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Health in All Policies Summer School course

The Health in All Policies (HiAP) Summer School was convened by the Government of South Australia with technical support from the World Health Organization (WHO) – Geneva andWestern Pacific Regional Office. The Summer School was held from 28 November to 2 December 2011 at the Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh.

The summer school was lead by Course Director Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Programme Director, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and Course Co-Director Ms Carmel Williams, Manager HiAP, SA Health. The Course Directors were assisted in their role by a group of international faculty and guest lecturers.

Background and rationale

Action on the social determinants of health is complex and requires a joined-up cross sector approach to policy development. It recognises that a healthy population is a key requirement for achieving society’s goals and that addressing the growing inequity gap within low and middle-income countries will improve wellbeing for everyone.

In 2010, the World Health Organization and the Government of South Australia co-convened an international meeting on HiAP, where new skills and competencies in public health were discussed and documented in the Adelaide Statement on HiAP. Following the international meeting, it was identified that training in the HiAP approach is required and as a consequence, the Health in All Policies Summer School was developed and delivered.

What the summer school aimed to do

The HiAP Summer School built on the work of the Adelaide Statement on HiAP and in particular, it:

  • Explored the concepts and approaches to taking action on the social determinants of health and health equity, including intersectoral action, HiAP, joined-up policy making and shared health governance.
  • Identified and defined frameworks and tools that underpin HiAP approaches, including policy innovation, novel mechanisms and partnerships, sustainable development, new instruments and better regulatory frameworks.
  • Examined national and regional approaches to shared health governance and HiAP in a range of issues including non-communicable diseases and health equity.
  • Reviewed and shared the efforts of HiAP practice from participants’ own experiences.

Attendees

The HiAP Summer School received significant local and international interest and was attended by 32 participants; 13 from Australia and 19 international. Fourteen countries were represented from the European, Western Pacific, Americas, South East Asian and Eastern Mediterranean WHO regions. The majority of participants were senior policy makers from the health sector, including public health programme managers. A number of academics, PhD students and representatives of the non-government sector also attended.

Evaluation

An evaluation of the HiAP Summer School revealed that it was highly successful in meeting the training needs of the participants, that the course was well structured, and presented multiple opportunities for skill development and interaction with HiAP practitioners from South Australia. In addition, the Summer School allowed participants to share their experiences from their own jurisdictions in implementing cross sectoral work on the social determinants of health.

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