Here is a range of resources about the determinants of health and health inequities.

‘Inequalities stymie health gains for Polynesians’ – Manawatu Standard

An article in the 15 December 2014 Manawatu Standard makes a poignant statement and raises important concerns on Māori and Pacific health. HPF Deputy Executive Director, Trevor Simpson comments.

The Auckland Supercity and Future Health Equity

Report on the Symposium held at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, 12 July 2011 The recent changes to Auckland’s governance to integrate local and regional authorities into a single Auckland Council, combined with new provisions to produce an Auckland Spatial Plan, marks an unparalleled opportunity to commit to a shared agenda to improve the wellbeing of all Aucklanders. This is a unique chance to ensure that fairness and wellbeing underpins the way Auckland develops over the next 30 years. Improvements to wellbeing or equity will not occur by accident nor good intentions alone. Specific strategies are needed now, drawing upon multiple sources of evidence and shared knowledge if the Auckland Plan is to improve wellbeing for all. A full-day symposium “The Auckland Supercity and Future Health Equity” was convened to discuss these issues and to consider how health equity could feature in the Auckland Plan. This report provides an overview of the presentations (with links), discussion and summation. Auckland Supercity Marmot Report

Fact and action sheets on health inequities

These fact and action sheets were prepared in the lead up to a visit by Sir Michael Marmot in July 2011, hosted by the New Zealand Medical Association. The purposes of these sheets are several:
  • To attempt a brief stocktake on health inequities in New Zealand, both on what the current state of play is and what the future policy priorities might be.
  • To provide background material for participants of the Auckland and Wellington Symposia.
  • To provide material for the media in the lead up to, and during, Sir Marmot’s visit. Fact sheets

Health Promotion, Human Rights and Equity

In this issue of ‘Keeping Up To Date’ we look at the important and practical role of health and human rights in the health promotion armoury to redress these inequities, and not just by resorting to judicial processes. All people working in health promotion are working for the right to health! See HPF Publications Keeping Up to Date Autumn/Winter no. 35 – Carmel Williams

Reducing New Zealand’s health inequities requires urgent action

New Zealand Medical Association Health Equity Position Statement, March 2011 “It is now well recognised that a society’s health status is closely linked to various social determinants. Minimising the impact these social determinants have on health is now a focus of concern for many high income nations including New Zealand. Apart from the obvious societal gains from a more healthy and equitable nation, there is the potential for addressing the ever increasing cost of healthcare.” Read the Health Equity Position Statement  

Fair Society, Healthy Lives The Marmot Review

February 11th marks the first anniversary of the publication of the Marmot Review. In February 2010, the Marmot Review Team published Fair Society, Healthy Lives. This was the culmination of a year long independent review into health inequalities in England which Professor Sir Michael Marmot was asked to chair by the Secretary of State for Health. The review proposes the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England from 2010. Since publication we have seen, and worked to support, many developments based on the approach advocated by the review…read more. New Inequalities Data,News Coverage, Implementation Download the Executive Summary (4.8 MB) The Full Report (25MB) can be found on the Marmot Review Website  

Social determinants approaches to public health from concept to practice

Editors – Erik Blas, Johannes Sommerfeld and Anand Sivasankara Kurup About this ebook The thirteen case studies contained in this publication were commissioned by the research node of the Knowledge Network on Priority Public Health Conditions (PPHC-KN), a WHO-based interdepartmental working group associated with the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The case studies describe a wealth of experiences with implementing public health programmes that intend to address social determinants and to have a great impact on health equity. This publication complements the previous publication by the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights entitled Equity, social determinants and public health programmes, which analysed social determinants and health equity issues in 13 public health programmes, and identified possible entry points for interventions to address those social determinants and inequities at the levels of socioeconomic context, exposure, vulnerability, health outcomes and health consequences.Down load this ebook

The Economic, Social and Environmental Determinants of Human Development and Health Equity

Three internationally renowned speakers discuss how environmental, political,economic and cultural characteristics of societies shape conditions in which people live, work and age. Inequities in these factors play a major role in producing health inequities in Australia,across the Asia Pacific region and globally. If set up well, economic development, trade, working conditions, urbanisation and health care for example could simultaneously improve development, social inclusion and health, but if done badly these factors can all increase health inequities. Podcast Professor Sir Michael Marmot in conversation with ANU academics Presented by Asia Pacific HealthGAEN and ANU College of Medicine, Biology & the Environment

Health starts where we live, learn, work and play

  A new way to talk about the determinants of health and a great way of talking about public health! It is a report on how to talk about the determinants of health to people who haven’t thought about it before. It makes sense to people and with people across a range of personal beliefs. – “Health starts where we live, learn, work and play” which is also a great way of talking about public health! The report is based on research with Americans but its ideas are also useful for New Zealand health promoters. Download it here  

World Conference on Social Determinants of Health

2011 World Conference on the Social Determinants of Health

WHO held a conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to get support from governments on actions to improve health equity and the social determinants of health.

