The Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies Through Health and Gender Equality is an independent and international commission dedicated to generating new knowledge and evidence on the relationship between health equity, gender equality, conflict, and peace, and practical recommendations on how health equity and gender equality interventions can contribute to more peaceful societies (Figure 1).
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission is chaired by Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland, and includes 25 experts from various disciplines and geographies. The Secretariat is hosted at the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT), an independent global health institute at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission’s guiding question is, how can health and gender equality contribute to more peaceful societies?
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission is putting forward a new agenda for future policy action and research, focusing on improving health and gender equality interventions in conflict-affected settings and ensuring these interventions support a transition to more peaceful societies in the context of heightened vulnerabilities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Figure 1: Focus of the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on peaceful societies through health and gender equality
Contributing to global policy priorities
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission helps to:
- Advance Agenda 2030 by identifying interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for good health and well-being (SDG 3), gender equality (SDG 5), and peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16).
- Strengthen evidence to inform “peace through health” strategies and the Women, Peace, and Security agenda
- Leverage connections across the humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding Triple Nexus and support New Way of Working priorities from the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit
- Inform policies to “Build Back Better” from the COVID-19 pandemic
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission’s Research
There is significant investment in conflict-affected settings by domestic governments and through development assistance for health and humanitarian aid. However, the evidence on how health can impact conflict/peace is mixed, not well supported, and insufficient to inform policy design and program implementation. Research finds that gender equality is important for peace, but health and other interventions fall short in addressing gender inequalities. How interventions to promote health equity and gender equality impact organized violence is a key knowledge gap.
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission is conducting research on how variation in health equity and gender equality influence variation in organized violence. Through an interdisciplinary approach and collaborations with experts across sectors, the Lancet-SIGHT Commission includes research to:
- Present a new framework and evidence on the relationships between health equity, gender equality, violence, and peace
- Identify interventions to nudge societies towards peaceful, virtuous cycles, and present evidence on how these interventions work and under what conditions
- Synthesize lessons on the “promise and perils” of interventions in conflict-affected settings to inform implementation
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission collaborates with over 40 researchers worldwide, including early career researchers and leading universities and institutions.
Partners include Carleton University, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Duke University, Overseas Development Institute, United Nations Foundation, University of Gothenburg, University of Pretoria, Uppsala University, York University, and the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission aims to engage stakeholders and expand its partnerships to help apply its findings and recommendations to policy and practice and further research in this developing field.
The Lancet-SIGHT Commission is supported by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.