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Commission on the Social Determinants of Health


The WHO launched the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) in 2005 and it concluded its work in 2008.  Under the chair of Sir Michael Marmot of UCL, the Commission was comprised of 20 leading experts, policy makers and academics from the field.  Using an innovative process of hubs and global networks, the Commission took evidence on what works to address the issues of SDH, including:

  • health systems
  • globalisation
  • early years
  • employment conditions
  • social exclusion
  • public health priorities
  • urbanization
  • gender
  • education


The final report was released by WHO in September 2008 and an international conference to launch the recommendations was hosted by the Department of Health in London in November 2008.  This event was opened by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, MP and attended by ministers from around the world.

The Department of Health supported the work of the Commission since its inception in 2005 and the technical assistance programme continues to provide support to the implementation of its findings. A resolution to promote action on the Social Determinants was accepted by the World Health Assembly in May 2009 and many countries are expressing an interest in using the report as the basis for action.