WHO Globalization Knowledge Network: Commission On Social Determinants Of Health

In 2005, the World Health Organization established the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. The Globalization Knowledge Network, based at the Institute of Population Health, is one of nine Knowledge Networks supporting the work of the Commission; it submitted its final report to the Commission in June, 2007.

Among the aspects of globalization on which it focused are:

  1. trade liberalization
  2. the global integration of production of goods, consumption and lifestyle patterns
  3. the “asymmetrical” distribution of globalization’s gains and losses.

The Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health here

The Final Report of the Globalization and Health Knowledge Network to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health is now available here.

All background papers for the Globalization Knowledge Network can be accessed through here as well as through our Publications and Presentations link (above).

The final reports of the other Knowledge Networks can be accessed here through our Related Publications and Websites link (above).

Who are we?

Ronald Labonté
Professor and Canada  Research Chair (Globalization and Health Equity)
School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ottawa

Mickey Chopra
Chief of Health and Associate Director of Programs, UNICEF.
Dr. Chopra led UNICEF’s work on maternal, newborn, and child health; immunization; pediatric HIV/AIDS; and health systems strengthening, policy, and research.

Jaime Breihl
Co-chair, Executive director and co-founder, Centro de Estudios y Asesoría en Salud, Ecuador; director, Área de Salud de la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar.

Ted Schrecker
Professor of Global Health Policy in the Centre for Public Policy & Health, Durham University
Ted’s academic background is in political science, and he has taught that discipline as well as environmental studies and population health (at the doctoral level) from an interdisciplinary perspective. For the past decade his research has addressed the consequences of transnational economic integration (globalization) for health and health equity; he also has a long-standing interest in issues at the interface of science, ethics, law and public policy.

Corinne Packer

Dr. Corinne Packer is the Assistant Director of Globalization and Health Equity and a Senior Researcher at the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology and Public Health, working on global health equity matters. Her principal areas of research include reproductive health and rights, harmful traditional practices, women’s rights and, more recently, the international migration of health professionals.

Yilmaz Akyüz
Former director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
He was the principal author and head of the team preparing the Trade and Development Report, and UNCTAD coordinator of  research support to developing countries (the Group-of-24) in the IMF and the World Bank on International Monetary and Financial Issues.
Read his contributions in The South Centre Blog.

Carol Amaratunga
Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria;
Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa
Dr. Amarantunga retired as Dean, Office of Applied Research in July 2011. In her role as Dean Applied Research with the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), Carol Amaratunga lead and directed a number of JIBC Pan Institute applied research initiatives and helped the Institute to build extensive institutional and individual research capacity.

Patrick Bond
Director, Center for Civil Society and Professor, School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Visiting professor at Gyeongsang National University Institute of Social Sciences, South Korea
Dr. Bond is a political economist with longstanding research interests and NGO work in urban communities and with global justice movements in several countries. He teaches political economy and eco-social policy, directs the Centre for Civil Society and is involved in research on economic justice, geopolitics, climate, energy and water.

Chantal Blouin
Conseillère scientifique, agro-alimentaire et santé à l’Institut national de santé publique de Québec (INSPQ)

Ha-Joon Chang
Reader, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

Giovanni Andrea Cornia
Professor, Department of Economics, University of Florence.

Roberto De Vogli
Associate Professor in Social Determinants of Global Health at the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis
Before returning to California, he worked as an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Roberto has gained substantial international experience after having worked for UN agencies (the World Bank and the World Health Organization) and international organizations in Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania and Vietnam.

Nick Drager
Honorary Professor, Global Health Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Professor of Public Policy and Global Health Diplomacy, McGill University; Adjunct Research Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and Senior Fellow, Global Health Programme, The Graduate Institute, Geneva.
His work focuses on current and emerging public health issues related to globalization and health, especially global health diplomacy/governance, foreign policy and international trade and health. He has deep experience in global health diplomacy and high level negotiations on international health development issues.

Corinna Hawkes
Professor of Food Policy, Director, Centre for Food Policy, City University London
She has worked with international agencies, governments, NGOs, think tanks and universities at the international level, as well as nationally and locally in the UK, United States and Brazil. A regular advisor to governments, international agencies and NGOs, her specialism is the role of food systems policies in what we eat and how they can be levered for positive impact.

Rhys Jenkins
Professor of Development Economics, School of International Development, University of East Anglia. He is an economist by training with interests in international development issues, particularly trade and foreign investment, and in industrialization. His current research focuses on the impact of the growth of China on other developing countries, especially in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ilona Kickbusch
Kickbusch Health Consultant; Director, Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.
She is senior advisor to the Regional Directors of the WHO Regional Offices for Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. She has been deeply involved in the development of the Health 2020 European health policy framework. She is a member of the independent Ebola interim assessment panel of the WHO.

