To address unfair differences in health, the WHO paper calls for identifying such inequalities first.
The authors note that SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, and 13-15 cover many conditions that affect health and the opportunity for health.
The paper outlines a five-step approach to monitoring health inequalities to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined an approach to monitoring health inequalities to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The authors call for ensuring that monitoring is “relevant to the underlying population.”
The paper presents ways to develop or strengthen health inequality monitoring with more robust, systematic, and transparent practices. WHO’s health inequality monitoring approach consists of five steps: determining the scope of monitoring; obtaining data; analyzing data; reporting results; and implementing changes.
Many conditions affect health and the opportunity for health, such as working conditions, gender discrimination, and degradation of the natural environment.
To select the dimensions of inequality to be measured, it suggests applying those that are specifically relevant to the population being monitored. For example, while caste is relevant to inequality in India, race is particularly pertinent in the U.S. The authors suggest consulting stakeholders in defining the monitoring framework to determine their interests.
The authors note that strong practices in health inequality monitoring can help to inform policies aimed at improving equity, and this has effects beyond the health sector: “The SDGs required concerted efforts … to achieve improvements in the many conditions that affect health and the opportunity for health.” These include poverty (SDG 1), gender discrimination (SDG 5), lack of educational opportunities (SDG 4), degradation of the natural environment (SDGs 13, 14, and 15), and poor working conditions (SDG 8).
To address unfair differences in health, the paper calls for identifying such inequalities first. It concludes by underscoring the need for high-quality data that can be disaggregated, and are timely, transparent, and useable, in order to promote sustainable development. [Publication: Measuring Health Inequalities in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals]