Global Learning Device on Social Determinants of Health and Public Policy Formulation
Pan American Health Organization PAHO/WHO - February 2009
English and Spanish at: http://dds-dispositivoglobal.ops.org.ar/curso/
The purpose of the Introductory Module is to raise awareness of and provide insight into the Social Determinants of Health (SDH) in order to reduce health inequities, encourage changes in the political agenda and contribute to a better administration of social justice and enforcement of human rights. Based on this attitude, we wish to inspire a critical vision of SDH by facilitating both the dissemination of the approach and the understanding of the intervention criteria, drawing on validated scientific papers on SDH, public policies based on the SDH approach, and documents produced by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, established by WHO.
This Introductory Module intends to stress the need for and importance of encouraging global learning processes as collective contexts for reflecting upon public policy-making and implementation, so that the Social Determinants of Health SDH approach is not only a well-structured set of scientific evidence and country-based “case studies,” but also a political and educational instrument to encourage reflection on and changes in usual public policy practices.
Understand Health Equity as a value that reflects social justice theory and constitutes a basic factor for the right to health.
Recognize the potential of identifying health inequities as a strategic element in designing more equitable public policies.
Recognize intersectoral policies and concerted action strategies from the SDH perspective.
Analyze the recommendations drawn from the reports drafted by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and its nine Knowledge Networks,
as well as foster their discussion and adoption, taking into account both the conditions and priorities in each country.
The Introductory Module is basically targeted at WHO/PAHO staff members as well as Health Ministries’ officials in all countries who are engaged in designing action programs, policies and plans for SDH.
Furthermore, in joining other country initiatives and academic center networks that have organized educational processes with their own public agents and university lecturers, we aim at reaching a broad audience (not only academic and scholars) to lay down the foundations of our process in an attempt to generate, disseminate and increase knowledge as well as facilitate the development of professional qualifications for applying SDH approach to public policies and other strategies via personal and institutional capacity-building processes.
This course has been organized by Marco Akerman (Health and Local Development Regional Advisor – PAHO/SDE – Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Area – PAHO Argentina) and Cristina Davini (educational project consultant of PAHO) with the contribution of Alcira Castillo (Network on Social Determinants of Health, REDET) and Hernán Sandoval (WHO CSDH) as temporary consultants to the project and the cooperation of Rosa María Borrel (PAHO/Health Systems and Services Area). Earlier versions of the manuscript were reviewed by Daniel Ernesto Albretch Alba (WHO), Eugenio Raúl Montesinos Villar (WHO), Orielle Solar (Ministry of Health, Chile), and Marcelo Amable (Argentina). Important to recognize the CETI - Translation and Interpretation Center for the English version, and Diego Rendón and Juan Damelio for the work of system engineering and Rosario Salinas for the revision of the text in Spanish.
Jeannette Vega (Ministry of Health, Chile), Paulo Buss (Fiocruz, Brazil) and Luiz Augusto Cassanha Galvao (PAHO SDE Area Manager) conceptualized the project and gave their support to the preparatory meetings and the process of drafting this module. Kumanan Rasanathan (WHO) elucidated the relationship between PHC and SHD. Diego González (Regional Advisor on Toxicology, PAHO/SDE —Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Area— PAHO Brazil), given his long-standing experience in self-learning courses contributed valuable methodological approaches, while Andrés Venturino (PAHO Argentina) designed both the structure and graphics of the module.
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