The CHAIN World Leadership Dialogue was part of the 16th World Public Health Conference. This conference was titled Public Health for the Future of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy and Action, and took place digitally from 12-16 October 2020.

Diving into the World of Data: Developments in Global Health Inequalities Research
CHAIN World Leadership Dialogue



Health Inequalities are a persistent and urgent challenge globally and locally. The roots of these inequalities are deep and entangled. Consequently, both research into health inequalities and the policy actions to reduce them are complex and diverse. The CHAIN World Leadership Dialogue, organised as part of the 16th World Congress on Public Health 2020, explored how developments in the field of data are changing health inequalities research, and how those changes are reflected in and reactive to the policy environment.

Several initiatives in the field of health inequality data were presented, namely the inclusion of education as a risk factor for unfavourable health outcomes in the Global Burden of Disease studies, the 3D-Commission’s efforts to engage policy makers to integrate data and social determinants in decision making processes and the innovative Magic Box that pairs micro-data with traditional data to map the needs of vulnerable populations. We also explored how the new possibilities that arrive from innovations in the world of data are used to create policies that better suit the needs of vulnerable populations and address the underlying challenges to health equity.



1. Introduction and opening remarks
Terje A. Eikemo, Leader of CHAIN, Professor of Sociology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology & Chief-Editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health

2. Count everyone because everyone counts
Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director General, Division of Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact at WHO Headquarters in Geneva

3. Adding education as a risk factor to the Global Burden of Disease study
Emmanuela Gakidou, Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

4. Combining insight of social determinants and the power of data to inform decision making
Salma Abdalla, MBBS MPH, Lead Project Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, Boston University 3-D Commission

5. Lessons from WHO’s work on the social determinants of health equity
Nicole Valentine, Acting Head of Unit, Equity and Health Unit, Department of Social Determinants of Health, WHO headquarters in Geneva

6. Discussion


A recording of the session is available below.