Glossary of Life-course Terms

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This bilingual (English and Russian) glossary was prepared for the WHO European Ministerial Conference on the Life-course Approach in the Context of Health 2020 (Minsk, Belarus, 21–22 October 2015).

It is intended to ensure a common understanding and consistent use of the most important concepts and terms related to the Conference topic. The definitions presented are given for the purpose of this Conference. The life-course is not a new concept, but has never been discussed at a ministerial level. As this concept involves a lot of scientific terms, it is important to provide explanations of their meaning. In particular, a definition of the life-course approach itself was developed for the Conference and is proposed here for the first time.

Terms included in the glossary are limited to those that are directly connected to the subject of the Conference. 

The WHO Regional Office for Europe hopes that, apart from its relevance to the work of the Conference, this glossary will have long-lasting and wide-reaching impact, as the Conference is only the beginning of the work on applying the life- course approach to policy and programmes in the WHO European Region. Using the experience gained in developing the glossary, the Regional Office plans to expand its work on terminology. This work will become an important part of enhancing regional and intersectoral cooperation by ensuring that terminology is consistent and policy- makers, specialists and the general public in all European Member States have a common understanding of its meaning.