Newly published - “Advocating intersectoral action for health equity and well-being: the importance of adapting communication to concept and audience”

Effective intersectoral action for health equity and well-being is crucial in addressing today’s biggest public health challenges. Determinants that span a number of domains – politics, culture, society, economy, environment, health systems and commerce – affect health and well-being. Thus, a successful policy response necessitates an approach that is both intersectoral and multidimensional.

In this context, the Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota, Slovenia (the WHO Collaborating Centre for Cross Sectoral Approaches to Health and Development) organized a summer school entitled “Advocacy and the translation of evidence for different audiences on intersectoral action for health equity and well-being” in Ljubljana on 6–7 July 2016. The summer school marked the 30th anniversary of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, adopted at the First International Conference on Health Promotion held in Ottawa, Canada, in 1986. It focused on the development and evolution of approaches necessary to achieve successful intersectoral action for health and well-being in the contemporary context, highlighting how the values and principles of health promotion outlined in the Ottawa Charter are as pertinent today as they were thirty years ago, although the operational context has changed.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer the health sector a unique opportunity to engage with other sectors and stakeholders in building on Health 2020 and other existing regional and national commitments to health and well-being. Effective solutions, however, require evidence-informed decisions. It is therefore crucial to ensure that policy-makers are equipped with robust evidence to allow them to make informed decisions on how to tackle issues of health equity and well-being, increasing the likelihood of success.

The publication “Advocating intersectoral action for health equity and well-being: the importance of adapting communication to concept and audience” offers a detailed report of the contents and topics covered during the 2-day summer school. It focuses specifically on how we communicate public health messages and how this plays a pivotal role in making progress towards implementing our guiding policies, Health 2020 and the 2030 Agenda, and in reaching the SDGs of the latter.