Health Equity

WHO Operational Framework for Monitoring Social Determinants of Health Equity

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released an operational framework for monitoring social determinants of health equity and actions addressing them. This critical new guidance aims to support countries in evidence-based policymaking to improve health equity, towards the goal of enabling everyone, everywhere, to attain the highest possible standard of health and well-being.

Social determinants of health – broadly defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and people’s access to power, money and resources – have a powerful influence on health inequities. In 2021, the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA74.16 on addressing social determinants of health, which encouraged Member States to integrate social determinants of health into public policies and programmes and adopt multisectoral approaches. The resolution requested the Director-General to develop an “Operational framework … for the measurement, assessment and addressing, from a cross-sectorial perspective, of the social determinants of health and health inequities”. This Operational framework for monitoring social determinants of health equity provides countries with critical guidance on monitoring the social determinants of health and actions addressing them, and using data for policy action across sectors to improve health equity. The publication is meant as a resource for national governments and their partners. It was drafted under the guidance of an expert group and with internal contributions across the three levels of WHO, as well as through formal consultation with Member States, and was endorsed at the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly.