|Promoting Health Through Schools - Report of a WHO Expert Committee on Comprehensive School Health Education and Promotion (WHO, 1997, 104 p.)|
|3. Strengthening school health programmes at the international, national, and local levels|
At the international level, the following barriers are common:
· Barriers that interfere with effective cooperation among United Nations or international organizations. The strengths and mandates of international organizations such as WHO, UNESCO, and UNICEF both differ and overlap, which can result in competition that hinders cooperation. Moreover, ongoing means of collaboration do not exist with regard to school health programmes. Thus, collaboration among international agencies tends to be short term and limited in scale, and often fails to take full advantage of each organizations experience, capacities, and constituents.
· Barriers that prevent governments from working together and learning from each other. Many countries could learn from the policies and programmes developed in other countries. However, some national governments may believe that their circumstances are so unlike those of others that sharing their experiences would not be productive. Moreover, there are few mechanisms of collaboration that would provide governments with the opportunity to reflect on and define common issues and join together in learning from each other.
· Barriers that make it difficult for countries to work with international agencies. In many countries, there are few resources available for domestic school health programmes, which makes it difficult to advocate using resources for international collaborative efforts, or even for implementing methods and programmes promoted by international agencies.
· Barriers that governments present to international agencies. Changing political or governmental structures, as well as political and economic crises, may make it difficult for international agencies to engage in long-term planning and capacity building with government agencies.