches to smart governance for health. It relates the emergence of joint action by the health sector and non-health sectors, by public and private actors and by citizens, all of whom have an increasing role to play in achieving seminal changes in 21st-century societies.

This study was commissioned to provide the evidence base for the new European health policy, Health 2020. Calling for a health-in-all-policies, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, Health 2020 uses governance as a “lens” through which to view all technical areas of health.

To access the publication "Governance for health in the 21st century", click here




WHO - Health policy responses to the financial crisis in Europe


The report published by WHO aims to present a framework for analysing health policy responses to economic shocks; summarizing the results of a survey of health policy responses to the financial crisis in the European Region’s 53 Member States; and discussing the potential effects of these responses on health system performance.

To access the report, click here


New Eurohealth: Gender and Health



This issue of Eurohealth provides articles on the history of gender equity policies, their importance in research and policy development, and how they play out within the specific contexts of child and adolescent health, and violence against women. Other articles include: Modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive; Health capital investment; Safer hospitals in Europe; Long-term care reform in the Netherlands; Cost-containment in the French health system; and Eurohealth Monitor.

To access Eurohealth issue, click here


WHO - WHO working document on Potential Criteria for the Review of the health component of the National Roma Integration Strategies


WHO working document is available here


Better Health: An analysis of public policy and programming focusing on the determinants of health and health outcomes that are effective in achieving the healthiest populations


Guided by the CSDH’s conceptual framework, which emphasizes the “causes of the causes” to reduce social inequalities in health, this paper moves beyond the consideration of immediate causes such as medical treatments or lifestyle choices. Three questions are addressed:

  • What is the current scope of knowledge from Canadian research on SDOH, conceptualized as income, housing, food insecurity and social exclusion?
  • What is the role of nursing in reducing health inequalities within Canada’s political and economic contexts?
  • Which policy recommendations have the potential to narrow health inequalities?

To access the report, click here


UCL Institute of Health Equity - The Impact of the Economic Downturn and Policy Changes on Health Inequalities in London



The UCL Institute of Health Equity was commissioned by the London Health Inequalities Network to look at the impact of the economic downturn and the government’s welfare reforms on health inequalities in London to 2016, with a particular focus on the employment, income and housing impacts of the changes.  A report containing a literature review of the potential impacts of the changes along with a set of recommendations of what local authorities and other actors can do to mitigate any negative impacts was published.

To access the report, click here



UNICEF - Measuring Child poverty


The published report  sets out the latest internationally comparable data on child deprivation and relative child poverty. Taken together, these two different measures offer the best currently available picture of child poverty across the world’s wealthiest nations.

Previous reports in this series have shown that failure to protect children from poverty is one of the most costly mistakes a society can make. The heaviest cost of all is borne by the children themselves. But their nations must also pay a very significant price – in reduced skills and productivity, in lower levels of health and educational achievement, in increased likelihood of unemployment and welfare dependence, in the higher costs of judicial and social protection systems, and in the loss of social cohesion.….” 

To access the report, click here


WHO - Addressing the social determinants of health: the urban dimension and the role of local government


This report summarizes the evidence on the social determinants of health in the urban context, drawing on the findings of the global Commission on Social Determinants of Health and the European review of social determinants of health and the health divide. It also highlights how, through its leadership, local government can play a significant role in addressing these causes of health inequalities, by working across sectors and with civil society partners. This report provides a helpful overview of practices from across Europe, and identifies priority action areas and key implementation issues, to support and accelerate the growing interest of local governments in being sensitive and proactive in tackling inequities.

To access the report, click here


WHO - Our Planet, Our Health, Our Future


Health is our most basic human right and one of the most important indicators of sustainable development. We rely on healthy ecosystems to support healthy communities and societies. Wellfunctioning ecosystems provide goods and services essential for human health. These include
nutrition and food security, clean air and fresh water, medicines, cultural and spiritual values, and contributions to local livelihoods and economic development. They can also help to limit disease and stabilize the climate. Health policies need to recognize these essential contributions. The three so-called Rio Conventions arising from the 1992 Earth Summit – the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – together aim to maintain well-functioning;

To access the report, click here


OPENspace Research Centre, University of Edinburgh - OPENspace, School of the Built Environment, Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow -  Department of Psychology, University of Westminster - James Hutton Institute

More green space is linked to less stress in deprived communities: Evidence from salivary cortisol patterns


This study, published in ‘Landscape and Urban Planning’ uses both self-reported measures of stress and general wellbeing as well as self-administered salivary cortisol sampling to measure stress levels against varying levels of exposure to green spaces in a deprived city community. Results indicate significant relationships between self-reported stress, diurnal patterns of cortisol secretion and quantity of green space in the living environment. The authors suggest that the need for adequate levels of nearby green space is an important message for landscape and urban planners when designing new residential development, renovating existing urban infrastructure or consulting on land use priorities.

