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Online pre-conference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – 10 November 2021

Online pre-conference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – 10 November 2021

Join the preconference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – Coronavirus Politics on 10 November 2021 from 9.00 CET. The focus of this pre-conference is to open new perspectives on genuine participation as a means to highlight the transformational potential of Health Promotion. By shifting participation as a mantra to participation as a practice this pre-conference aims at establishing a stronger focus to inclusion as part of health-for-all-policies. In this session we will explore different perspectives to the future of the transformational potential of health promotion focusing on the global and the national level.

Next to these objectives, we wish to create a space that supports international networking among professionals and researchers interested in advancing participatory community-based public health interventions.

The pre-conference is organized by the EUPHA Health Promotion section, UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education and International Institute, University of Michigan during the 14th European Public Health Conference (Glasgow 10-12 November)

For more information and registration

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Addressing hate speech through education – Multi-stakeholder online forum

Addressing hate speech through education – Multi-stakeholder online forum

Hate speech is on the rise worldwide, with the potential to incite violence, undermine social cohesion and tolerance, and cause psychological, emotional and physical harm based on xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance and discrimination (UN, 2020). History has shown us that genocide and other atrocity crimes begin with words – there is a collective responsibility to address hate speech in the present day to prevent further violence in the future.

As part of the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate speech, UNESCO and the UN Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect will convene the “Global Multi-stakeholder Forum on addressing hate speech through education” on 30 September and 1 October 2021. The Forum will serve to provide inputs for the upcoming “Global Education Ministers Conference on addressing hate speech through education” due to take place on 26 October 2021.

The Forum will encompass two days of online dialogues, bringing together teachers/educators, youth, civil society organizations, human rights experts, tech and social media companies and government representatives, with a view to promote meaningful engagement, discuss the role of education in addressing hate speech and identify key recommendations for a way forward ahead of the Ministerial Conference.

To attend this public event please register on the link below as soon as possible as there are limited places: REGISTER HERE.

More info about addressing hate speech through education by UNESCO, here.

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The UNESCO Chair endorses The Jena Declaration

The UNESCO Chair endorses The Jena Declaration

The UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education endorses The Jena Declaration which calls for a global mobilization to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before 2030. It wants to spur communities around the world to choose pathways to sustainability through a new culturally and regionally sensitive, bottom-up approach.

The Jena Declaration (TJD) establishes guidelines and practices to accelerate progress to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It calls for enabling fundamental change in the everyday actions of hundreds of millions of people all over the world.  Specifically, the declaration aims to stimulate more culturally-sensitive policies and programs that enhance, promote and facilitate grass roots movements that lie at the heart of such mobilization. By respecting cultural and regional diversities, the aim is to exceed the expectations of the UN SDGs before 2030, and to set the table for even greater success with each successive decade.

Since its adoption in March 2021, the Declaration has been endorsed by a considerable number of international organizations and initiatives in the fields of science, arts, and economics. For this movement to be successful, it is crucial that voices that have been under-represented in the development of top-down approaches to solving sustainability issues be fully engaged and heard. Young people from around the world and especially from the Global South are invited to join and to participate fully in the development of programs and policies that apply The Jena Declaration principles. People everywhere are encouraged to support The Jena Declaration and to add their voice by adding their signature.

More information: https://www.thejenadeclaration.org

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Building Health Throughout the Life Course

Building Health Throughout the Life Course

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently published “Building Health Throughout the Life Course. Concepts, Implications, and Application in Public Health[1]”. The publication explains how health develops and changes throughout the life course, and how the use of the life course approach among public health practitioners can ensure that health as a human right is achieved for all individuals. It describes the life course vision of health that focuses on achieving long, healthy, active, and productive lives, rather than diseases and their consequences.

The book consists of three stand-alone parts:

  • Part 1, “Concepts”, aims to explain the complexity of health through the understanding of the life course approach.
  • Part 2, “Implications”, identifies the implications for the use of the life course approach in public health.
  • Part 3, “Application in Public Health”, identifies key opportunities to strengthen the adoption of the life course approach in public health practice.

The publication is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

More information.


[1] Building Health Throughout the Life Course. Concepts, Implications, and Application in Public Health. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization; 2020. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

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Webinar Strategies for School Health Promotion during COVID-19 – 30 September 2021

Webinar Strategies for School Health Promotion during COVID-19 – 30 September 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted schools all over the world. Schools in many countries closed in haste and had to create virtual learning opportunities for their students. The reopening of schools is taking place in various speeds and with different guidance at national and/or local level.

The UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education gathered the experiences and opinions of education and health professionals about  reopening schools safely and/or to keeping them open. The survey explored the public health measures that have been put in place in schools; communication of guidance at national and/or local level, and the facilitators or barriers to safe reopening. Nicola Gray (Affiliated researcher, UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education; Senior Lecturer, University of Huddersfield, UK) will provide a preview of the results of this survey on the safe reopening of schools during COVID-19. 

The WHO-Europe Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19 recommends that ‘the principles of health-promoting schools (HPS) are even more important in a pandemic’. However, moving from recognition of HPS values to putting these into practice is challenging. Veronica Velasco (Assistant professor, Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy) wrote a new document on School Health Promotion during COVID-19 for the Schools for Health in Europe network (SHE). The relevance of the HPS approach during the COVID-19 pandemic will be discussed and implementation strategies based on the HPS approach will be presented.

