Interagency coordination initiative

Scaling up action towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 in the context of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and in support of national Roma integration strategies


This interagency initiative:

  • promotes the right to health of the Roma population, particularly children and women (as addressed by MDGs 4 and 5), paying due attention to gender inequities;
  • contributes to the implementation of health action plans developed as part of the Decade of Roma Inclusion;
  • supports implementation of the health components of national Roma integration strategies in the European Union; and
  • delivers on the commitment to promote health equity and focus attention on the most disadvantaged population groups as incorporated in the outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (September 2010).

Geographical focus

The initiative focuses mainly on countries taking part in the Decade of Roma Inclusion: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


The initiative:

  • applies the principle of explicit but not exclusive targeting, which implies focusing on socially disadvantaged Roma as a target group while not excluding other groups experiencing poverty and social exclusion;
  • builds the capacity of policy-makers, health professionals and administrators in countries taking part in the Decade of Roma Inclusion to carry out the health action plans of the Decade and the commitments of national Roma integration strategies on health,
  • engages Roma and other civil-society organizations as active partners; and
  • maximizes and builds the capacity of partner agencies (multilateral organizations) to address Roma health through coordinated action.

Strategic values

  • Facilitation of agencies’ joint planning of activities for Roma health, optimizing synergies and avoiding duplication
  • Resource sharing (in terms of financing and staff time): making limited resources go further
  • Creation of a platform for a common position among agencies addressing Roma health
  • Identification of funding gaps and opportunities for joint fundraising

Time frame

  • Stage 1: January 2012 through December 2013
  • Stage 2: January 2014 through December 2015

Core partners

  • WHO/ Europe (facilitator)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)