The Social Determinants of Health Network (SDH-Net) is a four year (2011-2015) collaboration project, financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Research Programme and was launched in October 2011.
Health inequalities between and within countries persist and even amplify. The differences relate to biological variations and certain lifestyle choices, but substantial differences in health between different social groups are primarily defined by broader social inequities and their determinants. While health inequities extend across the globe, consequences are particularly dramatic in low and middle income countries.
As health inequities are complex and form a global challenge which extends beyond the health sector, linking expertise and exchanging experiences across sectors and countries is indispensible. Platforms for the exchange of good practices and research findings need to be built in order to strengthen research capacity and health systems in low and middle income countries and to develop contextually relevant approaches to pressing health problems. Comprehensive strategies towards reducing health inequities need to address the interface between research and practice to guarantee evidence-based decision making.
SDH-Net’s aim is to strengthen and link research capacities for health and its social determinants in African and Latin American low and middle income countries in close collaboration with European partners. It will be carried out by a strong consortium, based on clusters of existing networks of public health institutions from Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. The team is complemented by two distinguished European public health institutions, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Geneva, and one global organization supporting research and innovation for health, equity and development in low- and middle-income countries, the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED).
SDH-Net is coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with long term experience in health research and capacity building in low and middle income countries, and IESE Business School, excellent in management capacity building.