Health 2020: Health and Wellbeing Indicators

The International Festival of Public Health will be occurring next week on the 1st July 2016, hosted by the Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health (MUCH). This blog contains a brief overview of MUCH, its role as a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHO CC), as well as a general overview of some of the Health and Well-being Indicators proposed by the WHO.

Photograph of Arpana Verma

About Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health

Dr. Arpana Verma is the director of The Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health (MUCH), the Masters programme in Public Health and Primary Care and The Centre for Epidemiology at the University of Manchester. MUCH is based within the Institute of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, and Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre at The University of Manchester. MUCH performs high quality research, teaching and training in the field of public health and has established links to local, national and international public health organisations.

MUCH has recently been designated a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) for health indicators. WHO CCs are appointed by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the organisation’s programmes. WHO CC status also provides institutions with enhanced visibility and recognition and offers improved opportunities for the exchange of information and the development of technical cooperation with other institutions.

The WHO was established in 1948 to direct and co-ordinate international health within the United Nations’ system, utilising already established institutions. The WHO works towards ensuring the highest level of health is attainable by all without discrimination, and promotes the premise that:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The current Director-General of the WHO is Dr. Margaret Chan, who has been in post since 2006.

In its role as a WHO CC, MUCH works with the WHO on a number of key projects whose aims are to enable the development of health indicator sets for evidence-based policy in member states, and to predict future needs in order to inform research and innovation.


Health 2020: Health and Wellbeing Indicators

In 2013, the WHO Regional Office for Europe convened a meeting of experts to discuss targets and indicators for health and well-being in Health 2020. The meeting focused on measurement and target setting for well-being. After a systematic review and an analysis of key international research projects, the WHO meeting of experts proposed that ‘satisfaction with life’ should be the core indicator for subjective well-being.
There is currently a lack of data in this area, and the WHO recognised that there was a need to examine how to collect this information from countries before it could be recommended for Health 2020. Over the following few years, the WHO aimed to evaluate the indicators for well-being for the full set of Health 2020 indicators, and to provide overall recommendations on indicators and the frameworks for measuring them.

In March 2015, the European Health Information Initiative (EHII) steering group developed these plans further. EHII is a multipartner network that is committed to improving cooperation to exchange expertise, build capacity and harmonise data collection. The key areas of EHII are:

  • Development of information for health and wellbeing
  • Enhanced access to health information
  • Capacity-building
  • Strengthening of health information networks
  • Support for health information strategy development
  • Communication and advocacy

As part of the work as WHO collaborating centre for health indicators, MUCH will be supporting EHII and the WHO Regional Office for Europe in achieving these aims. We will help to refine and develop the Health 2020 Health and Wellbeing indicator set through participation of expert panel groups. MUCH will also assess the literature and ascertain the key missing indicators, assessing the validity and quality of those included in Health 2020.

MUCH also provide a wide range of teaching, training and dissemination activities that will help to aid the progress of the scope of work.

Arpana Verma,

Greg Williams

and Annie Harrison

If you are interested in gaining some experience and would like to work with MUCH, please email for more information.

Please see:

twitter: @EUROURHIS2, @ICUH2014 and @FestivalofPHUK @ManchesterMPH

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