The EWEC Global Strategy advocates simultaneous action on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health across nine interconnected and interdependent areas. It also recommends that action should be guided by a set of 10 core principles, including human rights, equity, partnership, universality and accountability.86These action areas and principles amount to an agenda for co-ordinated multisectoral action at country level.
The H6 partnership has developed a toolkit to support country implementation of the EWEC Global Strategy that includes a wide range of tools and technical resources for multisectoral action.87 Key resources include the health in all policies framework and training manual, gender tools, and specific guides to multisectoral implementation, both general and for specific policy areas. Analytic tools such as LiST, EQUIST and Innov8 provide some scope for multisectoral analysis, but this could be expanded. Overall, however, there is a need for greater support for countries to implement multisectoral action. This having been said, global partners themselves need to address their own limitations in working across sectors, tackling silos within and between organizations, and most importantly, genuinely engaging people from non-health sectors in efforts to achieve the objectives of the EWEC Global Strategy. Priority areas such as adolescent health and early child development, which by definition require multisectoral action, could provide a focus for this.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s call to “leave no one behind” echoes the EWEC Global Strategy’s emphasis on rights, equity and universality. It links strongly to the need for better health information: more and better-quality data are urgently needed to identify women, children and adolescents who are underserved or marginalized. As further discussed in Chapter 2, international law obliges governments to help their citizens realize their human rights, including the right to health.88 This requires the creation of an enabling environment for health and wellbeing by ensuring that the necessary services, polices, legislation and administrative structures are in place.
Priorities for delivering this agenda are discussed thematically in the next three sections.