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Use of behavioural and cultural insights in 2021 –2022 in the WHO European Region: status report

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In September 2022 Member States of the WHO European Region acknowledged the importance of behaviour and its cultural context for health in adopting a regional resolution on behavioural and cultural insights (‎BCI)‎ for equitable health and an action framework, including five strategic commitments and related targets. They committed to reporting their BCI activities to the WHO Regional Office for Europe every 2 years from 2021–2022 (‎baseline)‎ until 2025–2026. This first status report presents the activities for 2021–2022 of public health authorities (‎PHAs)‎ in 48 countries, territories, areas and entities in the Region, representing 44 Member States. These data show that ambitious targets were set for 2026. Most of the PHAs had conducted BCI-related research and three quarters had used the insights gained to inform the development of health policies, services and communication. Examples of BCI work were provided, but were rarely done in a systematic or integrated way across health topics or target groups. Few PHAs reported a sufficient level of progress to ensure conditions conducive for BCI work. Approximately one third of PHAs had human and financial resources in place and were working with stakeholders to integrate BCI into their health strategies.

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