Who we are

The Alliance for Health Promotion (A4HP) founded in 1997 at the 4th International Conference on Health Promotion in Jakarta is a coalition of international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), academic institutions and other Civil Society actors from different sectors committed to Health Promotion.

Established in Geneva it is the only NGO grouping fighting for the recognition of the value of local knowledge as a community asset and its integration in development programmes. It is a bridge between grass-roots and international initiatives.

The Alliance is in Official Relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and has Consultative Status with ECOSOC.


The Alliance aspires to see empowered individuals and communities with ownership of knowledge and means to better control their health and fully enjoy a healthy life.


The Mission of the Alliance is to strengthen global efforts to improve health by

  • Bridging the gap between international declaration and local realities,
  • Catalyzing and galvanizing NGOs health promotion actions and,
  • Advocating for a holistic approach to health

Goals and Objectives

  • To achieve a positive impact on policy and decision-making at all levels through the empowerment of individuals and communities,
  • To use efficiently local resources and the local knowledge generated,
  • To achieve that health promotion be seen as a continuum and as an economic benefit
  • To advance the need for individuals and communities to take responsibility for their own health,
  • To achieve a better quality of life and overall well-being through the lifecourse.

What is Health promotion?

The first definition of Health Promotion was developed at the Ottawa Conference:

“Health Promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.”

We consider Health Promotion as the means to support individuals and communities to take responsibility for their own health and to work for an environment in which they can be successful. “Health Promotion puts health on the agenda of policy-makers in all sectors and at all levels of the system, directing them to be aware of the health consequences of their decisions and to accept their responsibility for health.”


The Alliance for Health Promotion

In 1997 at the WHO 4th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Jakarta, a few committed NGOs formed an Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Health Promotion. They realized that in order to achieve progress in health promotion and to implement the decisions taken at the Conference, NGO support and action would be required. The fact that they were based in Geneva enabled them to keep close contact with WHO and to be in a position to work together on the outcomes of the Jakarta Conference and on the previous WHO conferences (Alma Ata, Ottawa, Adelaide).

The first Statement by the NGO Advisory Group was made in Bangkok in 2005 at the Global Health Promotion Conference in support of the Bangkok Charter. The first Action Plan of the Advisory Group was developed at the Workshop held in 2006 in WHO as a follow-up to the Bangkok Conference and published under the title “From Vision to Action”. The Group was able to spread awareness at WHO and international meetings. Moreover, with WHO support we organized annual NGO Briefings during the World Health Assembly.

In 2008 the NGO Advisory Group constituted itself as a formal Alliance, with International NGO status, registered by the State of Geneva and operating according to Swiss Law.  At the founding meeting of the Alliance, a Board of six Members was elected.  Since 2012 the Alliance has an independent office in Versoix, canton of Geneva and thus, is ideally positioned to work closely with the UN, its specialised agencies, in particular the WHO and other international organisations.

In 2015 the Alliance was admitted into Official Relations with WHO and obtained Consultative Status with ECOSOC.

The NGO Health Promotion Platform

The NGO Health Promotion Platform is a global partnership of international NGOs working together to improve health by generating awareness and bringing added value to existing efforts of NGOs in the promotion of health. Its objectives are:

  • Strengthened advocacy
  • Development of partnerships
  • Sharing of best practice, initiatives and experiences

The Platform will adhere to principles that promote equality and open participation, particularly to children, youth, women and disadvantaged groups.

The idea of the platform is to open the doors to all NGOs interested in health promotion wishing to benefit from joint advocacy, policy and action and contribute to building a collective NGO voice. It was decided by the members to set up a wider network called Health Promotion Platform.