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Achieving Health Equity: From Root Causes to Fair Outcomes


The vast majority of inequalities in health, between and within countries, are avoidable and, hence, inequitable. Our success in improving health and reducing these inequities depends on serious attention to the underlying societal causes. Technical solutions within the health sector are important, but are not sufficient. Dealing with the social determinants of health may yield greater and sustainable returns. Action on social determinants of health empowers people, communities and countries. Empowerment is a powerful route to changing both social structure and conditions, and it is through such changes that people are empowered.

In an endeavour to realize its vision, the Commission is building a global movement for change to improve global health and reduce health inequity. It is building partnerships with governments, civil society, and international organizations. It is reviewing the global evidence base on health inequity, harnessing national and local knowledge for action, and advocating for change. The CSDH is ultimately concerned with action to tackle the range of health determinants – from structural conditions of society to the more immediate influences, at all levels from global to local, across government and inclusive of all stakeholders from civil society and the private sector.

Primary Toolkit:

Health Equity and Social Justice Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Health Equity, Social Justice


Institutional Author:

World Health Organization





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.