Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Call Edition 2012

Candidates can participate in Edition 2012 of the Prize Belgian Development Cooperation based on a scholarly work within the field of the central theme “Social determinants of health”.

This theme covers all studies on factors of society (education, infrastructure, housing, environment, food, health system, …) determining whether a person can lead a healthy life.
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. More information.

The Commission on Social Determinants of Health of the World Health Organisation focuses on nine broad areas that contain within them major determinants of health:

Early child development
Well established evidence illustrates that opportunities provided to young children are crucial in shaping lifelong health and development status.

Among the aspects of globalization (with an impact on health) studied are trade liberalization, integration of production of goods, consumption and lifestyle patterns, household level income. The studies of uneven distribution of globalization’s gains and losses and the impact it has on inequities can be used to develop policies aimed at mitigating the actual and potential harmful effects of globalization on health.

Health systems
The way health systems are designed, operate and financed acts as a powerful determinant of health. Innovative approaches that effectively incorporate action on social determinants of health are necessary to overcome social barriers to health.

Measurement and evidence
Attention should be given to the development of methodologies and tools for measuring the causes, pathways and health outcomes of policy interventions.

The upstream determinants of healthy urbanization include: stimulation of job creation, land tenure and land use policy, transportation, sustainable urban development, social protection, settlement policies and strategies, community empowerment, vulnerability reduction and better security among others.

Employment conditions
The most important factors shaping people’s social position include employment and working conditions.

Social exclusion
A number of relational processes lead to the exclusion of particular groups of people from engaging fully in community and social life. These processes operate at: the macro-level (access to affordable education, equal employment opportunity legislation, cultural and gender norms), and/or the micro-levels (income, occupational status, social networks - around race, gender, religion).

Priority public health conditions
Public health programmes often neglect the contribution that addressing social determinants of health can make to achieving health targets, including the Millennium Development Goals. Factors in the design and implementation of programs that increase access to health care for socially and economically disadvantaged groups should therefore be closely studied.

Women and gender equity
Certain mechanisms, processes and actions can be taken to reduce gender-based inequities in health, by examining the following five areas:
     -    Factors affecting social stratification and how to improve women's status relative to men.
     -    Differential exposures to health-damaging factors.
     -    Differential vulnerabilities leading to inequitable health outcomes.
     -    Differential economical and social consequences of illness and reproductive health needs.
     -    Engendering health systems and health research.

The work needs to contribute significantly to knowledge that can be applied for sustainable development in developing countries.

The Call for the Prize Belgian Development Cooperation “Social determinants of health” was launched on October 31st, 2010. The deadline for application is March 31st, 2011.

Candidates are invited to consult the regulations for participation to the Prize Belgian Development Cooperation.