The year 2015 was an important milestone in the world of international development and global health, marking the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MDGs represented an important turning point, by focusing international attention and resources on a set of very specific and widespread challenges. They have, however, been criticized for failing to address in-country disparities, and for not taking into account the ways in which the challenges relate to one another or to other challenges not included in the agenda. The SDGs have taken a more comprehensive and aspirational approach with 17 goals, each with multiple targets that seek to tackle the interconnections among challenges and to explicitly promote equity in attaining the goals. The comprehensive nature of the new agenda and its focus on equity is reminiscent of the human security concept, which, if implemented effectively, has the potential to build more resilient communities around the world.
This report, produced as part of JCIE’s Global Health and Human Security program, identifies seven principles of human security, as well as key features of successful human security approaches, to explain to experts in the health and development fields what a human security approach is and how it can be applied to ensure that interventions are integrated so as to build and sustain health resilience at the individual, community, and institutional levels as a path toward health for all. Most public health and development practitioners are aware of—and are likely using—one or more aspects of the approach, but they are generally unfamiliar with the full picture. This report will provide health policymakers and program managers with a guide for more effectively implementing the human security approach in their work, thus accelerating progress toward achieving freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity for one and all.