UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

Handbook of health promotion research

Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research

Our world is facing a number of huge challenges today that impact health – including the climate crisis, increasing inequalities and the COVID pandemic. Promoting health and preventing disease is a positive way to improve health for all and reduce health inequalities. Health promotion is now adopted in many countries as a strategy that supports social change. However, there is a need to create knowledge to help facing these challenges with the aim of acting more broadly on the health conditions of populations. While a growing number of researchers contribute to a health promotion knowledge-base, health promotion still needs to get recognized as a well-developed and respected field of research and practice.

The UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education together with its key partners and global UNITWIN community members work to create and strengthen the research field of health promotion. One of its activities is producing knowledge with the publication of a new Handbook on Health Promotion Research.


The UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education together with the Canada Research Chair in Community Approaches and Health Inequalities will publish a state-of-the-art Global Handbook for Health Promotion Research. The handbook will map, organize and structure the field of health promotion research. It will help to get health promotion research recognised as an established field. The handbook is edited by two of the world’s leading scientists in this field, prof. Didier Jourdan (France) and prof. Louise Potvin (Canada).

The Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research consists of three distinct volumes (1: Mapping health promotion research, 2: Framing health promotion research and 3: Doing health promotion research). Designed as a collaborative project, the handbook is mainly composed of chapters written by the leading researchers and research groups, with more than 80 contributions from all around the world. The three volumes will offer a broad overview of the research in health promotion and how it is conducted. It offers a unique in-depth approach to the structure of the health promotion research and introductions to relevant paradigms, approaches and methods. There is a strong focus on the specific challenges for health promotion research now and for the future.

Standard reference

The Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research will be the standard reference for researchers, professionals working in the field and policy makers who wish to get a deeper insight in the topic. It is also written to support post-graduate education and self-study. The handbook will be promoted and implemented in partnership with the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

The handbook is an opening for the future and a stepping stone for an ongoing global initiative: establishing health promotion research as a recognised field and create a shared identity between researchers, practitioners and students in the field.

The new handbook will be a training tool for the UNESCO Chair and associated universities and networks for the coming years. It offers an important opportunity to develop partnerships supporting its implementation and the development of training activities. Publishing this much needed and unique research handbook via Springer Nature will ensure global exposure of our field of health promotion. The UNESCO Chair will promote the use of the handbook in its global UNITWIN community.

Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Volume 1

The first volume of the Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Mapping Health Promotion Research, was published during the 24th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion in Montreal in May 2022. It provides a description of health promotion research practices.

Volume 1 is available via this link

Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Volume 3

This third volume of the Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research, Doing Health Promotion Research, was published in March 2023. It concerns research practices relevant to the production and sharing of knowledge about health promotion practices.

It is organised as follows:

  • Part I presents some paradigms and approaches to knowledge production relevant to health promotion research.  
  • Parts II to V describe research designs and methods that specifically address health promotion research.  
  • Part VI includes an overview of the challenges facing health promotion research and suggests ways forward.

Volume 3 is available via this link

New section Journal Global Health Promotion: “Doing Health Promotion Research” 

Because it is impossible to claim an exhaustive description of research practices in one book and because the field is constantly evolving, we wanted to create a space to continue to publish and share articles to enrich this material and keep this initiative alive. Therefore a new section has been created within the journal Global Health Promotion with the aim of gathering original texts that are new to the paradigms or methods used in health promotion research.

Read the call for papers

Read the editorial

The Handbook of Health Promotion Research will be published under the auspices of the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Centre “Global Health & Education” and the Canada Research Chair on Community Approaches and Health Inequalities, in partnership with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. The editors are Didier Jourdan and Louise Potvin.