Intersectorality: getting our joint work straight
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Healthy Urban Environments Collaboratory, Australia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1004
The proliferation of intersectoral terminology has coincided with similar developments in policy development and administrative and political science scholarship. Partly sponsored by global think tanks such as the World Bank and the international aid industry there was a call for, variously, ‘Whole of Government’ (WoG), ‘Joined-up Government’ (JUG) and horizontal, integrated or coordinated policy making. In recent years, these streams of consciousness seem to have coalesced in calls for Health in All Policies (HiAP). Several reviews and glossaries have endeavoured to transcend the evangelical approach to HiAP and its conjoint predecessor Healthy Public Policy. These reviews and glossaries purportedly show what is required to develop and maintain coherent society-wide actions, policies and governance for health. However, the terminology associated with intersectorality is not always unequivocal. The fact that multiple meanings may exist in multiple contexts does not necessarily enable a focused, and practically or scholarly sound, developmental strategy to achieving such goals. This is becoming a more acute challenge with the increased, and prominent, recognition that health is both an endpoint of a multitude of reciprocating dynamics, as well as an input for individual, social and global change. This is evident in agendas set by the Sustainable Development Goals and, for instance, planetary health paradigms. An appropriate clarification and distinction of terms and their meaning around intersectorality is sensible—it would advance coherent scholarship and practice of this essential area of health and health equity development. Based on consensus mechanisms, this presentation will offer clarity on the suite of concepts associated with intersectorality.
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