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Global Action for Health Equity Network

This new global network is being developed to take forward and build on the work of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.

Aims and objectives

  1. To generate and synthesise on a routine basis globally, regionally and nationally relevant knowledge on the social determinants of health and health equity

  2. To support training and capacity development in the analytical investigation, policy development and implementation of the social determinants of health equity

  3. To assist in the knowledge translation for policy and practice in the social determinants of health and health equity at global, national and local levels

These three overlapping foci of HealthGAEN will serve to promote action among the range of stakeholders necessary to reach the CSDH goal of health equity through:

  • Filling in gaps in knowledge and assessing what works

  • Developing, and implementing, policies and programmes based on this knowledge and global experience of action on SDH

  • Developing and training the people to pursue and advance this agenda


Programme of Activities

HealthGAEN cross cutting themes

1. International technical assistance program in the social determinants of health equity

2. National country reviews

   a. Health Inequalities Review for England

   b. Translation of CSDH findings to Kenya

3. Regional focus

   a. Monitoring progress of the Joint Annual Sector Review of the health sector - health equity analysis

   b. Asia Pacific hub

   c. EU Presidency 2010 focus on SDH

4. Research program on urban health equity in low and middle income countries)

5. Collaborative research and learning program – structural drivers, conditions of daily living and environment/social interface

Operational Structure

Based on a democratic governance structure of networks of existing networks, HealthGAEN will be guided by a small group of Global Ambassadors, a Global Executive Committee and ultimately 5 Regional Hubs that builds upon existing academic institutions, donors, NGOs, and government structures.

Global Ambassadors

The Global Ambassadors group will be chaired by Sir Michael Marmot and consist of global leaders and champions of health equity, including some of the former CSDH commissioners. There will be two people from each region: a leading academic and a leading politician/policy maker. They will meet every year to discuss the following:

  • Emerging issues for global health equity
  • Reviewing progress on the implementation of the CSDH recommendations
  • Monitor changes in health equity between and within countries
  • On-going development and revision of a global action plan to address health equity within a generation, with an initial focus on the framing of the post 2015 MDGs.
Global Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for ‘activating’ the vision and action plan of HealthGAEN.

Regional Hubs

Regional hubs, with a regional co-ordinator, will be established. The regional hubs will comprise academics, government officials, donors, civil society – each from a range of sectors mainly outside of health and including the environment. The primary aim of the regional hubs will be to support research, strengthen capacity and knowledge translation in that locality. HAPI is the regional hub for Europe.

Global Partners

The various HealthGAEN partners and stakeholders will meet annually to review the evidence and activities, develop plans and monitor the work of the network. The partners meeting will consist of the following:

  • Global ambassadors
  • Executive committee
  • Representatives from regional hubs
  • WHO
  • Other UN agencies, particularly UNDP, ILO, UNHABITAT, UNFCCC
  • Donors / Development agencies
  • Research institutions

A small secretariat, with research and policy expertise in the SDH, will sit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL and with the Executive Director. The secretariat will work closely with the ambassadors, executive committee, regional hubs and other activities of HealthGAEN. It will support the Executive Committee in the development of a “Health Equity in a Generation” implementation plan for the CSDH recommendations and monitor progress towards them annually. This will be done in partnership with all stakeholders.

For more information about HealthGAEN, please visit their website.