Community-based initiatives

Community-based initiatives programme logoThe community-based initiatives programme encompasses four separate programmes – basic development needs, the healthy village and healthy city programmes and gender in health and development. All of the initiatives rely on the implementation of grass-roots' interventions to address key social determinants of health and follow an intersectoral approach to socioeconomic development through empowering communities and encouraging coordinated action. Programme evaluations have demonstrated the effectiveness of interventions in improving maternal and child health, increasing family planning coverage, increasing immunization coverage for children and improving other health and socioeconomic indicators, including the income of some of the lowest income groups.

Many of the inequities in health, both within and between countries, can be understood in terms of social inequities – inequities in the social conditions in which people live and work. These social determinants have a major impact on the health status and general well-being of individuals and communities. Addressing underlying causes of poor health is critical to improving health and reducing gaps in health equity, where health equity is defined as the absence of systematic disparities in health between more or less advantaged social groups.

The initiatives empower communities to assess, analyse and prioritize their own developmental needs and generate resources to implement and monitor planned interventions. To date, community-based initiatives programmes have been implemented in 17 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Image showing a screenshot of the regional healthy city network website home pageRegional Healthy City Network

The Regional Healthy City Network is a network of cities that have registered for inclusion in WHO's Healthy City Network for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

The dedication of city planners to the urbanization and health agenda will be supported and sustained through joining the Regional Healthy City Network.

This interactive web site enables interested mayors and governors to join the Regional Healthy City Network.

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