During this webinar the experts will explore the following questions:

  1. What are the experiences of education and health professionals around the world concerning the safe reopening of schools?
  2. Why is the HPS approach relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic and how can HPS be implemented?
  3. What can we learn to better prepare schools for future epidemics and disasters?

This webinar is organised by the Schools for Health in Europe Network Foundation (SHE), the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education, the University of Huddersfield and the University of Milano-Bicocca.

The webinar will take place on 30 September 2021 from 14.00 – 15.00 CEST.

Join the webinar. This webinar will also be broadcasted live on our YouTube channel.

More information

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The Healthy Settings Approach in Hong Kong: Sustainable Development for Population Health

The Healthy Settings Approach in Hong Kong: Sustainable Development for Population Health

An individual’s health depends on their personal lifestyle and living conditions, which are influenced by a host of complex physical, social, and economic determinants. The same is true of organisational and community health.

This book explains the Healthy Settings Approach as a means to define population and health standards as well as a framework to promote and evaluate health in daily life. The determinants influencing public health go beyond the availability and quality of healthcare, and a combined effort from all sectors of the community is required to bring about sustained improvements.

This book argues that promoting health in multiple and varied settings jointly will ensure healthy living throughout the community and, ultimately, the world. The author uses real life experiences from different countries, with a focus on Hong Kong, and discusses many initiatives that have been enacted (although not widely reported in some cases). Each chapter draws on this evidence and translates the healthy settings framework into daily practice.

More information and how to order the book.

Lee, A. (2021). The Healthy Settings Approach in Hong Kong: Sustainable Development for Population Health. City University of HK Press. https://www.cityu.edu.hk/upress/the-healthy-settings-approach-in-hong-kong

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Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Article published in MDPI on 5 September 2021

Nearly 200 countries have implemented school closures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Although these closures have seemed necessary, there have been serious concerns about their effects on the well-being of children and adolescents. To truly understand the impact of these closures on children’s and adolescent’s well-being, and their suggestions for the future, it is important to adopt new approaches to collecting data that will ensure the right of children and adolescents to be heard on issues that affect them.

Current methods of assessing the impacts of school closure are dominated by the collection of information about children and adolescents, mainly using existing wellbeing indicators and related questionnaire surveys. While these sources of information are important, they provide only a limited understanding of how children and adolescents have experienced school closure, especially if they have been produced using measures developed solely by adults. There is a need for information produced by children and adolescents themselves, which may need to go beyond existing theoretical frameworks of wellbeing that predate COVID-19.

By gathering information from children and adolescents, the authors of this paper[1] show that we can more effectively guide the development and evaluation of public health policies and identify solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of school closures, or to recognise and respond to any positive effects.

Read the article

[1] Paakkari, L., Jourdan, D., Inchley, J., & Torppa, M. (2021). The Impact of School Closure on Adolescents’ Wellbeing, and Steps toward to a New Normal : The Need for an Assessment Tool Update? Adolescents1(3), 360‑362. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1030027

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Cost-effectiveness and return on investment of school-based health promotion programmes for chronic disease prevention

Cost-effectiveness and return on investment of school-based health promotion programmes for chronic disease prevention

Although school-based health prevention programmes are effective in promoting healthy eating and physical activity, little is known about their economic impact. An economic evaluation of programmes identified as feasible, acceptable and sustainable in the Canadian context has been published in the European Journal of Public Health.

This study is based on a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of school-based health promotion programmes. A micro-simulation model integrated the effects of intervention on multiple risk factors to estimate the cost-effectiveness and ‘return on investment’ of comprehensive school health programmes, combining multiple approaches and those based on a modification of physical education programmes.

While each type of intervention studied was found to be economically beneficial, comprehensive school health promotion programmes were found to be the most cost-effective and had the highest return on investment.

Reference: John P Ekwaru, Arto Ohinmaa, Julia Dabravolskaj, Katerina Maximova, Paul J Veugelers, Cost-effectiveness and return on investment of school-based health promotion programmes for chronic disease prevention, European Journal of Public Health, 2021;, ckab130, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab130

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Survey on the UNESCO Strategy on Education for Health and Well-being

Survey on the UNESCO Strategy on Education for Health and Well-being

UNESCO is currently assessing its Strategy on Education for Health and Well-Being (2016-2021) with a view to updating it to reflect changes in the international health and development agenda, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the new UNAIDS Strategy 2022-2026.

As part of this process, UNESCO is reaching out to internal and external stakeholders – at national, regional and global levels. You are invited to contribute and share your views before 7 September 2021 via this link.

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Say no to discrimination in education! – UNESCO #RightToEducation campaign

Say no to discrimination in education! – UNESCO #RightToEducation campaign

The year 2020 marks 60 years since the adoption by UNESCO’s General Conference of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. This Convention highlights States’ obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, promotes equality of educational opportunity and prohibits any form of discrimination. Yet the #RightToEducation is still not a reality for millions.

UNESCO has launched a global reflection on the Right to Education, in the context of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education.

Through dedicated platforms, UNESCO is gathering insights and reflections on what the right to education should further embrace in order to further respond to new and emerging challenges, and their implications for ensuring quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

In this context you are invited to participate to this Survey and to share your thoughts on broadening the scope of the right to education to effectively respond to today’s challenges.

If you would like to submit a more comprehensive contribution, you may do this through the platform on the Global Conversation on the Right to Education.

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