The UK, health and peace-building: the mysterious disappearance of Health as a Bridge for Peace

Med Confl Surviv. Apr-Jun 2006;22(2):94-109. doi: 10.1080/13623690600620940.


The problem of how to build peace in post-conflict societies continues to loom large for governments and development agencies worldwide. This article examines the involvement of the UK development community in the creation of the World Health Organization's 'Health as a Bridge for Peace' (HBP) programme. It argues that the new development policy context brought in by the United Kingdom Labour administration in 1997 appeared to provide fertile ground for health-sector initiatives such as these to become an important part of the UK's peace-building strategy, but that HBP in fact failed to take root. The role of individuals, the changing departmental focus of the Department for International Development (DFID), its relationship with WHO, and the absence of persuasive evidence for the efficacy of HBP are highlighted as being crucial in explaining the policy's mysterious disappearance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Global Health*
  • Government Programs*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Policy*
  • United Kingdom
  • Warfare*
  • World Health Organization