National health policies, strategies and plans

Engaging stakeholders

village meeting

National health policies, strategies, and plans are more likely to get implemented effectively if their development and negotiation is inclusive of all stakeholders in and beyond the health sector. This means engaging all actors, by means of a broad consultation, in meaningful policy dialogue to build consensus on the current situation and on the values, goals and overall policy directions that will guide health policy.

Stakeholders may include:

  • government -- not only the Ministry of Health or Department of Health, but also Finance, Treasury, Education, etc
  • non-governmental organisations and not-for-profit sector
  • community groups and civil society organisations
  • business and the private sector
  • political parties
  • local government
  • health insurance groups and other health care funders
  • donors and aid agencies, including global health initiatives
  • UN agencies, including WHO
  • health workers 'organisations & health care providers' networks
  • patients and health service users.

Facilitation of the policy dialogue process may call for country tailored technical support and collaboration to help bring together the national actors, gather and share information, conduct discussions and build consensus. WHO supports all Member States to conduct an inclusive health policy dialogue that engages all players – political, technical, and social – in the development of national health policies, strategies, and plans.