Health in all policies is an initiative of the World Health Organization that seeks to ensure that the public decision-making process, regardless of the sector in which it takes place, improves health conditions and access to health services. It was framed in the Nordic countries and has found an echo throughout the world. In the Americas, there is a very rich diversity of experiences of Health in All Policies. This site showcases some of these stories and demonstrates how this continent has taken ownership of this initiative.
Bolsa Familia is a Brazilian government program that originated from the legislative and executive powers. It serves families in extreme poverty by increasing their human capital and improving their development opportunities through cash transfers and by increasing access to public services and food, among other actions. It assumes an intense inter-sectoral coordination and shows good results in child nutrition, lower fertility rates, improved maternal education and a higher purchasing power.
The law of Social Prevention of Violence and Crime was issued by the State of Chihuahua, Mexico in 2010. It is an example of intersectoral cooperation implemented at a regional level. The most important aspect of this case is that the State System of Public Safety took leadership and handles criminal situations from a public health perspective, going beyond the criminal approach.
In 2013 the Chilean Ministry of Health studied the experiences developed since 1998 with the Communal Plans for Health Promotion. The careful review of the evidence gave rise to the Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities strategy. New focus was put on the municipalities that are leading on the territorial participatory assessments, with strategic plans for the next three years and that are strengthening the ability of its people to understand and act on their context. This allows finding solutions to territorial problems using local resources and capabilities, strengthening intersectorial action and at the national level. The local - community - national dialogue is one of the strengths of the strategy, because the policies, actions, and decisions are not going in different directions, but are in constant dialogue with each other.
A law that seeks a tobacco-free country, was the result of a hard negotiation process that mobilized the health sector in Suriname. From the beginning this sector knew it could not act alone . It is based on a collaborative effort with contributions from different sectors. It included lobbying with political leaders and the private sector, as well as a creating awareness and mobilizing citizens. The law was passed in 2013 with an absolute majority.
The Haitian Ministry of Health spearheaded the Strategy to Promote Health and Quality of Life in the Fight against Cholera in Haiti with support from the international community. This program grew out of the destruction and health challenges caused by the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island. An example of intersectoral action at the information sharing and cooperation levels, this strategy provides education and training to promote public awareness and community participation and empowerment to control the epidemic.
PLANAL is an experience in Paraguay where a government and its citizens work together to respond with holisticpolicies and actions to fight the main causes of food insecurity. It is a global governance strategy to improve the efficiency of State action. In this case a strong intersectoral coordination seeks to overcome the fragmented efforts and reverse the unequal distribution of resources.