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A guide to action on lifelong learning for health in cities

A key outcome of the fifth International Conference on Learning Cities (ICLC 5) was the Yeonsu Declaration for Learning Cities, which affirmed a commitment to lifelong learning for health (LLLH). 

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, lifelong learning for health has the potential to strengthen cities’ health education provisions, boost their capacities to adapt to the health-related needs of the local population, and strengthen their resilience to future challenges. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education (GHE) are collaborating to develop an enactment guide for the Yeonsu Declaration, which UNESCO GNLC members, ICLC 5 participants and partners are invited to co-design. 

This process will be shaped by a three-part webinar series that will investigate the stages of raising awareness of LLLH, developing a policy towards a healthy and resilient city, and putting the policy into action in order to build a health learning pathway for all.   

Enactment guide of the Yeonsu Declaration for Learning Cities

Enactment Guide of the Yeonsu Declaration for Learning Cities 

The guide aims to assist teams of city stakeholders in the concrete enactment of the Yeonsu Declaration and promotion of LLLH. It consists of four parts: 

  • A backdrop for the enactment of the declaration (Part A, p. 13) 

  • The content of a LLLH policy (Part B, p. 26) 

  • Implementing a LLLH policy (Part C, p. 40) 

  • A toolbox for city leaders (Part D, p. 60) 

The guide can be used in different ways depending on each city’s context, means and objectives. It is not necessary to read the whole guide in order, and each of the four parts of the guide can be used separately. 

Target groups for the guide

The guide aims at supporting UNESCO learning cities, healthy cities, and all further cities that want to implement a lifelong learning for health policy. Depending on individual environments, cities may select parts of the guide to use and jump to relevant stages as needed.  

The guide proposes a three-stage approach to the enactment of the Yeonsu Declaration and promotion of LLLH. These three stages are reflected across the three webinars being organized. 

Prior to the start of the series, stakeholders are invited to familiarize themselves with ‘A backdrop for the enactment of the Yeonsu Declaration’ featured in the guide (Part A, p. 13). Across all three webinars, relevant tools will be selected from ‘A toolbox for city leaders’ (Part D). 

This webinar will focus on conceptualization, awareness-raising and policy development in learning for health at the local level. LLLH will be conceptualized in a way that can be adapted to each unique city context, and its role in helping cities achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will be highlighted. In addition, the question of how to raise awareness of the role of cities in spearheading LLLH initiatives, including those concerning health literacy and citizenship for health, will be addressed. To initiate policy development procedures, the webinar will explore the process of establishing an intersectoral taskforce to oversee a city’s LLLH policy. Click here to find out more about this webinar.

For this webinar, participants are encouraged to review the information contained in ‘The content of a LLLH policy’ (Part B, p. 26) of the enactment guide, as well as the first section of ‘Implementing a LLLH policy’ (Part C) – particularly ‘Phase 1: Raising awareness of LLLH and preparing the project’ (p. 45). 

To contextualise and build on Webinar 1, participants may wish to consult and use thematic tools 1–5 from Part D of the guide

This webinar will focus on conducting a LLLH inventory of resources in cities and then developing a city-based action plan for a comprehensive health learning pathway for all, which integrates formal, non-formal and informal learning spaces – including institutions – to actualize a multisectoral approach to LLLH. Light will be shed on how to enhance the quality of intersectoral collaboration by, for example, overcoming communication hurdles between sectors. Other points to be addressed include the sustainable expansion of the health learning pathway and its impact on community resilience. Click here to find out more about this webinar. 

For this webinar, participants are encouraged to revisit Part B of the enactment guide and focus in particular on ‘Phase 2: Developing a policy for a healthy and resilient city’ (p. 47) featured in Part C. 

To contextualize and build on Webinar 2, participants may wish to consult and use thematic tools 12–16 from Part D of the guide. 

This webinar will focus on policy implementation. Sustainable policy implementation strategies that involve all stakeholders within and beyond the education and health sectors will be discussed. Exchanges will also address the importance of local people’s participation – and in particular the participation of vulnerable groups – in initiatives fostered by policy implementation. This third and final webinar will also involve a discussion on monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and the enhancement of LLLH policy visibility. Click here to find out more about this webinar. 

For this webinar, participants are encouraged to revisit Part C of the enactment guide and focus on ‘Phase 3: Putting the learning for health policy into action’. 

To contextualize and build on Webinar 3, participants may wish to consult and use thematic tools 15 and 16 from Part D of the guide. 

Your feedback on the enactment guide is welcome throughout the webinar series and will contribute towards the final, co-designed version of this resource for cities around the world.