Online Program

Influence of political elites in the implementation of Health in All Policies: Evidence from HARMONICS

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Carles Muntaner, PhD, MHS, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Dalla Lana School of Public Health & Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Goldameir Oneka, PhD candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Alix Freiler, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Catherine Mah, MD, FRCPC, PhD, St. John's, NF, Canada
Ketan Shankardass, PhD, Health Sciences Program & Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University / Centre for Research on Inner City Health / University of Toronto, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Given that the status quo for most governments is to have policy “silos” focused on a narrow agenda of issues, the introduction of Health in All Policies (HiAP) is usually innovative and challenging. Others have noted how HiAP and other intersectoral approaches to health equity in government have benefited from the presence of strong leadership, or, conversely, how leaders have minimized the importance of equity or the weakened program theory of equity interventions. However, there has been little explanation of the socio-psychological mechanisms by which political elites influence of the implementation of HiAP. In this explanatory multiple case study, the HARMONICS program analyzed key informant interviews and grey and peer-review literature to explain how and why political elites have influenced HiAP implementation in several international settings (Sweden, Quebec, South Australia, Scotland, Norway, Finland and California), after accounting for the role of different contextual conditions. Across certain types of contexts, we noted support for two key mechanisms. First, political elites are influential because of their formal authority to facilitate changes in governance, and second, their leadership motivates subordinates to participate in HiAP (or not). We discuss contextual factors that appear to condition which of these mechanisms was relevant in different settings, and why political elites did not appear to be influential some settings.

Learning Areas:

Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the influence of political elites on the implementation of Health in All Policies.

Keyword(s): Politics, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research expertise includes social inequities in health and social epidemiology. I hold cross-appointments at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry. I am an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. I am also is a Co-chair of the Social Equity and Health Section at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Finally, I have published several articles discussing the implementation of Health in All Policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.