The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on ‘Investment for Health and Well-being’ (WHO CC) was designated in March 2018 and re-designated for another four years in March 2022. The Centre is the first and only WHO CC in this area of expertise in the world, part of a global network of more than 800 Collaborating Centres in more than 80 countries. This builds on a long-standing partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), working closely with the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development in Venice, Italy (the Venice Office), as well as other WHO offices and networks.

The WHO CC has been developing, gathering, utilising and sharing expertise, information, practical approaches and innovative tools on how to invest in order to improve health and well-being, reduce health inequities, build stronger communities and resilient systems within and beyond Welsh borders. It informs and promotes more sustainable, evidence- and people-informed informed policies; embracing the principles of human rights, equity and diversity and social value; and helping address the health and well-being needs of current and future generations, driving sustainable development and prosperous lives for all, leaving no one behind.

Our work supports the WHO and other countries to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals), the  WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019–2023, and the WHO European Programme of work ‘United Action for Better Health’. Nationally, it helps to implement the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, Prosperity for All: economic action plan, and the plan for health and social care A Healthier Wales, building on the principles of human rights, equity and social value; long-term thinking, prevention, integration, collaboration and participation. The WHO CC work strengthens our European and global collaborations and partnerships; enables more effective cross-sector and multidisciplinary work; and opens various opportunities for knowledge exchange and research, learning from experience and good practice; and developing our people and organisations, delivering to Public Health Wales’ Long-Term Strategy and International Health Strategy.

WHO CC re-designation 2022 – 2026

The new WHO CC 4-year programme of work focuses on providing scientific and policy evidence and expertise to build capacity and implement effective inter-sectoral policies for health and equity across the life course. It also plans to innovate and harness economic and multi-disciplinary tools and approaches to support building an Economy of Wellbeing in Wales, exploring and identifying solutions to the global challenges of widening health gap and socio-economic disparities, COVID-19 response and recovery, and climate change.

Renewed Terms of Reference:

TOR 1: Provide scientific and policy evidence and expertise to WHO supporting direct technical assistance to Member States to build capacity and implement effective inter-sectoral policies addressing the social determinants of health and equity across the life course.

TOR 2: Innovate and harness economic methodologies and multi-disciplinary approaches to support WHO to implement the Economy of Wellbeing initiative.

TOR 3: Provide evidence and support WHO to convene stakeholders’ dialogues and create a common space for exploring and identifying solutions to critical health equity challenges.

Work Plan 2022 – 2026

Activity 1Provide technical support to WHO informing and accelerating action and solutions across member states to place health equity at the heart of all policies and investments
Activity 2Provide technical expertise and input to help WHO strengthen the case for investment in wellbeing and health equity and implement an Economy of Wellbeing across Member States
Activity 3Mobilise evidence, good practices and innovative approaches to help WHO strengthen Health and Equity in All Policies towards achieving sustainable development, leaving no one behind
Activity 4Support WHO in enhancing understanding and awareness and driving investment for building capacity and resilience to prevent adversity, trauma and injuries across the life course  

In the past four years as a WHO collaborating centre, Public Health Wales played a crucial role in establishing and strengthening organisational and Wales’ role as a global influencer and live innovation site for health equity and prosperity for all. Some notable key achievements of Public Health Wales WHO CC include:

  • Enabled and delivering to an MOU between the Welsh Government and the WHO Regional Office for Europe enhancing Wales’ visibility and impact on the global stage
  • Established the first national Welsh Health Equity Status Report initiative (WHESRi), applying an innovative WHO framework and methodology to help reduce the health equity gap in Wales
  • Progressed a portfolio of work to strengthen the case for sustainable investment in population health and reducing inequalities, developing innovative tools, guidance, and network
  • Progressed a portfolio of work to address adversity and trauma across the life course with a focus on ACEs, violence prevention and building resilience
  • Progressed a portfolio of work on Sustainable Development and Health in All Policies, informing policy and practice in Wales and internationally 

Work Plan and Deliverables 2018 – 2022

Activity TitleProducts
Activity 1
Developing an advocacy pack to mainstream investment for health and wellbeing across policies and contexts
How to Make the Case for Sustainable Investment in Well-being and Health Equity: A Practical Guide (Summary)

How to Make the Case for Sustainable Investment in Well-being and Health Equity: An Interactive Guide
Activity 2
Developing a knowledge and expert platform on Investment for Health and Well-being
Placing health equity at the heart of the COVID-19 sustainable response and recovery
Activity 3
Embedding sustainable development in investment approaches to improve health and equity across organisations, systems and sectors
Literature Review on Sustainable Development, executive summary and infographic
Activity 4
Enhancing understanding, awareness and driving investment in building capacity and resilience to prevent adversity and trauma across the life course
Health and financial costs of ACEs in Europe and North America

School-based violence prevention

Routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences

ACEs in refugee and asylum seekers; ACEs and diabetes

ACEs in prisoners; What works to prevent and respond to ACEs
Activity 5
Developing a framework for applying quality Health Impact Assessment as important method to facilitate investment in Health in All Policies and whole-of-government approaches building on the concept of the social return on investment
Brexit Health Impact Assessment
Activity 6
Developing an evidence resource for investing in community and social resilience to improve health and well-being and drive sustainable development
Resilience: understanding the interdependence between individuals and communities
Activity 7
Developing a case series on understanding the impact of globalisation and new technologies on health and wellbeing in the context of inter-sectoral investment approaches
Social media report/Time to be kind

More information on the WHO CC and Collaborating Centres across the world:

WHO CC launch [2018]

WHO CC re-designation [2022]

Learn more about the WHO Collaborating Centre and our work here and the following videos:

What is a WHO Collaborating Centre?

What will the Collaborating Centre be working on? What is ‘Investment for Health and Well-being’?

Learn more about the Welsh Health Equity initiative (WHESRi) here

Learn more about the WHO CC work on sustainable investment and the Economy of Wellbeing here

WHO Collaborating Centres Database & Portal