Governance for health in the 21st century

a study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe

WHO regional Office for Europe – August 2011

Available online at:

“………Mind-sets on how we view and address health and its determinants have shifted. Two challenges go hand in hand: (1) the governance of the health system and health systems strengthening, which are what we refer to as ‘health governance’; and (2) the joint action of health and non-health sectors, of the public and private sectors and of citizens for a common interest in what we call ‘governance for health’. The latter is the subject of this study.

Living in a ‘knowledge society’ means that power and authority are no longer concentrated in government. Informed citizens, conscientious businesses, independent agencies and expert bodies increasingly have a role to play. Nevertheless, governments and health ministries continue to be important in managing governance for health, setting norms, providing evidence and ‘making the healthier choice the easier choice’.

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