Urban HEART is a user-friendly guide for local and national officials to identify health inequities and plan actions to reduce them. Using evidence from WHO’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health, Urban HEART encourages policy-makers to develop a holistic approach in tackling health equity.
Since the launch of the pilot programme in 2008, Urban HEART has been pilot-tested in cities in Brazil, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. Till 2011, officials in nearly 50 countries have been trained on using Urban HEART.
Principles of Urban HEART
There are four main principles on which Urban HEART was developed:
1. Easy to use
The results generated by Urban HEART should facilitate a more intuitive understanding of health equity and its determinants for all stakeholders.
2. Comprehensive and inclusive
Urban HEART adopts an approach that addresses the concerns of multiple sectors and is inclusive to generate buy-in, participation and facilitate effective dialogue between stakeholders.
3. Operationally feasible and sustainable
Urban HEART should be implemented through existing institutional mechanisms where possible. As much as possible, data should be collected from existing information systems and regular reports.
4. Evidence linked to actions
Evidence generated by Urban HEART should clearly link to feasible strategies and actions to reduce health inequities.