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A glossary of terms for understanding political aspects in the implementation of Health in All Policies (HiAP)


Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a strategy that seeks to integrate health considerations into the development, implementation and evaluation of policies across various non-health sectors of the government. Over the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the uptake of HiAP by local, regional and national governments. Despite the growing popularity of this approach, most existing literature on HiAP implementation remains descriptive rather than explanatory in its orientation. Moreover, prior research has focused on the more technical aspects of the implementation process. Thus, studies that aim to ‘build capacity to promote, implement and evaluate HiAP’ abound. Conversely, there is little emphasis on the political aspects of HiAP implementation. Neglecting the role of politics in shaping the use of HiAP is problematic, since health and the strategies by which it is promoted are partially political.

This glossary addresses the politics gap in the existing literature by drawing on theoretical concepts from political, policy, and public health sciences to articulate a framework for studying how political mechanisms influence HiAP implementation. To this end, the glossary forms part of an on-going multiple explanatory case study of HiAP implementation, HARMONICS (HiAP Analysis using Realist Methods on International Case Studies,, and is meant to expand on a previously published glossary addressing the topic of HiAP implementation more broadly. Collectively, these glossaries offer a conceptual toolkit for understanding how politics explains implementation outcomes of HiAP.

  • Health inequalities

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