To access the study, click here

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The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), a research centre at the University of Canberra, undertook independent and impartial research, and aims to be a key contributor to social and economic policy debate and analysis in Australia and throughout the world through high quality economic modelling, and supplying consultancy services to commercial, government and not-for-profit clients.

To access the report, click here


Overseas development Institute (ODI) - Understanding poverty and wellbeing: a note with implications for research and policy


This reports takes stock of poverty research to date, proposes a set of ‘building blocks’ or lessons learnt in terms of poverty policy analysis and research, and identifies challenges and future directions for research. The note is intended to contribute to policy debates relating to the assessment of poverty and wellbeing (such as the question of what framework of goals and measures might replace the UN Millennium Development Goals beyond 2015) as well as consideration of future directions for poverty research.

To access the report, click here

World Health Organization on behalf of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies:
Health systems, health, wealth and societal well-being - Assessing the case for investing in health systems


Member States in the WHO European Region are facing a formidable economic crisis that is also calling into question the sustainability of the European social welfare model as a whole and necessitating even greater cost–effectiveness of health systems. Policy-makers are being called on to account for each and every area of public expenditure and are expected to maximize value for money; indeed, the sizeable share of public money that is devoted to health and the ever-increasing cost pressures and demands to cut public expenditure put health systems at the heart of the policy debate

To access the report, click here


WHO / Health-behaviour in school-aged children: Findings from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2009/2010 Survey


The HBSC research network is an international alliance of researchers that collaborate on the cross-national survey of school students: Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC). The HBSC collects data every four years on 11-, 13- and 15-year-old boys' and girls' health and well-being, social environments and health behaviours. These years mark a period of increased autonomy that can influence how their health and health-related behaviours develop.

Findings from HBSC survey have been published in the latest WHO/HBSC International report: Social determinants of health and well-being among young people. The report presents data from 39 countries on over 60 health and social indicators. HBSC’s flagship policy report contributes to our understanding of the social determinants of young people’s health, by highlighting inequalities by gender, age, socioeconomic conditions and geography. Through this report, the HBSC study aims to supply up-to-date information needed by policy-makers, nongovernmental organizations, and professionals in sectors such as health, education, social services, justice and recreation, to protect and promote young people’s health.

To access the report, click here 

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WHO - Improving Equity in Health by Addressing Social Determinants


The report by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health represents a watershed moment in public health. It marks the first systematic and truly comprehensive attempt to draw together data and evidence on social determinants that is pluralistic and diverse methodologically, empirically and theoretically. It is a rallying cry for political action in support of the action against those elements which do so much damage to human health, and it is an important signpost for action political and scientific.

WHO convened a global conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to build support for the implementation of action on social determinants of health. The conference provided a global platform for dialogue on how to implement the recommendations from the Commission's report on all socioeconomic groups and at rate of improvement that increases at each step down the socioeconomic ladder. At the conclusion of the conference, 125 participating Member States adopted the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health pledging to work towards reducing health inequities by taking action across five core areas related to the evidence synthesized across this book:

  • Adopt better governance for health and development;
  • Promote participation in policy-making and implementation;
  • Strengthen global governance and collaboration; and 
  • Monitor progress and increase accountability (WHO, 2011).

To access the report, click here


European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies - New Eurohealth: Health systems and the financial crisis

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This issue of Eurohealth provides an overview article case studies on health system responses to the financial crisis from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece and Ireland. Other articles include: the patient perspective on the Professional Qualifications Directive; the evolution of obesity in Spain; the performance of chronic care system in Denmark; competition in the Dutch health insurance system; pharmaceutical market reforms in Portugal; and Eurohealth Monitor.

To access the report, click here


WHO Europe - Alcohol in the European Union. Consumption, harm and policy approaches


People who are socially disadvantaged people or who live in socially disadvantaged areas experience more harm per gram of alcohol consumed than the better-off. In
Finland, areas with higher levels of manual workers or of unemployment and areas with lower social cohesion had higher levels of alcohol-related mortality among men aged 25–64 years. In the same way, social networks matter. Changes in alcohol consumption among a person’s social network have a significant effect on that person’s
subsequent behaviour, in terms of not drinking (when more of the network abstain) or of drinking heavily

To access the report, click here




WHO Europe - Strengthening health-system emergency preparedness: Toolkit for assessing health-system capacity for crisis management

In preparing for health crises, health systems face the prospect of multiple hazards, limited resources for dealing with them and high expectations of their performance. With the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, the WHO Regional Office has developed a toolkit to assess health-system capacity for managing crises.

To access the toolkit, click here




WHO-Environmental health inequalities in Europe

WHO report shows that one citizen out of five dies from environment-associated diseases. The environmental burden of ill health varies significantly across the Region, however, ranging from 14% to 54%. Within countries, the poor can be exposed to environmental risks five times more often than their wealthier peers. 

To access the report, click here