International models for public health planning

In 1986 in Ottawa, Canada, the World Health Organisation (WHO) developed an approach to improve the health of populations and individuals. This is known as the Ottawa Charter and is used in New Zealand as a framework for planning public health strategies. 

The Ottawa Charter shows that to improve the health of populations and individuals there is a need to look wider than just providing public health services.

If people are able to take responsibility for the health of their families and themselves they need:

  • Protection from environmental factors leading to health issues and risks
  • Adequate housing
  • A liveable income
  • Employment
  • Educational opportunities
  • A sense of belonging and being valued
  • A sense of control over life circumstances

These factors are called the determinants of health.


Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion


A more recent international document that builds on the Ottawa Charter is the
Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalised World. This health research
document was developed in Bangkok on 11 August 2005.


The Bangkok Charter identifies actions, commitments and pledges required to address the determinants of health in a globalised world through health promotion.  Key aspects include:


Effective interventions

Progress towards a healthier world requires strong political action, broad participation and sustained advocacy. Health promotion has an established repertoire of proven effective strategies which need to be fully utilised. 

Required actions

To make further advances in implementing these health strategies, all sectors and settings must act to:

  • Advocate for health based on human rights and solidarity
  • Invest in sustainable health policies, actions and infrastructure to address the determinants of health
  • Build capacity for policy development, leadership, health promotion practice, knowledge transfer, health research, and health literacy
  • Regulate and legislate to ensure a high level of protection from harm and enable equal opportunity for health and well-being for all people
  • Partner and build alliances with public, private, non-governmental and international organisations and civil society to create sustainable actions

Key commitments

The four key commitments are to make the promotion of health:

  • Central to the global development agenda
  • A core responsibility for all of government
  • A key focus of communities and civil society
  • A requirement for good corporate practice



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