World Conference on Social Determinants of Health
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World Conference on Social Determinants of Health

19 – 21 October 2011

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

The aim of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health is to bring Member States and other actors together to catalyze high level political support for national policies to address social determinants of health to reduce health inequities. Its specific objectives are to:
• strengthen political commitment by Member States to develop and implement national policies on social determinants of health to reduce health inequities;
• share experiences, challenges and technical knowledge on addressing social determinants of health, taking into account the need for strengthening governance arrangements and learning from different contexts.
Conference participation and outcome – The ‘Rio Declaration’
The Conference will serve as a catalyst for the coordination of efforts by national governments, international agencies, academic institutions and civil society organizations in the fight against health inequities. 800 participants are expected, including delegates from health and other sectors, Civil society organizations, academics, the private sector and representatives from WHO and other UN and international agencies. Participation will be by invitation only.
Participating Member States will be requested to approve the Rio Declaration that will express the global political commitment to implement action on the social determinants of health.
Conference themes
The main themes that will be tackled during the conference are:
• Governance to tackle the root causes of health inequities: implementing intersectoral action and Health in All Policies.
• Health systems as a social determinant: the role of the health sector, including services and public health programmes, in improving health inequities.
• Monitoring progress: measurement and analysis of health inequities and policies to address social determinants.
• Promoting participation: community leadership for action on social determinants.
• Action on social determinants to achieve global priorities and the role of global partners.
Conference preparatory process
While the Conference is by invitation only, the preparations are designed to be consultative and participatory in nature. Member States, civil society, academia and other stakeholders are invited to keenly participate in the various processes and bring their perspectives and experiences to the fore. Two tracks for engagement are currently available:
• the development of the technical paper which will inform the discussions during the conference on the five themes by providing an overview of concepts, strategies and tools. Comments will be sought through the drafting of this paper, including a period of public consultation on the first draft.
• the identification of appropriate country examples that highlight lessons learned in implementing the principles of addressing inequities through the social determinants of health. Selected country examples will be presented and analyzed and will form the key substantive basis for outlining the way forward.
Both processes above will feed into the conference outcome document the ‘Rio Declaration’

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