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Healthy Cities - What makes the difference at a local level?: an analysis on factors for success in creating healthy public policy
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture.
University West, Department of Nursing, Health and Culture.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that working intersectorally and internationally with health issues is crucial in creating a change towards healthy public policy at a local level. Healthy Cities is one of the programmes where WHO uses a health governance approach (governing through networks) to try to reach this objective. The aim of this bachelor thesis is to identify the factors that make member cities of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network successful in reorienting local public policy towards healthy public policy. An analysis of nine documents corresponding to the selection criteria set up by the authors was conducted. These documents consisted of reports published by WHO on the Healthy Cities programme, but also of independent research articles and one thesis published on other networks similar to Healthy Cities. Also, further data was collected through telephone interviews with contact persons in four member cities. The interviews were transcribed word by word. Both data (documents and interviews) were analysed using a qualitative content analysis.

 

The results show that the four key “elements for action” (political commitment, leadership, readiness for institutional change and intersectoral collaboration) crystallized by WHO for creating healthy public policy were mainly confirmed in this research study. Therefore, the authors draw the conclusion that WHO has succeeded in making the member cities commit to the Healthy Cities philosophy and in spreading the idea of health governance in Europe. However, additional factors were found both in the document analysis and in the interviews. When looking at the top four frequently occurring factors in the documents, community participation and status were highlighted. The two additional factors found in the interview data was holistic thinking and systematic, goal-oriented work. Also, the importance of political commitment was questioned by a minority of the respondents. This might indicate that the four key “elements for action” crystallized by WHO might not have as big of an effect in creating change at a local level as has been made out by WHO. Furthermore, respondents stated that difficulties existed in translating theory into practice at a local level. This might indicate that potential changes made in the member cities after joining the Healthy Cities programme are mainly ideological. Despite this, the attitudes among the respondents towards membership in the WHO European Healthy Cities Network were overall positive, and even though difficulties still exist, the respondents maintained that Healthy Cities enables them in taking the next step towards healthy public policy at a local level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
Public health, Healthy Cities, success factors, health policy, healthy public policy, health governance, Europe
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-1655OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-1655DiVA: diva2:233234
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok
Medicine
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2009-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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