Concepts and principles for tackling social inequalities in health: Levelling up Part 1





The WHO Regional Office for Europe is one of six regional offices throughout the world, each with its own programme geared to the particular health problems of the countries it serves. The European Region embraces some 870 million people living in an area stretching from Greenland in the north and the Mediterranean in the south to the Pacific shores of the Russian Federation. The European programme of WHO therefore concentrates both on the problems associated with industrial and post-industrial society and on those faced by the emerging democracies of central and eastern Europe and the former USSR.

To ensure the widest possible availability of authoritative information and guidance on health matters, WHO secures broad international distribution of its publications and encourages their translation and adaptation. By helping to promote and protect health and prevent and control disease, WHO’s books contribute to achieving the Organization’s principal objective – the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health.

WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development

The WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development, which coordinated the activities leading to this publication, was set up by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with cooperation and support from the Ministry of Health and the Veneto Region of Italy. One of its key responsibilities is to provide evidence on and act upon the social and economic determinants of health. The Office systematically reviews what is involved in drawing together the concepts, scientific evidence, technology and policy action necessary to achieve effective investment for the promotion of health and synergy between social, economic and health development. The Office fulfils two interrelated main functions:

  • to monitor, review and systematize the policy implications of the social and economic determinants of population health; and
  • to provide services to help Member States in the WHO European Region increase their capacity to invest in health by addressing these policy implications and integrating them into the agenda for development.