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The Healthy Municipalities and Communities (HMC) Strategy represents local implementation of one of the most effective health-promotion strategies. Based on the notion of health as quality of life, the actions of the HMC Strategy focuses more on the underlying determinants of health than on their consequences in terms of disease. The ultimate goal is to promote the processes that enable people to improve their living conditions. The HMC Strategy also focuses on uniting local authorities and community members in establishing lasting partnerships.
The HMC Strategy has helped to support and focus the decentralization process that many countries have been undergoing, and in light of the democratization of local decision-making, it has provided a platform on which all local stakeholders can participate in defining priorities and key interventions in a collaborative manner.
Information exchange and collaboration among the countries have been key factors in the success of the HMC Strategy and the substantial growth of the movement in the Region of the Americas. At the Second Latin American Congress on Healthy Municipalities and Communities held in Boca del Río, Mexico, in 1997, 18 nations signed an agreement to create the Latin American Network of Healthy Municipalities and Communities, to build and strengthen their national networks and ensure their sustainability. International Agreements, Declarations, and Conventions). Networks make it easier to widely share information about successes and challenges and facilitate addressing the needs of other groups and at different levels, such as the private sector, government, and international organizations, and can play a major role in the development of new experiences. In some countries of the Region, such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and Cuba, national networks have already been established and have been working for a number of years with good results. In other countries, the development of networks is at an early stage. The publication of bulletins and reports contributes to the sustainability of networks. The production and dissemination of publications by communities and municipalities in recent years has been greatly facilitated by the growth of the Internet.
Documents, Publications & Methodologies
Cidades Saudáveis, CEPEDOC (Centro de Estudos, Pesquisa e Documentação)
Areas of Work
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization