Systems for Health Equity: What role can social participation play?

Systems for Health Equity

In 2022, the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research introduced the concept of Systems for Health in an eponymous report at the Health Systems Global Symposium, seeking to draw global attention to three key systems that together can intervene synergistically to improve health -  health care systems and universal health coverage, health security and resilience against shocks; and multi-sectoral action to strengthen policies in sectors outside of health care to address the structural, social, cultural and commercial determinants of health. A running thread across all these is equity – defined as the absence of unfair and avoidable differences among groups of people defined socially, economically, demographically, geographically or by other dimensions of inequality. An emphasis on equity introduces procedural and methodological imperatives to involve communities and collectives as key agents of change within systems for health.  

This discussion convened by The George Institute will comprise thought leaders in the systems for health, health equity and social participation for health space to share their reflections on opportunities and threats to a system for health equity agenda.  


  • Justin Koonin

    Justin is a co-chair of the Steering Committee of UHC2030, the international multistakeholder partnership for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and is a member of multiple World Health Organization (WHO) expert panels. At a national level in Australia, Justin is president of the AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON). He is Honorary Professorial Fellow at The George Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of New South Wales, as well as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Justin's training is in the field of pure mathematics, and he currently works as an investment analyst. 

    Justin Koonin
  • David Peiris

    David is the Chief Scientist for The George Institute for Global Health and Director of the Global Primary Health Care Program (Better Care). He is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney and works clinically as a GP in Sydney. 

    David joined The George Institute in 2006 and is passionate about strengthening primary health care worldwide. He is focussed on overcoming the challenges of delivering affordable, high-quality health services and programs to communities across the globe. He is a former Australian Harkness Fellow in Healthcare policy, based at the Harvard School of Public Health and was the elected co-chair of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases committee for hypertension control from 2012 to 2015. He sits on several government, non-government, and research advisory committees. He is a commissioner on two Lancet commissions focussed on evidence-based implementation in global health and pandemic preparedness. 

  • Kent Buse

    Kent is a political economist with research interests in health policy analysis and the evidence to policy pathway. Kent joined the Institute in 2020 to lead the Healthier Societies program. The program aims to support governments, markets, and communities to establish and deliver favourable conditions to enable the health and wellbeing of people, planet, and economies – and fix systems. Kent has published widely on global health governance and architecture, health policy, planning and financing, population-level approaches to control of NCDs, HIV and sexual and reproductive health, and human rights, as well as on equity, inclusion, and accountability. He authored the leading graduate textbook ‘Making Health Policy’. He served as Chief of Policy, Strategy and Research at UNAIDS for over ten years and is the co-founder and co-director of Global Health 50/50, the world’s leading authority on gender in global health. Kent also serves on the Policy Committee of the World Obesity Federation and WHO’s informal expert committee on the Commercial Determinants of Health. 

    Kent Buse
  • Rohina Joshi

    Scientia Associate Prof Rohina Joshi is the Global Health Research Lead at the School of Population Health, UNSW, Sydney and a Senior Researcher at The George Institute, India. Rohina teaches global health and is a health systems researcher with an aim to strengthen health information systems and health workforce. She trained in Medicine and Public Health from India and completed her PhD and MBA in Australia. Rohina serves as the CDC Foundation’s Asia Pacific lead for the Data for Health Initiative and the UNSW lead for the Asia Pacific Observatory for Health Systems. She serves on several advisory boards including the WHO’s Community Health Worker training program and Mortality in India through Verbal Autopsy.  

    Dr Rohina Joshi
  • AR Nanda

    Mr. A R Nanda is former Executive Director of Population Foundation of India and was the ED when the Secretariat of the Advisory Group on Community Action (AGCA) was set up at PFI. He is a member of the AGCA. He has held many important positions in the Government including Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India. Mr Nanda has been a member/trustee of several organizations including the Indian Association for Study of Population and the National Commission on Population. He has been an honorary fellow at the Indian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.  Mr Nanda was the board chair at CHETNA for 15 years, and also at Freedom from Hunger India and Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security. He has served as an advisor on the International Advisory Committee for Population Programme of the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and the WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research. 

    AR Nanda (IAS Retd, Ex-NRHM) 
  • Helena Legido-Quigley

    Helena Legido-Quigley is the newly appointed Chair in Health Systems Science at The George Institute for Global Health, UK, and the School of Public Health, Imperial College London. In this role, she leads transformative initiatives across policy, research, economics, and implementation science. Leveraging The George Institute's global presence in Australia, China, India, and the UK, she primarily operates from London. 

    Prior to joining The George Institute, Professor Legido-Quigley served as an Associate Professor in Health Systems at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, a member of the World Economic Forum Council, and the editor-in-chief of Elsevier's Journal of Migration and Health. Her active involvement in Women in Global Health, Spain, reflects her commitment to reshaping global health and mentoring the next generation of researchers. Her research spans health services, health security, and multi-sectoral health actions, all with a strong focus on equity.  

    Helena Legido-Quigley
  • Facilitator: Devaki Nambiar

    Devaki Nambiar is Program Director, Healthier Societies Strategy at the George Institute for Global Health India with appointments at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India, the University of New South Wales, Australia, and the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, USA. She is a Health Policy and Systems Researcher (HPSRer) with over two decades of experience working in India and other Low- and Middle-Income Countries on decision-maker demand-driven research, postgraduate teaching in HPSR, as well as technical assistance with an emphasis on community action for health, social exclusion, health equity and health for all. She is a former Fulbright, Fogarty, and NIH scholar, and Fellow of the Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance. She advises the WHO on health inequality monitoring, national programme re-orientation, and guideline development to leave no one behind. She serves on the Lancet-Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19, the Lancet Commission on Sustainable Healthcare, and advises Lancet Commissions on Women and Cancer as well as on Reimagining India's Health System. She is a member of the People's Health Movement and the Medico Friends Circle. She also serves on the Board of Health Systems Global and the Research Advisory Board of the Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru, India.