Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach to public policy that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity.
Many of the social, environmental, and economic determinants of health have origins that extend beyond the health sector and health policies. Therefore, it is important that the impact on health be considered across sectors and at all levels of governance.
The HiAP approach focuses on legitimacy, accountability, transparency, access to information, participation, sustainability, and multi-sectoral collaboration. Support for HiAP is provided by intergovernmental organizations and structures, with the health sector serving a central role in promoting HiAP.
The concept of HiAP builds on the early principles of health promotion developed in the Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care (1978) and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986). The HiAP approach was further developed in the 2010 Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies. The more recent 2011 Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health and the UN General Assembly Resolution on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (2011) further clarified the role of HiAP in health promotion and disease prevention. The concept of HiAP is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and it has the potential to play an important role in the Post-2015 Development process.
During PAHO's 53rd Directing Council in September 2014, Member States adopted the Regional Plan of Action on Health in All Policies. The overall purpose of the Action Plan on HiAP is to define clear steps for implementation of the HiAP approach in the countries of the Region of the Americas. The Plan of Action corresponds to the WHO Health in All Policies Framework for Country Action, developed in January 2014 in a coordinated effort with countries in the Region of the Americas. The Plan contains strategic lines of action and indicators for the period 2014-2019, in accordance with the objectives outlined in the PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019.