Implementation of Health 2015 public health program in Finland: A welfare state in transition

Lauri Kokkinen, Carles Muntaner, Patricia O'Campo, Alix Freiler, Golda Oneka, Ketan Shankardass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Our study sought to examine the implementation of Health 2015 [a public health programme prepared following the principles of Health in All Policies (HiAP)] between 2001 and 2015 in the context of welfare state restructuring. We used data from the realist multiple explanatory case study by HARMONICS, which focused on political factors (processes) that lead to the (un)successful implementation of programmes following the principles of HiAP. We analyzed data - key informant interviews, grey and scholarly literature - from our Finnish case to examine how Health 2015 implementation has been affected by the changing role of the state. We find that the dismantling of formal funding allocation decreased the capacity of national authorities to exert control over municipalities' health promotion work, diluting the financial arrangements regarding municipal obligations. As a result, most municipalities failed to contribute to Health 2015, resulting in losses for health promotion activities. Our results also point to joining the EU. Whereas the procedures for preparing Finland's unanimous positions on EU matters were useful in harmonizing ideologies on various policy issues between different ministries, joining the EU also increased commercial interests and the strength of the lobby system, leading to the prioritization of economic objectives over public health objectives. Finally, our informants also highlighted the changing relationship between the state and the market, manifested in market deregulation and increasing influence of pro-growth arguments during the implementation of Health 2015.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-268
Number of pages11
JournalHealth promotion international
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1


  • Health in All Policies
  • healthy public policy
  • implementation
  • inter-sectoral action
  • realist methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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