The United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) was established in
2005 as part of the UNU system. Its mission is to advance evidence-based policy on key issues related to sustainable development and global health.
As a member of the UN family, UNU-IIGH brings an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to problem-solving.
Global health institutions, including UN agencies and academia, generate significantly large bodies of evidence through rigorous research, field-based interventions and professional practice. The volume
of information is overwhelming, often leaving a gap in translation, dissemination and implementation.
UNU-IIGH serves as a designated ”think tank” on global health for the UN system, and a “policy hub” to support UN agencies and other global health institutions to translate and disseminate global guidance and recommendations to make them relevant for country-level decision-makers.
“The United Nations University (UNU) is a research and training network, which aims to function as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system, by responding to the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are of the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States”
At UNU-IIGH, we believe in the power of convening and its ability to generate insight and action beyond what any single actor could achieve alone. Leveraging the UN and UNU network, UNU-IIGH provides a neutral convening space for debate on cross-cutting global health priorities, and the development of strategies that aim to contextualise and operationalise evidence for policy and implementation. We provide a forum for discussion across multiple sectors to translate tough problems into results-oriented solutions.
UNU-IIGH provides an independent intellectual platform for engagement, which brings together a range of actors – academics, UN agencies, Member States, civil society, and the private sector. As the academic unit of the UN, UNU-IIGH can advocate for approaches and convening outcomes in global health that may be novel, disrupt orthodoxies, and challenge participants, encouraging them to think in new ways.
Combining its position in the UN with access to the academic community, it is uniquely positioned to rigorously research a topic; convene a broad set of stakeholders; communicate and disseminate recommendations; and where appropriate, support implementation.
Our events encourage and provide space for frank discussions, debate, critical thinking and exchange among diverse groups of policy makers, experts and thought leaders.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, UNU-IIGH provides end-to-end organising services, including the identification of relevant participants, stakeholder engagement and full logistics support, as well as the development of preparatory research and briefing materials, and consolidation of outcome materials.
We draw on a cadre of PhD students, fellows, visiting scholars and experts to support the compilation
and review of evidence to inform policy dialogues, and translate and contextualise guidance and recommendations.
In July 2018, UNU-IIGH, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, co-convened a two- day meeting on Health-Trade Policy Coherence and its impact on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In conjunction with a regional conference on “Innovations and Actions Against Non-Communicable Diseases (IAAN)”, the meeting brought together opinion leaders from ministries of health in the region, academic institutions and several UN agencies engaged in activities to address NCDs.
Background documents presented by UNU-IIGH highlighted the impact of the NCD burden, and of the lack of active engagement of the health sector with international trade and investments guided by policies from the World Trade Organisation.
Resulting policy briefs outline, amongst other considerations, the need to strengthen the capacity of health policy-makers to advocate and contribute to negotiations in non-health sectors that impact population health and well-being.