Indexed on: 01 Oct '18Published on: 01 Oct '18Published in: Gaceta Sanitaria
Municipalities and local government are an essential element to promote public policies that improve people's health, and impact the social determinants of health, through developing approaches which incorporate equity, community engagement and intersectoral partnership at their core. The objective of this article is to analyze the barriers and opportunities that can be encountered within local governments when interventions aimed at improving people's health are developed and implemented. The evolution of the city councils, their competence frameworks and the current socio-political context are described, and three key tools for local action are proposed: intersectorality, community engagement and working in partnership with other administrations. Global strategies such as the implementation of the "community health" and "health in all policies" approach through cross-sectoral networks/partnerships are described, emphasizing the importance of developing formal and informal structures or processes of community engagement and designing local health action plans in cooperation with other administrations, such as regional and national governing bodies. To continue supporting these forms of local governance, we propose adapting the local administrations to the new social realities, with more horizontal and flexible organization models and resource allocation, integrating efficiency and evaluation processes, reclaiming local autonomy, and building local governance through networks and alliances. Copyright © 2018 SESPAS. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.