UNDP’s commitment to HIV and other major health challenges is based on the principles that health is both a driver and outcome of development, and that actions across a wide range of development sectors have a significant impact on health outcomes. Evidence shows that just as health shapes development, development shapes health. The conditions in which people live and work, including factors such as poverty, exclusion, inequality, social status, housing and environmental and political conditions, have a major impact on health and wellbeing. Conversely, healthy people are better able to contribute to the social, political and economic development of their communities and countries. By increasing people’s choices and capabilities to lead healthy and productive lives, investments in health and other areas of development are mutually reinforcing.
UNDP’s work in HIV and health contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals by addressing the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, health-related inequalities and governance for health. UNDP’s work in these areas is outlined in its HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021.
The strategy encompasses three inter-related action areas, each of which includes three priorities:
Action Area 1: Reducing inequalities and social exclusion that drive HIV and poor health.
Action Area 2: Promoting effective and inclusive governance for health.
Action Area 3: Building resilient and sustainable systems for health.
Action Area 1: Reducing inequalities and social exclusion that drive HIV and poor health
Widening inequalities and exclusion within and between countries and populations lead to poor health, fuel HIV and other epidemics and negatively impact sustainable development. Through action in this area, UNDP aims to empower women and girls and increase the capacity of key populations and other excluded groups to realise their health and human rights. This action area will also contribute to improvements in participatory governance for health (Action Area 2) and building the resilience of communities and countries to address health-related challenges (Action Area 3).
Action Area 2: Promoting effective and inclusive governance for health
Institutions and governance structures in many countries are under-resourced, lack capacity and coherence to plan and deliver health and related services, and provide inadequate civic space for the participation of affected groups. Through action to improve legal and policy environments, build human and institutional capacity and develop rights-based investment approaches, UNDP aims to strengthen the governance capacity of countries to respond more effectively to health and related development challenges.
Action Area 3: Building resilient and sustainable systems for health
Chronically weak and fragile systems for health in many countries are highly susceptible to shocks that result from political, economic and health crises and humanitarian and natural disasters. Through the provision of a wide range of implementation support services, the promotion of inclusive social protection programming and attention to environmental dimensions of systems for health, UNDP aims to build the resilience of countries for sustainable and risk-informed responses to health and other development challenges.