Post-conflict health reconstruction: Search for a policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite increasing experience in health reconstruction in societies emerging from conflict, the policy basis for investing in the development of equitable and effective health systems in the wake of war remains unsettled. Consideration of post-conflict health reconstruction is almost entirely absent in donor policies on global health. Practically by default, health programmes are seen increasingly as an element of stabilisation and security interventions in the aftermath of armed conflict. That perspective, however, lacks an evidence base and can skew health programmes towards short-term security and stabilisation goals that have a marginal impact and violate the principles of equity, non-discrimination, and quality, which are central to sound health systems and public acceptance of them. A better approach is to ground policy in legitimacy, viewing health both as a core social institution and one that, if developed according to human rights principles, including equity, non-discrimination, participation and accountability, can advance the effectiveness and the quality of governance in the emerging state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-700
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Equity
  • Human rights principles
  • Legitimacy
  • Post-conflict health reconstruction
  • Security
  • Stabilisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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