We grabbed 5 minutes with Peter Smith[1], co-author of Chapter 8 titled Cross-Sectoral Policies to Address Non-Communicable Diseases to find out what this chapter entails.              

Q: Why is cross-sectoral action important for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) prevention and what are the key challenges?

PS: The importance for NCDs of ‘social determinants’, such as education and housing, has been well documented. A consequence is that many of the most powerful actions to address NCDs, such as disease prevention programmes, are likely to entail working in collaboration with these other sectors. However, cross-sectoral working poses major problems, firstly in devising feasible policies and secondly in ensuring that they are properly implemented and managed.

Q: Why should readers not miss reading this chapter?

PS: The purpose of this chapter is to act as a guide for analysts and policymakers considering cross-sectoral policies to address NCDs. It puts forward a simple analytic framework for evaluating such policies, which builds on conventional cost-effectiveness analysis methods. It then discusses ways of managing the governance challenges that arise when seeking to ensure that the promise of cross-sectoral working can be effectively delivered.

Q: What is the key take home message from this chapter?

PS: That cross-sectoral working is crucial to many interventions to address the rise of NCDs. Such working is challenging. However, there is no reason why that should preclude the development and implementation of cross-sectoral interventions, providing proper attention is given to the appropriate evaluation methods and governance arrangements. 

The NCD Prevention: Best Buys, Wasted Buys and Contestable Buys book will be launched on 12th December 2019 (UHC Day). To find out more about the project please visit https://www.buyitbestncd.health/ and stay tuned for more insights with book authors, editors, and reviewers in the coming weeks.

[1] Peter works at Imperial College London and University of York