Meri Koivusalo
Researcher, National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, Finland.
She is a medical doctor with a PhD in public health and MSc in environmental health policy. She has written and published on international and European health policies, including on trade and health.

Eeva Ollila
Ministerial advisor, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland; Chief Medical Officer Cancer Society of Finland

Kelley Lee
Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences; Canada Research Chair Tier I. Dr. Lee is trained in International Relations and Public Administration with a focus on international political economy. She spent over twenty years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she remains Honorary Professor of Global Health Policy, initially analyzing the role of the UN in health.

Adebayo Olukoshi
Director, UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning; former executive secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.
Before assuming his present post as Director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP). He earlier held the position as Research Professor and Director of research and studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, and General Secretary of CODESRIA.

David Sanders
Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Saskatchewan.

Claudio Schuftan
Consultant in public health and nutrition, World Public Health Nutrition Association; Member of the Steering Council, People’s Health Movement, Vietnam; Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Tulane School of Public Health

Jerry Spiegel
Liu Institute for Global Issues; School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Co-Lead, Global and Indigenous Health Theme; Co-Director, Global Health Research Program
He has led research and capacity building programs and projects in Cuba, Slovakia, Ecuador and South Africa and is active in the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health.

Veronic Ouelette
PhD student, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.

Yash Tandon
Former director, South Centre, Geneva.
He founded the Southern and Eastern Trade information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) of which he is still the Chairman. It is an NGO which seeks to build African capacity to negotiate, among others, on trade, investment and intellectual property issues.

Sebastian Taylor
Former Senior Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London.

Riaz Tayob
Tallinn University of Technology.

Mike Rowson
Institute for Global Health, University College London.

John Lister
Assoociate Senior Lecturer, Coventry University.

Rolph van der Hoeven
Professor, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hauge, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Previously, he was Director of ILO’s Policy Coherence Group, Manager of the Technical Secretariat of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization in Geneva , Chief Economist of UNICEF in New York and policy analyst for the ILO in Ethiopia and Zambia. His work concentrates on issues of employment, inequality and economic reform, topics on which he has published extensively.

Sarah Wamala
Director-general, Swedish National Institute of Public Health; Professor of Health Policy and Leadership at Karolinska Institutet
She served as a Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Stockholm County Council.Sarah is a Global healthcare thought leader at the Center for Healthcare Innovation, Chicago (USA) and is a distinguished executive mentor at the Global initiative for Women in Health Care and Life sciences.

Kevin Watkins
Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
He is a former non-resident senior fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, and was previously director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report. His research focuses on education, globalisation and human development.

David Woodward
Independent researcher; former head, New Global Economy program, New Economics Foundation.
He has been a professional development economist for more than 30 years, working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Executive Director Office in the IMF and World Bank, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, Save the Children and Progressio, as well as for NEF and independently.

Vivien Runnels
Researcher, Globalization and Health Equity Unit, University of Ottawa.

Publications and Presentations

Globalization and Health Knowledge Network (GKN) was formed in 2005 with the purpose of examining how contemporary globalization was influencing social determinants of health. This publication series was prepared under the general editorship of Ronald Labonte.

The final report Towards Health-Equitable Globalisation: Rights, Regulation and Redistribution. Ottawa: January 2008.

Trade Liberalization Synthesis Paper by Chantal Blouin, 2007

Intellectual Property Rights and Inequalities in Health Outcomes by Carlos M. Correa, 2008

‘Globalization and Health Systems Change’ by John Lister and Ronald Labonte, in Ronald Labonte, Ted Schrecker , Corinne Packer and Vivien Runnels (Eds). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy.

Globalization and Health Worker Crisis by Corinne Packer, Ronald Labonte and Denise Spitzer, 2007

Globalization Global Governance and Social Determinants of Health by Kelley Lee, Meri Koivusalo, Eeva Ollila, Ronald Labonte, Ted Schrecker, Claudio Schuftan, David Woodward, 2007

Global Political Economy and Geopolitical Trends, Structures and Implications for Public Health by Patrick Bond, 2008

Globalization, Debt and Poverty Reduction Strategies by Michael Rowson, 2007

Globalization, Water and Health WHO Commission on SDH by J.Zoe Wilson and Patrick Bond, 2008

Globalization and Health: Impact Pathways and Recent Evidence by Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Stefano Rosignoli and Luca Tiberti, 2008

Globalization Food and Nutrition Transitions by Corinna Hawkes, 2007

Global Financing for Health: Aid and Debt Relief‘,  by Sebastien Taylor and Michael Rowson, in Ronald Labonte et al. (Eds.), Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy. 

