Strategy and Governance



This Strategic Plan (2021-2026), which was developed in consultation with the IUHPE Executive Board and members, builds on existing developments and outlines the strategic priorities of the organization over the next five years.

The central theme and overarching framework that informs this Strategic Plan is a systems approach to health promotion. The Strategic Plan places the strengthening of health promotion systems at the centre of our priority actions. This is informed by the key requirements and enablers for strengthening health promotion systems, as outlined in a Position Statement published by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education in 20181. These system requirements inform and underpin this Strategy, as they are critical to effective action.

The Strategic Priorities identified for 2021-2026 include:
• Action on the determinants of health and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
• Addressing global challenges to health and health equity, including noncommunicable and communicable disease and promoting mental health and wellbeing
• The development of the health promotion field

These strategic priorities are supported by Operational Measures, which align with the portfolios of IUHPE Vice Presidents. These include: advocacy, partnerships, leadership, capacity development, knowledge development and translation, communication, membership development and effective governance.



Strategy is central to ensure that appropriate processes are developed and maintained to regularly review the organisation's strategic directions and the strategic orientation of its work. Since its foundation, the IUHPE has grown and expanded the breadth and depth of its work in health promotion. The organisation has, at times, wrestled with issues of strategic direction and how to ensure that the organisation seeks out and takes up new opportunities that fulfil or advance its strategic goals.

One of the key objectives is to ensure strong strategic linkages without creating cumbersome reporting/coordination mechanisms. The IUHPE therefore develops five-years priority areas for action as well as a yearly integrated workplan to harmonize and coordinates all officers' contribution to the defined priority activities of the Organisation


In recent years questions have arisen from the membership regarding the structure of the organisation, its governance, and how best to involve members at all levels of the organisation in the work that is done. These issues have led to a reform of the IUHPE governance structure which was endorsed in 2012 and will be finalised in 2013, with the elections of a new Executive Board.


Given the evolution of the Organisation, of the field itself, of the context in which we work, and of communication and other technologies, over the years, it was indeed necessary to review and reflect on our ways of working and on the infrastructure of the Organisation to effectively advance and deliver on our priority areas of work and organizational objectives. A critical part of this review has been the articulation of the need for governing bodies of a manageable size that would be appropriately representative of Institutional and Individual Members, Regional structures, Funders, and Partners, from various sectors, areas and all parts of the world, to continue reflecting and building on the diversity of the IUHPE global network.

The governance reform significantly changed the former structure and governance of the IUHPE; changes designed to provide the organisation with a streamlined, agile structure and rules of governance while also increasing opportunities for individual and institutional member engagement.

The final proposal was the result of an inclusive process including all levels of membership and regional structures, developed in conjunction with two other related developments: a proposal to develop a new mechanism of membership engagement called “Interest Groups” and a communication strategy that informs members of options for engagement as well as explaining the new structure.


President: Margaret M. Barry (Ireland)