Research Article: Governing multisectoral action for health in low- and middle-income countries

Date Published: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Kumanan Rasanathan, Sara Bennett, Vincent Atkins, Robert Beschel, Gabriel Carrasquilla, Jodi Charles, Rajib Dasgupta, Kirk Emerson, Douglas Glandon, Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra, Pete Kingsley, Don Matheson, Rees Murithi Mbabu, Charles Mwansambo, Michael Myers, Jeremias Paul, Thulisile Radebe, James Smith, Orielle Solar, Agnès Soucat, Aloysius Ssennyonjo, Matthias Wismar, Shehla Zaidi

Abstract: Kumanan Rasanathan and colleagues argue that the potential of multisectoral collaboration for improving health remains untapped in many low- and middle-income countries.

Partial Text: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by countries at the United Nations in 2015 sets forth a comprehensive vision of development with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets across all aspects of society [1]. The 2030 Agenda document is ambitious and explicit about the need for integrated and sustained action across society to address complex challenges such as ending extreme poverty, reducing widening economic inequality, tackling climate change, and reducing and preventing conflict. These issues are beyond the remit and resources of a single thematic sector (such as health, finance, agriculture, or education) and instead require coordinated multisectoral action.

Examining experiences (three examples are presented in Box 1) of multisectoral collaborations for health from Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the European region, we identified five key considerations and lessons for successful governance of multisectoral action.

We believe that there has been insufficient attention to the political and governance aspects of multisectoral action for health, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. A focus on political economy and governance (beyond the governance of the health sector) provides a new lens to understand why multisectoral action is underutilized or often unsuccessful. Thus, we see the discussions at our Bellagio meeting as an exploratory exercise opening up a field that warrants greater attention and sharing of experiences.



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