Governing health equity in Scandinavian municipalities: The inter-sectorial challenge

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Christian Elling Scheele, Ingvild Little, Finn Diderichsen

AIMS: Local governments in the Scandinavian countries are increasingly committed to reduce health inequity through 'health equity in all policies' (HEiAP) governance. There exists, however, only very sporadic implementation evidence concerning municipal HEiAP governance, which is the focus of this study.

METHODS: Data are based on qualitative thematic network analysis of 20 interviews conducted from 2014 to 2015 with Scandinavian political and administrative practitioners.

RESULTS: We identify 24 factors located within three categories; political processes, where insufficient political commitment to health equity goals outside of the health sector and inadequate economic prioritization budget curbs implementation. Concerning evidence, there is a lack of epidemiological data, detailed evidence of health equity interventions as well as indicators relevant for monitoring implementation. Concerted administrative action relates to a lack of vertical support and alignment from the national and the regional level to the local level. Horizontally within the municipality, insufficient coordination across policy sectors inhibits effective health equity governance.

CONCLUSIONS: A shift away from 'health in all policies' based on a narrow health concept towards 'health equity for all policies' based on a broader concept such as 'sustainability' can improve ownership of health equity policy goals across municipal sectors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume46
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
ISSN1403-4948
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 172388461