The South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS) is an intergovernmental public organism associated to the Health Council of the Union of South American Nations. As a centre of high studies and debate of public policies, its actions contribute for the development of governance and leadership in health in South America.

Created by the Council of Heads of State and the Government of UNASUR, on a proposal from the South American Health Council at a meeting in Cuenca, Ecuador, in April 2010, ISAGS is the outgrowth of a political consensus reached by the countries of the region after recognizing health as a bridge for peace and the development of people.

The idea of creating the Institute initially came up in September 2009, during the first meeting organized by the Technical Group on Human Resources for Health. The suggestion was put forward to the Health Council and was widely accepted. The headquarters of the Institute are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Work Plan

ISAGS is programmatically linked to the South American Health Council and therefore is based upon the same guidelines of the Council’s Five-Year Plan 2010-2015, which comprehends the priorities defined by the Ministries of Health of the member countries and by the Technical Groups and Structuring Networks that compose the Council.

The Institute’s actions are planned on the grounds of the Triennial Work Plan 2012-2015, whose intentions are to support the governments on the accomplishment of the Five-Year Plan. The Triennial Plan, which was ratified by the Council, is focused in three concentration areas: Social Determination of Health, Political Economy of Health and Universal Health Systems, all of them considered themes of key importance by UNASUR’s Health Agenda.

Since 2013, ISAGS submits its Annual Operating Plan (POA) to the Council, for its approval. The Plan encompasses the activities that will be implemented throughout the year. In addition to the concentration areas of the Triennial Plan, the POA 2014 conveys actions concerning Information and Knowledge Management, with relation to the Institute’s functions.


ISAGS abides by the rules of its Bylaw, which has been approved in all decision-making bodies of UNASUR. According to the document, in order to accomplish its goals, the organism must perform five main functions:

  1. Identify the needs, develop programs and support the processes of formation and capacity building of strategic human resources and leadership in health for the member countries, in articulation with congener national and international institutions.
  2. Organize existing knowledge and carry out researches on health policies and health governance, human resources and possibly other pertinent themes appointed by the South American Health Council, in coordination with congener national and international institutions.
  3. Systematize, organize and disseminate technical-scientific information on regional and global health, with the intention of supporting the decision-making process of the conduction centres, of strengthening society processes and of giving information about the processes of government and governance in health.
  4. 4. Support the formulation of UNASUR’s common external policies to back up the negotiation of health-related issues in global and regional international agendas.
  5. Provide technical support to national health institutions with the use of new methodological and evaluation approaches, in order to promote knowledge appliance and transfer, distance learning and the development of models for the evaluation of cooperation’s results, causes and effects.

Organizational Structure

ISAGS is composed by the Directive Council, the Consultative Council and the Executive Direction.

The Directive Council is one of ISAGS permanent bodies and guides the Institute´s activities in accordance with the priorities of the South American Health Council. It is formed by the Ministers of Health of the UNASUR member countries.

The Consultative Council is formed by the coordinators of the Technical Groups and Structuring Networks, as well as by specialists in critical health-related fields of knowledge. The organ is responsible for the formulation of recommendations regarding the planning, management, execution and the evaluation of the programs developed by ISAGS.

The Executive Direction’s duty is the management of the Institute, according to its objectives, functions, policies, plans, programs and projects defined and approved by the Directive Council.

South American Institute of Governance in Health
Av. Rio Branco,151, 19º andar, Centro - Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Brasil - CEP 20040-911. Tel.: + 55 21 2505-4400
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