Globalisation and Policy Space for Health and Social Determinants of Health by Meri Koivusalo, Ted Schrecker and Ronald Labonte, in Labonte et al. (Eds.), Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy.


Labonté, R. “Global action on social determinants of health,” Journal of Public Health Policy 33(2):139-47, 2012.


Labonté, R. “Towards a Post-Charter Health Promotion.” Health Promotion International, 26(S2): 1183-1186, 2011.

Labonté, R., Mohindra K., and Schrecker, T. “The Growing Impact of Globalization for Health and Public Health Practice”, Annual Review of Public Health. 32, 2011: 263-83.

Ostlin, P., Schrecker, T., Sadana, T., Bonnefoy, J., Gilson, L., Hertzman, C., Kelly, M., Kjellstrom, T., Labonté, R., Lundberg, O., Muntaner, C., Popay, J., Sen, G., and Vaghri, Z. “Priorities for Research on Equity and Health: Towards an Equity-Focused Third Wave of Health Research.” PLoS Medicine, 8(11): e100115, 2011.

Schrecker, T., Chapman, A., Labonté, R., De Vogli, R. “Health and Human Rights Against the Marketplace: Response to Reubi Social Sciences & Medicine”, Social Sciences and Medicine 73:629-31, 2011.

Schrecker, T. and Labonte R. (2011) Globalization: The global marketplace and Social Determinants of Health. In J.H. Lee & R. Sadana (eds.), Improving equity in health by addressing social determinants. Geneva: Commission on Social Determinants of Health Knowledge Networks, World Health Organization.


Labonté, R., Blouin, C. and Forman, L. Trade, Growth and Population Health: An Introductory Review. Ottawa: Collection d’études transdisciplinaires en santé des populations/ Transdisciplinary Studies in Population Health Series, 2(1), 2010. ISSN 1922-1398.

Schrecker, T., Chapman, A., Labonté, R. and De Vogli, R. “Advancing health equity in the global marketplace: How human rights can help”, Social Science & Medicine 71(2010): 1520-26.


Koivusalo, M., Schrecker, T. and Labonté, R. “Globalization and policy space for health and social determinants of health”, in Labonte, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds.). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy, Routledge. pp.105-130. 2009.

Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. “Introduction: Globalization’s Challenges to People’s Health”, in Labonte, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds.). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy, Routledge. pp.1-33. 2009.

Labonté, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy. London: Routledge, 2009.

Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. “Rights, redistribution and regulation”, in Labonte, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds.). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy, Routledge. pp.317-333. 2009.

Lee, K., Koivusalo, M., Ollila, E., Labonté, R., Schuftan, C. and Woodward, D. “Global governance for health”, in Labonte, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds.). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy, Routledge. pp.289-316. 2009.

Lister, J. and Labonté, R. “Globalization and health systems change”, in Labonte, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C. and Runnels, V. (eds.). Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy, Routledge. pp.181-212. 2009.

Packer, Corinne; Labonté, Ronald; Runnels, Vivien. Globalization and the Cross-Border Flow of Health Workers in Labonte, Ronald; Schrecker Ted; Packer, Corinne andRunnels, Vivien (eds). (2009) Globalisation and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy. Routledge Studies in Social Welfare. New York:  Routledge.


Blas, E., Gilson, L., Kelly, MP., Labonté, R., Lapitan, J., Muntaner, C., Ostlin, P., Popay, J., Sadana, R., Sen, G., Schrecker, T., and Vagri, Z. “Addressing Social Determinants of Health Inequities: What Can the State and Civil Society Do?” The Lancet, 372(9650): 1684-1689, 2008.

Labonté, R. “The Global Health Watch 2 Report: Holding the Social and Economic Causes of Health Inequities to Account.” BMJ, 337: a2144, 2008. (Commissioned Editorial). www.bmj.com

Schrecker, T., Labonté, R., and De Vogli, R. “Globalization and Health: The Need for a Global Vision.” The Lancet, 372(9650): 1670-1676, 2008.


Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. “Globalization and the Social Determinants of Health: Promoting Health Equity in Global Governance” (part 3 of 3), Globalization and Health, 3(7), 2007. [IF:2.86]

Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. “Globalization and the Social Determinants of Health: The Role of the Global Marketplace” (part 2 of 3). Globalization and Health, 3(6), 2007.

Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. “Globalization and the Social Determinants of Health: Introduction and Methodological Background” (part 1 of 3). Globalization and Health, 3(5), 2007.

Labonté, R. and Schrecker, T. Globalization and Social Determinants of Health: Analytic and Strategic Review Paper. Ottawa: Globalization Knowledge Network, University of Ottawa, 2006.