A report written for the Conference by the Asia-Pacific Global Action on Health Equity (HealthGAEN) includes many stories of actions being taken in Asia and the Pacific (including New Zealand) to improve health equity.

Sharon Friel, the Chair of Asia-Pacific HealthGAEN, blogged about the conference saying it showed the best and worst of global health politics

Fran Baum who is an Australian public health leader, co-chair of the People’s Health Movement, and was one of the Commissioners for the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health,  blogged for the British Medical Journal before, during and at the end of  the meeting.

There were many expert speakers and frank discussions. The governments attending the conference, after considerable negotiations between their representatives, agreed to the Rio Declaration on Social Determinants of Health. The Rio Declaration, while useful, does not recognise the effects on health of unfair trade practices and climate change. When Professor David Saunders pointed this out to the Conference, he received a standing ovation from the floor. Civil society organisations produced an alternative declaration. Visit thePeoples Health Movement website to read the Alternative Declaration. You can read WHO’s summary of the meeting and find many useful resources about social determinants and the Conference here. 24 June, 2011 – A new WHO publication entitled “Social determinants approaches to public health: from concept to practice” takes the discussion on avoidable and unfair inequities in health to a practical level. The book follows the publication in early 2010 of “Equity, social determinants and public health programmes”, which analysed social determinants from the perspective of a range of priority public health conditions, exploring possible entry points for addressing health inequities at the levels of socioeconomic context, exposure, vulnerability, health-care outcome and social consequences. from Concept to Practice

Communicating the Social Determinants of Health Scoping Paper

“……..Barriers to media coverage of the SDH must be overcome, including a lack of knowledge of the concepts, a perceived difficulty in telling stories that capture the social determinants in tangible, measurable terms, and the perception that the social determinants are not new and therefore not newsworthy. Media have also expressed concern over stigmatizing the poor, unemployed, and less educated in society through reporting on SDH research. Constraints on advocacy activity among public health practitioners may also hinder support among this important audience. Some have suggested that public consultation in health issues amounts to little more than tokenism, as policy-makers are under heavy pressure to achieve specific national policy targets, and may feel that community involvement slows the process down and results in a loss of control….” This report was prepared for the Canadian Reference Group on social determinants of health (CRG), March 2011 Available online PDF at:

Closing the Gap in a Generation

The Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health sets out key areas – of daily living conditions and of the underlying structural drivers that influence them- in which action is needed. Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health HPF was privileged to print and distribute copies of the Executive Summary from the Commission’s report. This extremely important document featured comments about the importance of the report from Dame Silvia Cartwright, Professor Mason Durie and others. The Executive Summary can be it can be downloaded from the HPF web siteExecutive summary. The full report can be downloaded from the WHO website

Interview with Sir Michael Marmot

Sir Michael Marmot Professor for Epidemology and Public Health at the University College London and Chair of the The World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health; authors of the report Closing the Gap in a Generation. He was interviewed by Dr Thomas Mattig, Director of Health Promotion Switzerland, on 1 December 2008. Read his thoughts about social and health inequalities and other issues in theinterview.

Taking up the challenge of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Commonwealth: 17 Good-practice case studies

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – mainly cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and cardio vascular diseases account for the majority of death and illness in almost every region of the world, affecting both men and women. This important publication supports two of the objectives of the Commonwealth’s ‘Road Map’ on NCDs, adopted by health ministers in 2010. (*In this context, ‘intervention’ means ‘action taken to improve a situation’ – it is not referring to medical intervention) NCDs

Social Support Research Programme

Research undertaken by Dr. Miriam Stewart in the Social Support Research Program of the Centre for Health Promotion Studies at the University of Alberta addresses social support as an important determinant of health in a variety of populations and contexts. The Social Support Research Program at the University of Alberta

Turning the Tide

Turning the Tide: Why Acting on Inequity Can Help Reduce Chronic Disease is a tool kit designed to support the use of the document, The Tides of Change:Addressing Inequity and Chronic Disease in Atlantic Canada; A Discussion Paper. The package was produced for use by community organizations in examining their work and policies in light of the information presented in the discussion paper. Tool kit here. Public Health Agency of Canada’s Atlantic Regional Office.

Health promotion Aotearoa goes international

Health, Equity and Sustainable Development 20th IUPHE World Conference on Health Promotion This inspiring conference focused on building bridges between health promotion and sustainable development. Link here to the conference Journaland in the massive list on the downloads page you will find the HPF presentation The next World Conference on Health Promotion was in August 2013 in Pattaya, Thailand.