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Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage. Final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014.  p.Universal health coverage (UHC) is at the center of current efforts to strengthen health systems and improve the level and distribution of health and health services. This document is the final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. The report addresses the key issues of fairness and equity that arise on the path to UHC. As such, the report is relevant for every actor that affects that path and governments in particular, as they are in charge of overseeing and guiding the progress toward UHC.
[Johannesburg, South Africa], University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Health Policy, Health Systems Knowledge Network, 2006 Feb.  p. (Health Systems Knowledge Network (KN) Discussion Document No. 1)During July and August 2005 the Health Systems Knowledge Network Hub produced a wide-ranging literature review for discussion at a meeting in India between Hubs and the rest of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (Doherty, Gilson and EQUINET 2005). The review was based on literature sourced from within the consortium managing the hub as well as from institutions networked with the consortium members. Some key references from existing materials were also followed up. Given the wide scope of work on health systems, it was not feasible to conduct a general electronic search. Nor was it possible to access substantial quantities of grey literature, given the difficulties associated with identifying and locating copies of this type of literature. Because of time constraints, the review focused on reviews of international experience and articles documenting new lines of investigation. Articles that were, at the time, in press were specifically sought out to ensure as up-todate an evidence base as possible. The review began by presenting data showing that health services tend to be used proportionately more by richer than poorer social groups. It analysed the social factors affecting access to, and uptake of, health services and showed how these interact with inequitable features of the health care system. Overall, the review argued that the interaction between household health-seeking behaviour and experience of the health system generates differential health and economic consequences across social groups. The long-term costs of seeking care often impoverish poorer households, reinforcing preexisting social stratification. The review then examined in some detail the features of the health care system that contribute to inequity (such as certain approaches to priority-setting, resource allocation, financing, organisation, human resources, and management and regulation). (Excerpt)
Challenging inequity through health systems. Final report: Knowledge Network on Health Systems. WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
[Johannesburg], South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Centre for Health Policy, Health Systems Knowledge Network, 2007 Jun.  p.The way that health systems are designed, financed and operated acts as a powerful determinant of health. The Health Systems Knowledge Network reviewed the evidence on different approaches to improving health equity outcomes through health systems. The focus was on innovative approaches that effectively incorporate action on the social determinants of health, and on strategies of policy development and implementation. Key themes were: Using the health sector to leverage inter-sectoral actions that address the social determinants of health; Enabling social empowerment in support of health equity; Identifying key elements of vision and health system architecture necessary to secure social protection and universal coverage; Building and maintaining national policy space for health policies that seek social justice; and Strengthening management and stewardship capacities within the health sector. The Health Systems Knowledge Network was chaired by Lucy Gilson of the Centre for Health Policy, and made up of 14 experienced policy-makers, academics and members of civil society from around the world. The Network engaged with other sections of the Commission and also commissioned a number of systematic reviews and case studies. This is the final report of the network.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Gender and Women's Health, 2002. x, 83 p.This critical review of tools for gender analysis and their application to health was carried out to support who’s Gender Team in identifying possible strategies for implementing the Gender Policy for who. One component of implementation is providing who staff with support in a) understanding why it is necessary to address the impact of gender on health and health services and b) knowing how to address this impact as it pertains to their own field of work. Since many agencies facing similar tasks have developed tools for mainstreaming gender, it seemed appropriate for the Gender Working Group to consider their usefulness for health rather than immediately embarking on a process of developing its own tools. This review is intended as background for use by anyone working on or interested in gender and health, and particularly by who staff working on gender issues. It assumes an understanding of the who Gender Policy for who, and of the challenges in mainstreaming gender. It is therefore written in a shorthand form, aiming simply to clarify the content of different tools, and to what extent they could be used in support of implementing who’s Gender Policy. There is a complementary volume to this review which is designed as an educational tool for those not necessarily familiar with gender analysis, which provides an overview of gender tools that may be used for integrating gender issues in health. (excerpt)
Summary measures of population health in the context of the WHO framework for health system performance assessment.
In: Summary measures of population health: concepts, ethics, measurement and applications, edited by C.J.L. Murray, J.A. Salomon, C.D. Mathers and A.D. Lopez. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2002. 1-11.This volume addresses the conceptual, ethical, empirical and technical challenges in summarizing the health of populations. This is critical for monitoring whether levels of population health are improving over time and for understanding why health differs across settings. At the same time, it is also important to recognize that improving population health is not the only goal of health policy and to understand the way health improvements interact with these other goals. For that reason, we briefly review the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for assessing the performance of health systems and the role of summary measures of population health (SMPH) in this framework. Following the recent peer review of the methodology used for health system performance by WHO (Anand et al. 2002), this framework will continue to evolve in response to the detailed recommendations of the scientific peer review group and to ongoing scientific debates and research. (excerpt)