World Conference on Social Determinants of Health

Discussion Paper

Closing the gap: Policy into practice on social determinants of health

The Discussion Paper informed proceedings at the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health about how countries could implement action on social determinants of health, including the recommendations of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

It does not provide a blueprint, but instead lays out the key components that all countries need to integrate in implementing a social determinants approach. The paper aims to show that, in all countries, it is possible to put policy into practice on social determinants of health to improve health and well-being, reduce health inequities and promote development.

The final version of the Discussion Paper was developed following extensive consultation with Member States, academia, civil society, other UN agencies and within the WHO Conference Secretariat itself. A public web consultation was undertaken in May and June 2011, with almost 200 submissions received.

The WHO Conference Secretariat would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the development of the document.

Case studies on social determinants of health

The case studies, commissioned by WHO Regional Offices for the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, present successful examples of policy action aiming to reduce health inequities, covering a wide range of issues, including conditional cash transfers, gender-based violence, tuberculosis programmes and maternal and child health.

Background

Three children wash their hands with water from a hose, India.
WHO/Tom Pietrasik

The World Conference on Social Determinants of Health brought together Member States and stakeholders to share experiences on policies and strategies aimed at reducing health inequities. The event provided a global platform for dialogue on how the recommendations of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2008) could be taken forward.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the WHO Conference Secretariat by sending an E-mail to sdh@who.int